Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Father James Martin’

“Mr. and Mrs. Jesus Christ?” on New York Times’ Editorial Page

Jesuit Father James MartinThe recent discovery of an ancient Coptic papyrus by Harvard church historian Karen L. King that mentions Jesus’ wife has some questioning its authenticity. But Jesuit Father James Martin wrote in a recent op-ed for The New York Times that even if it is found to be authentic, “Will this fascinating new discovery make this Jesuit priest want to rush out and get married? No.”

In his article titled “Mr. and Mrs. Jesus Christ?”, Fr. Martin wrote that it is more likely that Jesus was celibate since the papyrus is said to date from the fourth century — roughly 350 years after Jesus’ life and death.

Fr. Martin said there are several reasons Jesus might have remained unmarried: “Jesus, who knew the fate of other prophets, may have intuited that his public life would prove dangerous and end violently, a burden for a wife. He may have foreseen the difficulty of caring for a family while being an itinerant preacher. Or perhaps he was trying to demonstrate a kind of single-hearted commitment to God.”

Fr. Martin wrote that even if evidence of a married Jesus is found from an earlier date, he won’t stop believing in Jesus or abandon his vow of chastity.

It wouldn’t upset me if it turned out that Jesus was married. His life, death and, most important, resurrection would still be valid. Nor would I abandon my life of chastity, which is the way I’ve found to love many people freely and deeply. If I make it to heaven and Jesus introduces me to his wife, I’ll be happy for him (and her). But then I’ll track down Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, who wrote so soon after the time of Jesus, and ask them why they left out something so important.

Read Fr. Martin’s full op-ed at The New York Times website. For a lighthearted take on the topic, check out The Jesuit Post’s suggestions for the best wedding gifts for “Mr. & Mrs. Jesus Christ.”

Jesuit Says Gun Control Is a Religious Issue

Jesuit Father James MartinOn Friday, July 20, after the shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater that left 12 dead, Jesuit Father James Martin, culture editor at America magazine, posted the following on Facebook:

“Gun control is a pro-life issue. Pray for the families of the victims in Colorado, and for an end to the taking of life by violence.”

That post sparked a debate on Fr. Martin’s Facebook page that USA Today’s Faith & Reason blog reported on later that day, in a post titled “Would Jesus pack heat? Is gun control a God issue?”

On July 22, Fr. Martin expanded on his views in a post on America magazine’s blog. Fr. Martin stated that he is a religious person, not a political person, and that he believes gun control is a religious issue:

“It is as much of a ‘life issue’ or a ‘pro-life issue,’ as some religious people say, as is abortion, euthanasia or the death penalty (all of which I am against), and programs that provide the poor with the same access to basic human needs as the wealthy (which I am for). There is a ‘consistent ethic of life’ that views all these issues as linked, because they are.”

Fr. Martin wrote that he prays for the victims, but suggested that “our revulsion over these crimes, and our sympathy for victims, may be more than an invitation to prayer. Such deep emotions may be one way that God encourages us to act.”

Fr. Martin said religious people should meditate on “the connection between the more traditional ‘life issues’ and the overdue need for stricter gun control.”

German Jesuit Named to the College of Cardinals

“The world, with all its resources, is incapable of providing humanity with the light to guide it on its path”, said Pope Benedict XVI Friday marking the Feast of the Epiphany with pilgrims present in St Peter’s Square for the midday Angelus, during which he also announced a consistory for the creation of new cardinals. The Holy Father announced a consistory for February 18th, during which he will create 22 new Cardinals. 18 of them will be cardinal-electors, which means they are eligible to vote in conclave.

Pope Benedict also announced that one bishop and four priests who have distinguished themselves in their commitment to the Church, will be made cardinals in the February consistory although they will not be eligible to vote in conclave having passed the age limit of 80 years. Among these Jesuit Father Karl Becker, Professor Emeritus of Dogmatic Theology of the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Jesuit Father James Martin recently wrote about Cardinal-designate Becker’s elevation, especially in light of him being a Jesuit:

“Normally the pope names (or, technically, “creates”) cardinals from the ranks of bishops and archbishops (as with Archbishop Dolan) and these men are often heads of the larger archdioceses.  But occasionally the pope names a priest, to honor the man for his life’s work.  (Normally they are over 80, not named a bishop so as to spare them from the sacramental duties of a bishop, and are ineligible to vote in a papal conclave.) Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, the American Jesuit theologian, was a recent example.  (An interview with Cardinal Dulles a few months before the consistory, including his thoughts on becoming a cardinal, is here.)

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When Thanksgiving Is Filled with Turkeys: Jesuit Father James Martin Offers Advice for Surviving the Holidays

Anticipating a Christmas season that looks nothing like the Normal Rockwell ideal? Jesuit Father James Martin offers some tips on getting through the festivities with your sense of humor intact:

1) Laugh about the craziness. Got a crazy family who always argues about the same thing every single time they get together? “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU BROUGHT THAT UP AGAIN!” Don’t get angry; get perspective. Unless you’re the Messiah and can work miracles, you’re probably not going to change them. So stop trying. You’re driving yourself nuts. You can be open and loving, but you can also be realistic.

2) Laugh at things that are supposed to be funny. There’s plenty of funny holiday-themed humor out there. If you’re not tickled by Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (which I am not) there’s always A Christmas Story, (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”), which airs on TV 24/7 from Thanksgiving to Christmas, so you’ve got no excuse not to smile at least once in November and December.

3) Laugh at yourself. As Jesus said to the disciples, “Get over yourself!” (Well, he should have said it.) Stop taking yourself so seriously. Your coworkers thought that your Christmas tie was ugly? Maybe it is. Someone didn’t like your “Famous Mulled Wine” or your “Christmasy Ginger-Pumpkin Nutbread” handed down from your great-grandmother? Get over it. Life’s too short to take yourself too seriously.

To read the full post on ways to survive this time of year, check out the full blog post here.

Fr. Martin is the author of the new book Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life (HarperOne), which, he would like to say, makes the perfect gift for any holiday.

 

Jesuit Father Jim Martin’s New Book on the Joy and Humor in Spiritual Life the Focus of This Month’s Podcast

A prolific writer and the cultural editor for America Magazine, Jesuit Father James Martin also frequently contributes to the Huffington Post‘s Religion section and appears on the late night satirical talk show The Colbert Report.

Fr. Martin is a best selling author of books like “The Jesuits Guide to Everything” and “My Life with the Saints.” This month, Martin’s latest book “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life” is hitting bookshelves and ereaders across the country. In this latest book, Martin explores the intersection of faith and humor and why being spiritual and being serious don’t always go hand in hand.

Martin took the time to speak with us by phone for this month’s NJN podcast. You can listen below: