Joy, humor, and laughter are at the heart of the spiritual life
About this Book:
From The Colbert Report's "official chaplain" James Martin, SJ, author of the New York Times 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. 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.
In this book, James Martin, SJ, assures us that God wants us to experience joy, cultivate a sense of holy humor, and laugh at life's absurdities-not to mention our own humanity. Father Martin invites believers to rediscover the importance of humor and laughter in our daily lives and to embrace an essential truth: faith leads to joy.
Holy people are joyful people, says Father Martin, offering countless examples of healthy humor and purposeful levity in the stories of biblical heroes and heroines, and in the lives of the saints and the world's great spiritual masters. He shows us how the parables are often the stuff of comedy, and how the Gospels reveal Jesus to be a man with a palpable sense of joy and even playfulness. In fact, Father Martin argues compellingly, thinking about a Jesus without a sense of humor may be close to heretical.
Drawing on Scripture, sharing anecdotes from his experiences as a lifelong Catholic, a Jesuit for over twenty years, and a priest for more than ten, and including amusing and insightful sidebars, footnotes, and jokes, Father Martin illustrates how joy, humor, and laughter help us to live more spiritual lives, understand ourselves and others better, and more fully appreciate God's presence among us. Practical how-to advice helps us use humor to show our faith, embrace our humanity, put things into perspective, open our minds, speak truth, demonstrate courage, challenge power, learn hospitality, foster effective human relations, deepen our relationship with God, and even enjoy ourselves. We can enjoy a little heaven on earth by inviting God to lighten our hearts.
About the Author:
The Rev. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, author, and culture editor of America, the national Catholic magazine.
Father Martin is the author of several very popular books. His books have been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese, and Korean. He also writes articles for publications such as America, Commonweal, U.S. Catholic and The (London) Tablet, Father Martin has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and other national newspapers and websites, including Beliefnet.com, Slate.com, and The New York Times' website. He has commented on religion and spirituality in the national and international media, and he has appeared in venues as diverse as National Public Radio's Fresh Air with Terry Gross and Weekend Edition, PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, and Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, as well as on all the major networks, CNN, MSNBC, The History Channel, the BBC, and Vatican Radio.
For his writings and various ministries, Father Martin has received Fordham University's Gaudium et Spes Award, the Ignatian Volunteer Corps's Madonna della Strada Award, and the Loyola Institute of Spirituality's Writers' Award.
Besides his editorial, publishing, and media work, Father Martin conducts seminars and retreats across the country, and assists on Sundays at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City.
What Are People Saying about this Title?
"Between Heaven and Mirth will make any reader smile. . . . Father Martin reminds us that happiness is the good God's own goal for us." -Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York