Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Laughter of Love

There have been a huge number of things that have struck me here, too many to count, and certainly too many to write about without boring people; but one of the things that has most struck me, and most persistently so, has been the real sense of joy. All of the Salesians we have met have seemed genuinely happy, and it is with a joy that generates an energy, and which is communicated to the students they work with through their approach and relationships.

This poem is inspired by that joy, as well as by this quote “For men are made for happiness and anyone who is completely happy has a right to say to himself, ‘I am doing God’s will on earth.’” From the Brothers Karamazov, by Dostoevsky, which I am currently reading and, incidentally, would highly recommend.

Though the world can seem a dark, dark place
Yet are we called for joy
To smile and keep on smiling
To laugh with the laughter of love

A smile that smiles through suffering,
Not in ignorance nor complacency
But as a bearer of true joy
A promise
Of better things to come

A joy found deep in silent places
Not emptiness but energy
A joy that is source and summit
Of life
In all its fullness

It is a smile that is more than lip service
A joy that can be read in the eyes
Shining with the twinkle of light
Welling up
Breaking out
This is the laughter of love


  1. I'll put the book on my reading list! Won't do us all any harm to remember to smile more - it always spreads a bit of joy and costs nothing at all!!

  2. Your words continue to be thought provoking and moving Steph. Thank you for them