A Jesuit, a Dominican and a Franciscan..
A Jesuit arrived in Rome and wanted to go to St. Peter’s Basilica. He asked a Dominican to show him the way. “Father,” said the Dominican, “I’m afraid you’ll never find it. It’s right in front of you.”
This joke is one of twenty in Jesuits Telling Jokes, a new book by Belgian Jesuit Nikolaas Sintobin SJ, which uses gentle Jesuit humour to introduce the reader to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The point this joke illustrates is that communicating too directly can produce the opposite effect to that intended. St Ignatius would advise that you should “always enter through the other person’s door in order to exit through your own door”, meaning we can only hope to gain true contact with someone if we are prepared to engage with their own language and culture. You may well be disappointed if you try to force a situation, therefore a Jesuit may consciously choose to take a circuitous route with the hope of finally reaching his goal.
Why are there so many Jesuit jokes?
May be it is because Jesuits have always been rather different from the other Orders and so have often been misunderstood. A core tenet of the spirituality of St Ignatius is that God can be found in all things. From the standpoint of the Jesuits, “all things” most definitely includes humour. In Jesuits Telling Jokes, each chapter opens with a cartoon and joke to illuminate one particular aspect of the Jesuits, and the rest of the chapter offers a brief insightful look into a foundational Ignatian principle or practice, which are often different from those of other Orders, such as the discernment of spirits, finding freedom in obedience, and making the road our cloister.
For anyone wanting a good laugh and a great introduction to how the Jesuits live, work, think, and pray, Jesuits Telling Jokes is the perfect place to start.
Jesuits telling jokes is published by Loyola Press in Chicago and is available on Amazon