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Between Heaven and Mirth
A Jesuit priest with a busy media ministry, Martin understands the intersections between spirituality and daily life. In Between Heaven and Mirth, he uses scriptural passages, the lives of the saints, the spiritual teachings of other traditions, and his own personal reflections to show us why joy is the inevitable result of faith, because a healthy spirituality and a healthy sense of humor go hand-in-hand with God's great plan for humankind. So a humor book and a serious theology book meet up in a bar Martin, a Jesuit who is something of a regular on Comedy Central s The Colbert Report, makes a strong case for the necessity of humor in the spiritual life, offering what he calls a serious argument for joy. Weaving funny anecdotes and jokes with biblical and historical research and interviews with scholars, Martin does much to rescue the Christian tradition from joylessness. In his telling, church history is filled with levity if you only know where to look his portrayal of St. Teresa of Avila shows her to have been downright hilarious, and Jesus himself drew upon humor in ways we don t always appreciate when we read the Gospels today.
If you ever got in trouble as a child for laughing in church, prepare to be vindicated. In Between Heaven and Mirth, Jesuit Father James Martin reveals that God never intended for us to take ourselves, or our spirituality, quite so seriously. HarperOne says: From the author of the bestselling The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything, comes a revolutionary look at how joy, humor, and laughter can change our lives and save our spirits. Available at bookstores or from HarperOne: Shop online at www. Order now from HarperOne. General Book Club guidelines. Have you found joy to be present in your own religious upbringing?
Mike is one of the funniest people I know. A Catholic priest in his mid-sixties, he regales his friends with clever stories, boasts superb comic timing, and has perfected an inimitable deadpan look. Today Mike is a popular professor at Fordham, a Catholic university in New York City, where his lighthearted sermons attract crowds of students to Sunday Masses. And forty years ago the Jesuits—the Catholic religious order to which Mike and I belong—had an odd custom that made this clear. This had been a long-standing practice in many religious orders, especially in monastic orders. It sounds strange but, as the saying goes, the past is a different country. And the past in religious orders is a different world.
James Martin, SJ: Between Heaven and Mirth
Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today's church and ministry leaders, like you. Have you found joy to be present in your own religious upbringing? If so, how has it influenced your spirituality? Early in the book, Father Martin offers five reasons for the disconnect between faith and joy. First, our understanding of God is a joyless judge. Second, the aim of religion salvation, etc. Third, many religious groups seem more concerned with sin.