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

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

by James Martin
4.5 15

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Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life by James Martin

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062098627
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/04/2011
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 185,373
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Rev. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communication, and author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and My Life with the Saints, which Publishers Weekly named one of the best books of 2006. Father Martin is a frequent commentator in the national and international media, having appeared on all the major networks, and in such diverse outlets as The Colbert Report, NPR's Fresh Air, the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.  Before entering the Jesuits in 1988 he graduated from the Wharton School of Business.

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Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
saraofsc More than 1 year ago
Looking for the perfect gift for your priest, minister, spiritual director or cranky relative? This informative and hilarious book will delight them. Get a copy for yourself, too. If you're like me, you're not sure sometimes what humor is appropriate, when you can laugh in church or even what's funny. Fr. Jim clears it up with serious reasons for good humor, and he clarifies what's good. Fascinating historical anecdotes speak of the humor of many holy people from various times and faiths. Plus, there are really good jokes and lots of joy, the kind that comes from God. Did you know that God has a sense of humor? Get the punch line in "Between Heaven and Mirth." You really need to know this before the Apocalypse.
Jugglercats More than 1 year ago
This book is something I needed. I sometimes feel weighted down by the serious of life, and I see humor as something necessary that is often set aside and considered frivolous. I love the references and interpretations in this book and many times I felt moved to read parts to my family because they were just so funny. I'm torn between sharing it with my pastor or getting him his own copy. I'm so thankful to have stumbled across this book!
Grannie-Reader More than 1 year ago
Although this is written by a Jesuit priest, in addition to Catholicism, he looks into other Christian religions, Judaism, and even some Eastern religions, pointing out the attraction and need of some joy and levity in our religions. His premise, with which I found refreshing to hear stated is that if we believe we are made in God's image, that He is with us always, that Christ died for us, then why aren't we filled with joy--particularly in our ritural services. I would suggest that every pastor, seminarian and anyone working in church ministries in any denomination, read this book and take it to heart. He pointed out many saints and other past religious leaders who were filled with joy, laughter and mirth. I am glad to have read it.
sparkeydoodle More than 1 year ago
this book will make you laugh out loud, no matter where you are. it is humorous and pokes a bit of fun at how stern religious folks can be. i think you will enjoy it.
mkbrsm More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for all those who believe that religion should be a joyful experience
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After 3 years of constant health struggles your book helped me to once again find my joy. Thank you!
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Great read for anyone who needs to be reminded that faith is about joy, not suffering.
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iaijohn More than 1 year ago
First I must confess to being a James Martin fan. And this book combines his wittiness and spiritual insights. He begins by noting that some people talk about the vice of excessive levity. Or is it a vice? Next he distinguishes scared joy, happiness in God, from profane humor. Joy he says is a sign of God but many saints had a great sense of humor. This book is about humor and it relates humor to spiritual joy. Throughout the book are interesting examples of mirth such as the "Easter laugh." Many years ago in Germany priests would tell jokes in church. The idea was to laugh at Satan who was unhappy anyway after Jesus rose from the dead. There are stories from the Old Testament with elements of humor. One is Jonah being swallowed by a whale. The author retells the story pointing out what I now see as humorous aspects of it. Father Martin says humor may not be valued as much as it should because of the way Jesus is portrayed in the Bible. He is shown to be clever and articulate but not humorous. Perhaps what was funny then is not seen to be so now. For example the parable of a mustard seed growing into a big tree may have been humorous to the simple people to whom Jesus spoke. To us now not so funny. In the book are various other such example of time bound humor. Humorous stories about the well known saints such as Saint Teresa, Saint Ignatius Loyola and Saint Francis of Assisi as well as other saints witticisms are described. Of particular interest is the humor in the story of Saint Francis preaching to the birds. We tend to focus on the seriousness of the story but Father Martin points out the wit and wisdom in it. And it is not just about saints, Popes are featured as well. When asked how many people work in the Vatican, Pope and now Saint John XXII said, about half! Father Martin points out that over seriousness is not just a Catholic problem. In spite of the well know wit of Martin Luther, Protestant church are serious too. But joking and humor do have a history in churches. Quite a few stories about various priests and saints in various places throughout the world are told in this book. In the end Father Martin says excessive levity is not to be feared. He shows us how humor from Biblical to current times has been part of religion and so should be embraced. He concludes, "So to be joyful. Use your sense of humor."