April Fools!

1 Corinthians 3:18

Let no one deceive himself.  If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

The Holy Fool is a wonderful tradition of the Eastern Church who periodically pops up here in the West.  In the Russian tradition, some of the saints would do almost anything to avoid being perceived as saints.  One of them kept offering to wrestle bears so people would think him a nut and not praise him as a saint.  In the West, St. Philip Neri acted goofy, partly because he enjoyed being a goof and partly to throw people off the scent of his sanctity and keep them from gushing over him.  When offered a cardinal's hat, he proceeded to play football with it.  Currently, we saw something of the Holy Fool in Forrest Gump a few years ago.  All such fools have one thing in common: they know they are not wise.  Similarly, those who are convinced of their innate wisdom are invariably great ninnies.  It's far better to be a fool for Christ than to be a fool on one's own.  Today, thank God for the folly that is his wisdom.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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