Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On Sarcasm

The Catholic Blogosphere has been abuzz with treatments on the need to curtail our use of sarcasm during the Year of Mercy.

As a Catholic who uses sarcasm so much that I often have to tell people when I'm being serious, I'd like to provide a counterpoint.

"Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded." -FyodorDostoevsky

We live in a harsh world, a world that allows our sense of decency and innocence to be taken away and destroyed at every turn.

While many feel that it is the job of Christians to bare all of it and smile despite the problems, I find that hard unrealistic.

I simply can't feel a sense of joy all the time, especially in times of trouble and difficulty.

In order to cope with the inevitable difficulties of life, I resort to sarcasm.

My intention is never to hurt others, although that has happened from time to time, but rather to keep a sense of levity in this world of suffering.

We can't take ourselves or our world seriously all the time, and sarcasm often becomes the vehicle by which we continue to remember that there is something bigger than ourselves out there.

Sarcasm can help us to remember that our job is just a job, our government is not as powerful and important as it thinks it is, and that our family struggles will soon fade and everything will be okay.

With the ups and downs of the daily struggle, a well-placed sarcastic comment can help us all to make it through the day.

And that's seems like a pretty darned merciful thing to do, in my opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see your thoughts. Perhaps there is a place for sarcasm in the sense of satire, not something intended to insult. Perhaps more of a defense mechanism. The opening pages of The Screwtape Letters says how the devil hates to be mocked.