Ecclesiastes 2:2

I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What use is it?
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Basil the Great

AD 379
Those who live under discipline should avoid very carefully even such intemperate action as is commonly regarded lightly. Indulging in unrestrained and immoderate laughter is a sign of intemperance, of a want of control over one’s emotions, and of failure to repress the soul’s frivolity by a stern use of reason. It is not unbecoming, however, to give evidence of merriment of soul by a cheerful smile, if only to illustrate that which is written: “A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance,” but raucous laughter and uncontrollable shaking of the body are not indicative of a wellregulated soul, or of personal dignity, or selfmastery. This kind of laughter Ecclesiastes also reprehends as especially subversive of firmness of soul in the words: “Laughter I counted error,” and again, “As the crackling of thorns burning under a pot, so is the laughter of fools.” Moreover, the Lord appears to have experienced those emotions that are of necessity associated with the body, as well as those that be...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Why. Hebrew, "What doth that? "Septuagint, "Why dost thou so? "Immoderate laughter is a sign of folly, Ecclesiasticus xxi. 23. (Calmet) "Even spiritual joy is a temptation. "(St. Jerome)

Leander of Seville

AD 600
Let your rejoicing of the heart in God be calm and moderate, in accordance with the words of the apostle: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice.” In another place, he says, “The fruit of the spirit is joy.” Such happiness does not disturb the mind with the base act of laughter but lifts the soul to the place of rest that is above where you can hear “Enter into the joy of your master.” One can usually tell what is in a nun’s heart by her laughter. A nun would not laugh impudently if her heart were pure. A man’s face is the mirror of his heart: a nun does not laugh wantonly unless she is wanton in her heart. “Out of the abundance of the heart,” says the Lord, “the mouth speaks”; likewise, the face of a nun laughs from the abundance of a vain heart. See what is written about this: “Of laughter I said: ‘Mad!’ and of mirth: ‘What good does this do?’ ” And again, in the same place: “Let laughter be mingled with sadness, and the end of joy may be sorrow.” And the Lord says, ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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