Some good Lenten advice–and any-time-of-the-year advice–from Fr. Dwight Longenecker.
. . . we must take sin seriously. The reality of the devil must be admitted, and, especially during Lent, we must enter the spiritual battle wearing our full armor. All I am suggesting is that part of that armor should be the swift arrows of good humor and humility.
Laughing at Lucifer is a good way to do just that.
Laughing at Lucifer in Lent means that we are happy warriors. We are launching out on the spiritual battle with a spring in our step and a smile on our face. The Gospel says when we fast we should wash our face and put on a smile, and the spiritual writers speak of keeping a “joyful Lent.” We’re not going about as gloomy defeatists.
This requires a clear understanding of our own faults and the reality of temptation.
As we engage in spiritual battle during Lent, we should do so with the joyful knowledge that, no matter what, Christ’s forgiveness upholds us and that, in him, as St. Paul says, “we are more than conquerors.” When we face temptation, we should overcome it not just with a serious resolve and a whopping amount of self-control, but also with the wisdom and insight it takes to see the temptation for what it is.
Then we can sidestep the attack and parry with a counterthrust in the robust spirit of a jaunty swordsman or a laughing cavalier.