April 10, 2014
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Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life (Paperback)
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In Between Heaven and Mirth, James Martin, SJ, assures us that God wants us to experience joy, to cultivate a sense of holy humor, and to laugh at lifes absurditiesnot 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 worlds 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 Gods 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 ... enjoy ourselves. Inviting God to lighten our hearts, we can enjoy a little heaven on earth.
About the Author
Rev. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, contributing editor of America magazine, and bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and My Life with the Saints. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988, Father Martin graduated from the Wharton School of Business.
Praise for Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life…
“Winsome and comical but also provocative and thoughtful, Martin’s book is a breath of fresh air for those who would take religion—and themselves—too seriously.”