I was fortunte that Terrance Toland, SJ accepted my invitation to dinner. Rare as it is for 44 to shut up for too long... he does when he's with Fr. Toland -- whose stories are much more interesting than my own. So interesting, in fact, that the waitress came by 4 times to ask if we were (finally) ready to order. We weren't, and she never came back (did she quit?) Father really should think about writing a book. I'm fascinated... and others would be as well. So from 4th and Market back to Willings Alley. Good turnout or bad turnout?...
A great turnout at Old St. Joe's on Thursday to hear Fr. Jim Martin, SJ! I was worried that since it was only advertised in the parish bulletin that there would be alot of empty chairs -- they actually scrambled to get more. He's one of my favorite authors and after (unhappily) working as a VP for GE answered his call for a vocation to the SJs. So good to see a man so happy in what he does. Very infectious, and very funny.
I thought it funny that when he was "pushing" his books and DVD... it was with the knowledge that, as a Jesuit who takes a true vow of poverty... he wasn't making a dime. Enjoy the pics and clips...
Joy in the Christian Life
Why is it that joy, humor and laughter sometimes seem to have evaporated from contemporary spirituality?
Maybe that's not surprising — at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the Old Testament, God isn't exactly a barrel of laughs, although there are some amusing passages in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the Book of Genesis when God tells the very old Sarah that she is about to have a baby with her husband Abraham, Sarah laughs. You laughed, said God. No I didn't, says Sarah. Oh yes you did laugh, says God. Their baby is named Isaac, or Yitzhak, which derives from the Hebrew word for "God laughs."
And though we hear about Jesus of Nazareth weeping in the New Testament, there's nothing about him laughing. Still, it's hard to imagine Jesus without a sense of humor. Some of the parables he told, like the mustard seed growing into a tree, and the speck of dust in your neighbor's eye and the log in your own, would have been considered amusing by people in ancient Palestine. And most people who tell funny stories like to laugh. Besides, Jesus's first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding reception, which surely provoked some high spirits.
Most of the saints were also not the gloomy people that we imagine them to be. Otherwise they wouldn't have attracted so many followers. One of the earliest Christian martyrs, St. Lawrence, taunted his executioners, who were roasting him alive. "Turn me over," he said, "I'm done on this side." St. Francis of Assisi was an exuberant fellow who delighted in animals, nature, his fellow human beings, and in God. And St. Teresa of Ávila even prayed, "From somber, sullen, serious saints, deliver us, Lord." The saints knew that closeness to God leads to joy, and even laughter.
Jim Martin, SJ
Facebook Fr. James Martin, SJ
Jim Martin, SJ with Terrance Toland, SJ
The Daughters of St. Paul were there to assist with the books sales.
Fr. Martin signs his book for a fan... Hawkamaniac 4th in line.