From chattering and joking comes
lying; and lying is the destruction of charity and the very denial
of God. "You will destroy everyone speaking a lie." How
much more he who swears on a lie.
I have seen men proud of their
ability to lie and joke around, taking away the spirit of mourning
from souls. Our fall is when we avoid being offensive; so we laugh
or avoid giving the impression we are holier.
Hypocrisy is the mother and cause
of lying. To lie out of fear is serious but less serious than to lie
with nothing to worry about, like to lie out of sheer pleasure, for
amusement, to raise laughter, or trap one's brother and do him harm.
St. John Climacus