The initial conversation that sparked this conference was a chat between Matt Archbold and me back over the summer. We'd been part of what felt like a fun cluster of blogs that seemed to cross-pollenate humor and topics of import from the beginning. We were always looking for something smart, something fun, something light, something that fed the spirit if not the heart. It was joyous and joyful. We missed that sense of being able to visit blogs like neighborhoods. We missed feeling like we knew people behind the blogs and their general areas of interest and expertise. The whole of the Catholic new media felt like a stained glass window, and each of us, a piece in the whole framed image, all reflecting some component of Catholic life, of witnessing to Christ. Matt's lament was mine.
The result of that conversation over Facebook, was this conference, "A Good Discourse," and Matt agreed orignally to lead the discussion on how humor is a necessary component of evangelization. However, his daughter this winter required surgery, and his family's needs come first. So we thank Matt for the inspiration for this conference and I ask all who attend to pray and ask the Blessed Mother to ask her son, the Divine Physician for the speedy and long term perfect recovery of his daughter to full health. We will miss his presence. My name is Sherry Antonetti and I will be back-up speaker on humor and how it helps to evangelize. I've been writing humor in my blog and for various publications since the day I ranted to my parents over the phone about my constant struggles with potty training my toddlers. I've discovered that humor often leads to better discussion than rhetoric, and gets people to hear what their preconceptions and understandings will not allow.
Humor is an undervalued gift of writing and language, but it is to be used as a proposal, as an invitation, rather than as a shield to avoid discussing hard things, or a sword to skewer others. Ultimately, for me, true humor never demands or demeans, it heals and reminds us that all the pain, all the frustration of this life is temporary and joy, that sweetness, that light, that lightness is eternal.