James Martin

HEAVEN: Get Ready For Heaven, by James Martin

July 5, 2016

From Between Heaven and Mirth By now I hope you can see why “excessive levity” is not to be feared, as that elderly priest told my friend, Mike, all those years ago, but to be welcomed.  And – it’s worth mentioning again – this is not to say that one should ignore the reality of suffering and sadness.  But too many religious people overemphasize these aspects of life while downplaying the more mirthful ones.  This book has tried to balance things out a bit.  Joy, humor, and laughter are virtues necessary for a healthy spiritual life. Those virtues also point us beyond our Earthly lives.  And that’s the last thing I would like to speak about before we end our discussion. This is not the place for a long [...]

LENTEN MEDITATION: Bothering To Love by James Martin

February 16, 2016

From Huffington Post One Priest’s Modest Proposal for Lent What have you given up for Lent? That’s what many Christians – from almost every denomination, and especially Roman Catholics – are asking one another this time of year.  The most common thing to forego, I would wager, is some kind of food: soda and chocolate seem to be the Most Favored Sacrifices, with cigarettes and liquor running a close third.  Each year, in fact, a Jewish friend from my college days calls me on Ash Wednesday to tell me what to give up, since he thinks my deciding on my own is too easy.  Last year it was chicken wings, which was harder than you might think.  (I’ll save the story of how he came to assign my abstinence for another [...]

SUFFERING: A Study In Joy — 1 Thessalonians, by James Martin, SJ

October 15, 2015

From Between Heaven and Mirth You would think that the book that many scripture scholars agree to be the oldest in the New Testament would garner a great deal of respect and attention.  You would think that a document written around 50 AD – only seventeen years or so after the death of resurrection of Jesus – would be pored over by all Christians.  You would think that most Christians would know even the smallest verses of this document by heart. Well, you would be wrong.  Saint Paul’s Letter to the Thessalonians isn’t all that well-known by many Christians. Still, by common consent, it is the earliest of Paul’s letters, and therefore the earliest writing in the entire New Testament.  Scholars say that 1 [...]

ACCEPTANCE: Jesus of Los Angeles, by James Martin

June 12, 2014

From The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything Recently, I made my second thirty-day retreat at a Jesuit house in Los Angeles.  It would be only the second (and maybe the final) time that I would make the full Spiritual Exercises.  Even though I was guarding against too many expectations, I was still worried about “performing” and producing amazing results in prayer, placing upon myself expectations about what I needed to “do” in prayer, rather than leaving it up to [...]