REVIEW ò Between Heaven and Mirth

James Martin ä 1 REVIEW

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. With peaceful insight that is hard to find in a goal oriented life Between Heaven and Mirth is like a self help book that does not teach you how to get ahead but rather shows how you already are ahead Everything Fr Martin says is worth an inner joy His message has left me feeling relieved breathing easier as I stop should ing all over myself one of his many jokes At the same time he gives a balanced approach to happiness addressing the truth and power of sorrow he guides the reader to embrace sorrow when appropriate without letting it dim an everlasting inner joy At times his advice can be challenging to follow but he is very helpful by going slowly and repeating his main thoughts often It is a light read drawing from many dimensions of life for support the Bible personal anecdotes scientific facts about biological and cognitive processes in a way that is easy to understand Through his patient and encouraging method of presentation his wisdom eased into my way of life almost instantly has left me pondering joy long after finishing his book and will continue to guide me for a joyful lifetime to come

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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. Ultimately this is very a readable book penned by what seems to be a very affable guy It does however leave some elements to be desired when considering its subtitle Although he manages to not offend and at small intervals give praise to other religions this Jesuit simply does not have the credentials to claim this book s approach is about all spiritual life versus a Christian one Even his attempts at placing joy humor laughter at the heart of Catholicism are dubious at best especially when considering scriptureThe position that modern worshippers cannot see the humor because they simply don t get the jokes ie they were written for people literally 2000 years ago is a rather shaky attempt at contradicting all the smiting women are lesser beings and kill you kid because I told you so bits An attempt to define any type of comedy could pose this argument in its defense However a uarter of the world is not basing its moral codes political positions and gender euality issues on the dick and fart jokes made by an English baby and his talking dog on Family Guy This issue notwithstanding there are some very refreshing and salient points made by Martin with these being some of my favorites Humility can lead to happiness Simply because you go to Mass every Sunday donate a tenth of your salary to the church are an elder in your congregation or always attend the Shabbat Sabbath services at your synagogue does not mean that you are ipso facto holier than everyone else pg 91 92 Not all efforts need to accomplish something it is okay for you to be a human being from time to time instead of just a human doing pg 117 MY version is not necessarily THE version Humbling humor also reminds us that no one religious group has all the answersGod is bigger than any religion and can upend our human and limited expectations pg 161 162There is some sage advice offered by Martin that would be best applied to seek happiness for the sake of happiness and not to have the poverty of spirit to realize you are of lesser worth than God If I am to be so bold as to suggest an editorial thought changing the word Are to the words Should Be ie Why Joy Humor and Laughter Should Be at the Heart of the Spiritual Life would be a apt representation of the thoughts within But nevertheless what do I know I m about to watch a talking dog tell a double entendre poop joke to a babyBless you

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“Between Heaven and Mirth will make any reader smile Father Martin reminds us that happiness is the Between Heaven Kindle good God’s own goal for us” Timothy M Dolan Archbishop of New YorkFrom The Colbert Report’s “official chaplain” James Martin SJ author of the New York Times. Joy humor and laughter do those feelings belong to the religion Often the religious are presented as having neutral or negative feelings but yes Yes these feelings belong to the religion any religion really the author mentions Jewish and Islamic positivity withinIt s in the Bible texts among other feelings in the Psalms in the story of Abraham when Mary visits Elizabeth in the earliest of St Paul s letters It is good humor not the type that puts others down sometimes unintentionally There are examples of jokes long and short here and good uotes I may not have the same sort of humor as the author and sometimes my confidence still needs some working the reason why this is 35 stars than 4 for meJHL now will become my short form for the three positive feelings of the bookSome subjects in this book on seriousness and why joy is so misunderstood and underrated how one can get of JHL in one s life how religious people have used it incl saints why it seems lacking in NT the humor of Jesus time we don t get it the same way how writers needed to emphasise Jesus role as a wisdom teacher to the Greeks and how his suffering had to be explained instead of showing the positives 11 reasons for JHL need for humor in the community of believers need for humor in one s spiritual life uestions about challenges of being joyful and what to do and of how to put the JHL into one s prayersThis is a good book for cultivating these three feelings in one s life and perhaps seeing some Bible parts in a funny positive light I may not be a person to show much great laughter but I do like to smile and this is inspiring me to accept JHL in my lifeJoy brings us closer to God the source of joy and there s still the joy of Heaven to come


10 thoughts on “Between Heaven and Mirth

  1. says:

    Joy humor and laughter do those feelings belong to the religion? Often the religious are presented as having neutral or negative feelings but yes Yes these feelings belong to the religion any religion really the au

  2. says:

    I can't tell you how many times I've had people ask me How can you be a Happy Catholic? They then go on to cite the problems currently in the Church how hard life is in general and so on and so forthMy answer is that happy does not mean cheerful I'm not talking about a Pollyanna ish insistence on always seeing

  3. says:

    If Stephen Colbert says that James Martin is ok then James Martin is ok Seriously tho a book about finding and keeping joy in your heart whet

  4. says:

    With peaceful insight that is hard to find in a goal oriented life Between Heaven and Mirth is like a self help

  5. says:

    I like books that move me or change my existing perspective on things After all if not for entertainment why read? That's the reaso

  6. says:

    Jesuit priest James Martin argues that if joy humor and laughter seem antithetical to spirituality and a relationship with God you're doing it wrongJoy humor and laughter serve many purposes They create a sense of

  7. says:

    Ultimately this is very a readable book penned by what seems to be a very affable guy It does however leave some elements to be desired when considering its subtitle Although he manages to not offend and at small intervals give praise to other religions this Jesuit simply does not have the credentials to claim this book's approach is about all spiritual life versus a Christian one Even his attempts at placing 'joy humor

  8. says:

    I had seen the Rev Martin on several episodes of The Colbert Report and a few years back I saw him promoting this book and was intrigued Several priests in my life have had an incredible sense of humor some did not But I

  9. says:

    I sped read this to prepare for a sermon I'm writing on joy and humor in the gospel especially joyhumor in the context of the Mormon exodus West Thank the LORD for men like Father James Martin We need Holy Fools like him in the world Can you allow yourself to think that the wonderful or funny or unexpected things that surprise you are signs of God being playful with you? Think about this in a slightly differe

  10. says:

    Written by a Jesuit priest Between Heaven and Mirth makes the case that mirth and all its companions—joy fun humor laughter joking—are an

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