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 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 ... enjoy ourselves. Inviting God to lighten our hearts, we can enjoy a little heaven on earth.
©2011 James Martin, S.J. (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers
I love the way he tells stories. He is very honest and has a great sense of humor.
I liked his honesty.
The book is very uplifting and inspirational.
You can pick up this book at any time and not necessarily finish it all at once. You can come back again and again and get something new every time.
While I was intrigued by the topic of this book, I was disappointed with the content. A few of the included jokes and stories were good, but most were simply not funny. I did not find the book to be very enlightening. Most was just common sense. I struggled even to finish listening.
James Martin SJ provides a thoughtful analysis of why humor appears to be missing from the Bible, how to find it by adjusting your cultural perspective and the importance of mirth in religion.
How animals in sack cloth are a hilarious image in the story of Jonah.
It is always nice to hear the author's voice, particularly when listening to a joke where timing is crucial.
I felt like i was sitting with the author and he was telling me a lot of great stories. He is very pleasant and easy to following. Very intelligent and funny. Lots of humor. You will thoroughly enjoy this book no matter what religion u r.
it keeps me interested ...
very personable. your can tell his tone is pleasant and humorous.
Great!! i will probably read/listen to again and again
by far one of my favorites. I have listened to it twice now.
the tone and inflection he used add a certian punch to the stories that I probably would not have had if I read it.
many - I had to stop and reflect and listen to passages again.
I will diffentaly listen to this one time and time again.
A well balanced, easy to listen to and useful perception. It focuses on the important things in life for when we get bogged down by gloom and drudgery. A simple and clear perspective about choices we have in life.
I feel richer for having taken in this book.
Well done, Jim.
Martin's central theme is that the Bible has funny stories in it and that Jesus had a sense of humor. He makes the case early on, and then the rest of the book for me is "so what?" Lots of example, none of them hugely funny, but I can see how they would have been funny to a 1st Century Hebrew, Greek or Roman. But still once the point had been made, I did not see any point to the rest of the book.
No. The other two books that I listened to from James Martin were excellent: one about the Saints and another about the Jesuits.
Very clear voice and conversational style. Excellent to listen to.
It's not that sort of book. No characters.
"Lightweight and a bit boring"
I expected to be amused in a good clean way. Mostly though, I found this book a little tedious.
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