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Download Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life eBook

by James Martin

Download Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life eBook
ISBN:
0062024256
Author:
James Martin
Category:
Christian Living
Language:
English
Publisher:
HarperOne; Reprint edition (September 11, 2012)
Pages:
272 pages
EPUB book:
1119 kb
FB2 book:
1486 kb
DJVU:
1169 kb
Other formats
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Rating:
4.7
Votes:
256


In Between Heaven and Mirth, James Martin, SJ, assures us that God wants us to experience joy, to cultivate a sense . This is a similar list to the keynote talk I heard Fr. Martin give at the 2011 NCCL conference

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. Martin give at the 2011 NCCL conference. At the top of the list is the fact that happiness and humor are ways to witness to our faith: "Joy, humor, and laughter show one's faith in God.

Between Heaven and Mirth book. Between Heaven and Mirth will make any reader smile. Joy, humor, and laughter - do those feelings belong to the religion? Often the religious are presented as having more neutral or more negative feelings, but yes! Yes, these feelings belong to the religion, any religion really (the author mentions Jewish and Islamic positivity within). It'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.

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. 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.

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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. .

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.

Between Heaven and Mirth unfolds in nine short, sequential sections

Between Heaven and Mirth unfolds in nine short, sequential sections. Martin scatters jokes here and there, and some of them - not all - are funny. He touches on why we need to reclaim humor and laughter in religion, why they have been so downgraded, and what the spiritual masters in different traditions have taught about joy. He ranges through classical and modern Christian writers from Saint Benedict to Karl Barth, quoting their apt remarks on joy. He even cites Pope Benedict XVI, who, to this reader’s surprise, once wrote, I believe has a great sense of humor.

James Martin says of Between Heaven and Mirth that it contains jokes but is not a book of jokes. That is a very important distinction, because the humour throughout its pages is serious insofar as it conveys meaning and, frequently, a moral. This book is not merely a lesson in the spirituality of joy, humour and laughter. Fr James Martin might have said exactly the same thing about his latest book, Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life. For a start, I cannot think of any other book which has on its dustcover pictures of Pope John XXIII, Saints Julie Billiart, Teresa of Avila and Francis of Assisi, and Mother Teresa laughing!

Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor . Compare similar products. Paperback Joy Fielding Books.

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“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

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.

  • Kalv
The nicest compliment I ever received came from a Catholic deacon at a parish in Iowa. My family and I were getting ready to move out of the area (my one-year fellowship at the local Catholic hospital was ending) and he was explaining why our family would be missed: "It's been so nice having you here. You and your family live the faith joyfully."

This compliment came back to me while reading Jesuit Fr. James Martin's new book, Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life, which hits shelves today. Fr. Martin has crafted a wonderful book highlighting the rich tradition of faithful humor and joyful spirituality. He takes dead aim on the gloomy, pessimistic side of Christianity, arguing that it is not only antithetical to the teachings of Christ, but hurtful to the Church's mission of evangelization.

If you're looking for a quick summary of Fr. Martin's insights, skip to chapter four (helpfully entitled "Happiness Attracts: 11 1/2 Serious Reasons for Good Humor"). This is a similar list to the keynote talk I heard Fr. Martin give at the 2011 NCCL conference. At the top of the list is the fact that happiness and humor are ways to witness to our faith:

"Joy, humor, and laughter show one's faith in God. For Christians, an essentially hopeful outlook shows people that you believe in the Resurrection, in the power of life over death, and in the power of love over hatred. Don't you think that after the Resurrection Jesus's disciples were joyful? 'All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well,' as the fourteenth-century mystic Blessed Julian of Norwich said. For believers in general, humor shows your trust in God, who will ultimately make all things well. Joy reveals faith."

This may seem self-evident, but the number of dour and humorless Christians would seem to indicate that it bears repeating. Fr. Martin goes to on extol humor's virtues in the area of health, spirituality, hospitality, play, and interpersonal relations.

What's more, the book is funny. Fr. Martin sprinkles jokes and humor from the saints liberally throughout the text, including stories about Pope John XXIII; Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ; Dorothy Day; various Jesuit saints; and, of course, Jesus!

In fact, I think his look at humor in Sacred Scripture (both Old and New Testament) will be especially eye-opening for many people. As Fr. Martin points outs, it is easy to overlook the humor in the Bible:

"We've simply heard the stories too many times, and they become stale, like overly repeated jokes. 'The words seem to us like old coins,' [Elton Trueblood] writes, 'in which the edges have been worn smooth and the engravings have become almost indistinguishable.' Trueblood recounts the tale of his four-year-old son, who, upon hearing the Gospel story about seeing the speck of dust in your neighbor's eye and ignoring the log in your own,laughed uproariously. The young boy readily saw the humor missed by those who have heard the story dozens of times."

Besides the Bible Fr. Martin recommends numerous books on humor and spirituality (he admits up front that his book is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment of the subject) and even gives a list of his favorite funny movies.

A quick note about the book's intended audience: some Catholics may wonder why a book about spirituality by a Catholic priest includes insights from other Christian traditions as well as Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism. Fr. Martin writes for a broad audience, and I hope that his Protestant and non-Christian fans from the Huffington Post and the Colbert Report will pick up the book; I think many would be surprised at the relevance of its subject.

I heartily recommend Between Heaven and Mirth for anyone interested in furthering their own spiritual journey -- or just looking for a few new jokes from their repertoire. The Church's rich tradition of faithful joy is a treasure that deserves to be shared, for humor is a gift from God.

Or, as Hilaire Belloc so succinctly put it:

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There's always laughter and good red wine.
At least I've always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book for free from TLC Book Tours.
  • shustrik
I was raised Catholic, and I can assure you that there was no laughter ringing through the halls of the Catholic school, churches, and cathedrals that I attended as a child. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn of Father Martin’s book on levity and (mostly Christian) spirituality. The author elucidates various reasons for why he believes Jesus was no dour-faced prophet but rather a joyful Messiah who probably laughed and made others laugh (even though this is never explicitly mentioned in Scripture). Father Martin also illuminates Old Testament passages, revealing the often eccentric humor contained therein, and shows us that, contrary to popular belief, "a sad saint is a bad saint." And while I still don’t exactly view the Bible as a source of knee-slapping humor, I now have a somewhat brighter perspective on the spiritual tradition in which I was raised.

As a bonus, you will also find out which movies Father Martin finds hilarious (Animal House??).

One note: If you haven’t read Father Martin’s _Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything_ I would suggest you peruse that tome first; it has more substance in terms of sound practical spiritual advice for people undergoing difficulties and doubts in life. But _Between Heaven and Mirth_ is an entertaining and enlightening read and I would recommend it to anyone who thinks religion must be a joyless grind in order to be authentic.
  • Hunaya
Martin challenges the notion that Christians are always supposed to be serious. He does a good job of being both funny and serious--because it is a serious topic. His premise is that much of the Church, the Jesuits included, goes out of its way to miss out on the fun. Then there is Joy. He argues that alternative lifestyles may have diversion and humor, but they lack the essential elements that lead to experiencing joy.
If you are new to this topic, I recommend you start here. When you finish the book you will find a long list of references and resources to continue your study.