December 1, 2016
James Martin —
Finding God in All Things

Before Pope Francis, James Martin was perhaps the best-loved Jesuit in American life. He’s followed the calling of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, to “find God in all things” — and for him that means being a writer of books, an editor of America magazine, and a wise and witty presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. To delve into Fr. Martin's way of being in the world is to discover the "spiritual exercises" St. Ignatius designed to be accessible to everyone more than six centuries ago.

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is a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large of America magazine. His books include Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, My Life with the Saints, and, most recently, Seven Last Words.

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The idea that anyone is "flawed" is quite alien. The tradition is שעשני בצלמו. Not a flawed image. The tradition also points out that there is no distinction between Yechida and Ain Sof: the animating breath of the Divine into the clay (adamah) of physical existence is not separable into parts: it forever remains, as mentioned in the Sefer Yetzirah 1:7, The One without a second.

The concept is not alien to Catholicism. How do you separate the water and the wine once they have been mingled?

Never any "mingling", nothing to mingle: One without a second to mingle, without beginning.

Your perspective is understandable, but incorrect.

There are certain physical imperfections that disqualify a priest from service in the Temple. There are certain ritual impurities that disqualify a layperson from even entering the Temple.

For Jews, in this world the ultimate quality of one-ness where all is perfection is not what determines how we act - it's the myriad distinctions of many-ness.

We are All One in Christ Jesus. In the Christian New Testament it is clearly stated that Jesus came to bring both Jews and Gentiles out from under the Law into Grace. This was and IS His mission throughout eternity and infinity. It also clearly states that "there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus..." There is Only One and that One Being an infinite multitude of times in infinitude...as in the number One.....

Aggie: With due respect for your beliefs, Jews don't subscribe to that perspective. The Christian New Testament is not scripture for Jews.

And since Vatican II's Nostra Aetate document, the Catholic Church has stated (though not as a matter of doctrine or magisterial teaching) that God's covenants with the Jewish people are eternal. They are still discussing how to reconcile that with salvation only coming via the Church.

Thank you so much Krista and James Martin! I was raised in the Jewish faith and will always consider that my religious home. But over the past few years I have been searching and studying to understand who Jesus was since he is a part of our world. Yet growing up I did not know anything about him. Much of what James Martin said really resonated with me. I was particularly struck by his description of when Jesus was born. For me, this hits close to home because I know that I am on this earth at this time to help children and their parents to heal -- and to know the divinity within each of them. I understand that my task is to help them to be able to 'be themselves' above all else -- and this is one of the things that James Martin speaks about -- that whoever we truly are is god in us. I pray and will work towards a world where each child has the time and space to know themselves, to be themselves. In this way I honor the divine humanity in each person, and carry on the work that Jesus was an example of. Thank you again Krista for all that you bring to the world. Blessings to you and may you know as much joy as you bring to all of your listeners!

'...Each child has the time and space to know themselves, be themselves...'
Marla, thank you for your work and service to children. If our children were universally offered the opportunity you describe we could look forward to a whole and better world. I support and admire your work wholeheartedly. I attempt to do the same thing for my own children and those who are part of my village.

please enjoy this lovely video posted on youtube earlier this year. Three minutes of a lovely story with song sung by Lennon and Maisy.Produced by a Swiss company selling organic products.

My favorite quote from Thomas Merton, reputedly said during the photographic session with John Howard Griffin for A Hidden Wholeness (see p.48)"It's wonderful, isn't it, the number of words it takes to explain to God that He exists."

I loved this podcast. I felt so uplifted by Fr.Martin's message and I'll never forget his description of the Frozen Chosen. Joy isn't meant to be limited to Christmas and Easter.

you don't make it easy to forward this show .

Trent Gilliss's picture

Lindsay, did you see the share module to the right of the image and right below the audio links? You can share via FB, Twitter, email, etc. I'd welcome other suggestions though about how we can do things better!

When I was preparing my Affiity Group invite for Jan 4, I heard the podcast for Father Martin. I included the link... because as a Quaker, Taoist etc... and Christian, his POV is truly universal... and hopefully more of us will appreciate the common truth within all the great religions--LOVE unconditional and Eternal.

Desmond Tutu grinning
at some event.

Parents and grandparents catch
every moment.

Someone reading aloud
“Who are my mother and my brothers...?”

All the little ones
crossing every line
simply,

“Let's play.”

At ease
teachers assist
with their freedom
so many discernments:

with only one magic wand right now,
when, what, how, where, to whom
to throw.

I wake attempting
a miracle catch

and laugh.

All these characters
in my skit.

The thought that God speaks to us in our desires is such a powerful idea. I enjoy Krista and Fr Jim separately but together they were simply splendid. This podcast really spoke to me where I am today. Thank you.

I love the aspect of guided meditation in the spiritual practices of Ignatius. What comes to my mind, since I'm Jewish and my scripture tends to come from the Hebrew bible, is what Jacob says after his dream of the ladder and the angels going up and down it, that how full of awe that place is - that is was a holy place and he didn't know it.

My first response is "wow, how contemporary that Ignatius espoused guided meditation", but my second response is to laugh, because when I googled him (Ignatius) I realized that guided meditation,one of the things he taught as spiritual practice, has been around as long as he has... and google says the man was born at the end of the 1400s.
So. Wow. Guided meditation has been around for hundred's of years with all of its awe-full power and wisdom, and I didn't know it!!

I loved Fr. Martin's take on joy in faith. It put me in mind of St. Teresa of Avila's statement that "Joy is not the absence of suffering but the presence of God."

Great! Yes, we have tamed Christmas. A woman we know came down with West Nile six months ago, five months ago she went into a coma (the fever had left but her brain was damaged badly). Her husband (she was 71) is a daily Communicant and lector, and the parish prayed for her and him. The sacristan and sexton (takes care of setting up for Mass and setting up the building) and a friend of her husband had a dream Thursday in which her husband said to Jesus how sad he was that his wife was ill. And Jesus said 'It's O.K., I gave her a personal invitation to my birthday in Heaven'. And she died on 12/18. Her funeral is tomorrow, and right after the funeral the parish is decorating the Church for Christmas.

Revolution - people want revolution, reform, change. This is what Christmas is: revolution. The falling down of the proud and the raising up of the lowly, etc.,etc.: Mary's giving birth to Jesus is the revolution the world has waited for, and it is the only revolution we need, since it's repurcussions are eternal and complete.

Great that Krista Tippett is interviewing a devout Catholic and not a rebel or dissident or disgrunted Catholic, bravo!

This interview was wonderful. I love this program for just these kinds of conversations. It was enlightening and inspiring. Just knowing this man is out there, sharing his wisdom, humor, and compassion with others gives me hope. I am not religious, but I find On Being a place to discover wise thinkers and teachers from all walks of life. THANK YOU.

Thank you for your interview with James Martin. It was wonderful for this time of year.

Ms. Tippett, now this interview was truly speaking of faith! I try not to miss your program but this was most inspiring interview I've heard in along time. Thank you.

"To find God in all things" is to find peace in an otherwise overwelming world

Krista, Thank you. I am a reader of James Martin, SJ and a listener of On Being.
Several months ago I emailed Trent suggesting Fr. Martin as a guest. When I received the newsletter email that you were interviewing him, I saw it as gift. I have listened numerous times to the conversation you shared. I love how you use the word conversation. There is much to be learned from St. Ignatius and his Spiritual Exercises for people of any faith tradition. I am a student of the Exercises and one of the insights is that St Ignatius was accepting and encouraging of all people. The more as I believe the Jesuits say. Thank you for offering this conversation to your listeners. Thank you for the gifts of listening, learning, and life lessons in your weekly programs. Listening to your program is like sharing time with a friend. With gratitude!

I am so thankful to have found this podcast. I cannot put it to words. When I say that, I mean it. James Martin helped me discover new ways of discovering, as is this pilgrimage of truth that is the Christian Faith.

Thank you all so much. I'd really like to be a part of this movement.

Thanks for staring such wonderful thoughts on faith, joy, reflection, emotion. Fr. Martin's views were so refreshing, and such a delight... That I've listened to the show several times. I make time to listen to each week's show; this one certainly stood out among them!

What a sweet human. Thank you for this lovely hour.

I liked the way this answered a few nagging thoughts I had about Catholic practice. Like, "why can't we pray straight to God?"and "if no crying he makes, how is he really like the rest of the humans who cry as babies? does he poop like the rest of us? When I ask this among Catholics, they look at me as if I personally was the anti-Christ and how could I possibly be so irreverent? It was good to hear from a priest I wasn't going straight to hell for asking.

I have heard Fr. Martin speak and I hope to have the opportunity to do so in the future. I purchased his recent book for my Father in Law at a speaking engagement in Manhattan as he is an avid reader and spiritual wonderful man like Fr. Martin in these ways, I think. It was a special gift signed by Father Martin also special as my Father in Law picked a special book every year for each of his children and grandchildren. He told me he was most interested in the subject matter of this book as he reached this particular stage of life and wanted to delve deeper and understand Jesus. My Father in law was a Catholic school teacher principal and administrator a serious advocate of Catholic education for sure. I am blessed my husband and boys have such a wonderful role model and I too am blessed to have loved and been loved by him. My boys are also blessed to have Jesuit educations to date and when they started I told them you need to tell me what is special about the Jesuits as I believe this to be true but not sure why. As they become young men I see the special influences mostly in their high level of commitment to friends, family sports teams, and service projects. If they continue to grow up and are committed men for others no greater gift.

Life = God.

I found this interview, and James Martin, so inspiring that I kept thinking about it, listened to it over and over, and did a series of blogs on it. I would love to discuss it with others!

Krista, thanks so much for this episode. Absolutely in love with you podcast!!
xxx finja / www.effcaa.com

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