Hello, Reddit, I'm James Martin, SJ. I'm a Jesuit priest and author and editor at large of America magazine. My new book, which just made the New York Times bestseller list, is "Jesus: A Pilgrimage," a retelling of the life of Jesus. You can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-A-Pilgrimage-James-Martin/dp/006202423X


Comments: 918 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

ajbrown4933286 karma

Does today's news mean you will be The Official Chaplain of Late Night with Stephen Colbert? If so, how excited are you?

JamesMartinSJ299 karma

I was excited to see that. But who knows? If he asks, I'll accept! :)

cassie_andra155 karma

What do you think is the most commonly accepted sin in society?

JamesMartinSJ316 karma

Oh good one. I think pride. Everyone gives that a pass it seems.

cassie_andra155 karma

Since publishing "My Life with the Saints," are there any saints who have impacted your life enough to warrant an inclusion in the book?

Edit: Thanks for the gold!

JamesMartinSJ172 karma

Actually if I had to write it today I'd also include St. Isaac Jogues, the 17th-century North American martyr. I'm greatly devoted to him, and the other Jesuits who worked with indigenous peoples.

schoofer65 karma

I'm curious, why do you feel so devoted to St. Isaac? Was it his tenacity and zeal throughout his ordeal? Do you feel he was doing a good thing by trying to convert Native Americans?

JamesMartinSJ147 karma

Mainly his zeal and also that he saw Native Americans as holy and worthy of his attention, when few others in Europe did.

JamesMartinSJ135 karma

Thanks everyone for such great questions! I really enjoyed my first AMA, but now I have to sign off and get back to work. Check out my new book "Jesus: A Pilgrimage," if you can. And please keep me in your prayers! Peace, Jim Martin, SJ

choboy456123 karma

What is the best way to help the poor?

JamesMartinSJ306 karma

Oh good question. First, financial donations are important. Second, working against structures that keep them poor. Third, knowing them and loving them, as individuals, not just objects of charity.

thesuperrad79 karma

What structures, in your opinion, keep the poor, poor?

JamesMartinSJ249 karma

Oh large international economic structures mainly.

choboy45634 karma

Thanks for your response, what do you think is the best way for financial donations, should I donate directly to soup kitchens or is there a more overarching organization that would be able to use it more effectively?

JamesMartinSJ61 karma

Both. Soup kitchens are good and grassroots, but Catholic Charities is also great.

whereismom95 karma

What do you think of gays and the Church? Would you give communion to a gay couple? Thanks!

JamesMartinSJ314 karma

Oh I think that we really need to reach out to them more, with, as the Catechism says, "respect, compassion and sensitivity." We must listen to their experiences more carefully as well. And as for Communion, we wee taught that when someone presents himself or herself in line you always give them Communion--you never know the state of their soul! So you don't turn away. Even someone whom you suspect is not "worthy" may have just gone to confession. As the Pope said, the sacraments are not for the perfect, but for all of us.

whereismom59 karma

As a parent of a gay daughter who was raised catholic and is now an atheist(her,not me)I watched her move away from the church, and am now seeing a thaw in her, I am calling it the Francis effect.

Short funny story, during communion a year ago, I watched the priest go after a guy and take back the host. The guy took the communion, then just walked away, without putting it in his mouth, priest chased him down the aisle...can't make this stuff up!

rebelrevolt90 karma

You're really not supposed to do anything but eat it, especially if you believe in transubstantiation. You'd basically be stealing a tiny piece of Jesus. It's associated with Satanic Rituals.


JamesMartinSJ103 karma

Yes, that's true and you have to be vigilant.

JamesMartinSJ41 karma

First, glad to hear it. And second, amazing!

sethosayher83 karma

Father, thank you for doing this ama. My question is this: how do you learn to have faith when other aspects of who you are - your skepticism, for example - intervene?

JamesMartinSJ127 karma

Well, I think doubt is always a part of us. We need to remember that we don't believe in a God that we will fully understand. Give your doubt room but don't let it take over the house.

schoofer51 karma

How can you be skeptical of many parts of the bible, yet still put your faith in it? I'm not asking this to be mean. It was a common question that came up when I went to a Jesuit university.

JamesMartinSJ124 karma

Well, I'm not skeptical. But remember that the four Gospels, for example, were written by four different people in four different times for four different audiences. It's natural they would differ in parts.

philliplennon58 karma

1.What was your early life like before you joined the Society Of Jesus?

2.What is the influence of Thomas Merton on your ministry?

3.What are your exceptions for Pope Francis as he continues to lead The Church?

4.What is your favorite hymn written by members of the St.Louis Jesuits?

5.What is your all time favorite religious joke?

JamesMartinSJ59 karma

Wow! Lots of questions. 1.) A lovely life, but also not terribly religious. 2.) Merton influenced me mainly through his book "The Seven Storey Mountain," which moved me to think about religious life. 3.) My expectations are really that he continue to do what he's doing: leading by example. 4.) Be Not Afraid? 5.) Wow. Another hard question. Too long to type, but it has to do with a Jesuit and Franciscan getting into heaven.

nicasayshello49 karma

What would be your advice for someone wanting to get back into the fold of the Church but who is also somewhat intimidated by those who are very comfortable and even outspoken about their faith?

JamesMartinSJ81 karma

Well, I would remember that any desire to come back to the church comes from God. So let that be what moves you, and motivates you. Remember that when you get intimidated.

FrostyTheSnowman0248 karma

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. 1. What major issue do you most want to see Pope Francis address? 2. Which is your favorite NYC Jesuit high school?

JamesMartinSJ87 karma

1.) Oh good question. I do think the idea of making the church more materially poor and more an example of the "Poor Christ." 2.) Ha! I'm avoiding that one! :)

JamesMartinSJ47 karma

Thanks, everyone! I have really enjoyed my first AMA. Thanks for all the great questions, but I have to sign off and get back to work. Please keep me in your prayers. Your friend, Father Jim Martin, S.J.

bobthebobd40 karma

Is Bible the truth or a guideline? Observant Jews don't eat shrimp, Christians eat shrimp - did God change His mind? Is one interpretation of God's word wrong? Is one of the books wrong? Or did the guideline simply change? If guideline changed, could it change again at next coming?

JamesMartinSJ68 karma

Well it's the truth, but it's not written to be taken literally. For example, the Gospels disagree on some basic things. The Christian understanding of dietary laws changed--for them--as they reflected on Jesus's words. But for Jews of course it still stands. Hope that makes sense.

cmoore711039 karma

I'm writing a short MDiv thesis on stand up comedy as a form of prophetic action in the public sphere. Any thoughts or hints on sources to research?

JamesMartinSJ58 karma

Yes! I did a whole book called "Between Heaven and Mirth" on joy, humor and laughter in the spiritual life. Try it!

furious_idiot37 karma


What is your favorite hymn? What is your favorite "secular" song?

JamesMartinSJ72 karma

"Be Not Afraid" by the Saint Louis Jesuits. "My Aim is True" by Elvis Costello.

cassie_andra35 karma

How's your Lenten promise going?

JamesMartinSJ75 karma

Pretty good. I'm trying to be kinder and not say uncharitable things. But I'm as human as the next Jesuit!

bobthebobd35 karma

What would God have to do to prove to you He is God? Imagine next week a man claims to you to be God, and has a task for you on scale of building Noah's Ark. Whould you just know it's God? or how would He have to prove it to you?

JamesMartinSJ55 karma

Well, I sometimes think about that. Jesus "proved" himself not just by miracles but by the authenticity of preaching. But raising someone from the dead (like Lazarus) would be a good start.

beancatcher21934 karma

This website is known for its atheism community r/atheism, who reject all religious principles. How do you personally respond to their claims? Do you think religious belief needs justification?

JamesMartinSJ120 karma

Oh I respond by taking what they say seriously and speaking to them about my own beliefs and experiences. Truly many of my friends are atheists and agnostics, so it's not threatening for me.

bobthebobd32 karma

If a person commits multiple horrible acts, but later accepts Jesus, and does everything right. Would they be guaranteed a spot in Heaven?

JamesMartinSJ78 karma

Assuming they are open to receiving forgiveness, the answer is yes. God's mercy is bigger than we think.

burnitblue31 karma

Do you think more young people should consider joining vowed religious life?

JamesMartinSJ54 karma

Yes, I think it's a hidden treasure. I wish more people knew about it.

avj72931 karma

You vs. Thomas Merton in a fight. Who wins?

JamesMartinSJ127 karma

Well, I'm alive, so I have the advantage!

dczyk30 karma

AMDG and Go Rams! The jesuits have me hooked.

One of my favorite memories from Fordham is the talk with Cardinal Dolan and Stephen Colbert about their faith, joy and humor. (reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/nyregion/stephen-colbert-and-cardinal-cardinal-timothy-dolan-at-fordham-university.html)

Do you think Mr. Colbert will use his new audience (and the opportunity to be out of character) to talk more openly about his faith? It's a side of him that I think most people don't even consider yet is clearly very important in his life.

JamesMartinSJ34 karma

We'll see! He's pretty private overall. I just got this news today: it will be interesting to see him out of character--on television.

atongana27 karma

What do you think of Colbert replacing David Letterman announced this morning?

JamesMartinSJ47 karma

Absolutely delighted! It will be interesting to see if he decides to stay in character.

muffdiver7526 karma

What has Stephen Colbert left with you that was enlightening and vice versa (if he has imparted that knowledge with you)?

JamesMartinSJ53 karma

He once told me on air that he thought that in the story of Peter walking on the water, when Jesus says, "Come," he had a smile on his face. I like that.

Oldmanprop24 karma

Is it okay to have coffee within an hour of Holy Communion?

JamesMartinSJ43 karma

I assume you mean before? I would say more importantly not to eat. Most important of all--be spiritually prepared.

PrincessPeach14822 karma

What does the job require of you in being the official chaplain of "The Colbert Report?"

JamesMartinSJ39 karma

Just going on whenever he asks! Which I'm happy to do!

AndyWarwheels22 karma

How many tacos can you eat in one sitting?

JamesMartinSJ47 karma

I never tried to win a contest but, three?

mfmusings21 karma

No question, just a Jesuit educated 20 something wanting to say I'm a huge fan and happy to see you embracing reddit and recently instagram. AMDG.

JamesMartinSJ20 karma

Thanks! AMDG.

Master-Thief21 karma

Hi Fr. Martin! I enjoy your books, and your work. (I'm a graduate of a Jesuit University, and I go to a Jesuit parish. I'm not going to say which one...) And despite what you may think about Reddit, it's not all atheists, we have a small but strong community over at /r/Catholicism.

1) What is the most common sin you see today among my generation (20's-30's in America)? What is the most common virtue you see among us?

2) We know Jesus got angry at injustice (the Pharisees, the moneychangers, etc.) But he also kept telling people to forgive past offenses - and warned of big consequences for those who couldn't (the parable of the unforgiving servant, the sayings on Anger). Any thoughts on how to reconcile these?

3) Outside of St. Ignatius Loyola ("Iggy" as my JVC-experienced friends call him), who is your favorite Jesuit Saint?

(Also, I'm involved in a group of young Catholics at my parish, and we'll be on a retreat this weekend. Could you say a prayer for us?)

JamesMartinSJ24 karma

  1. Hard to generalize, but I would say a certain cynicism about humankind. As for virtue, I would say energy! I know that those two things are contradictory; that's why you can't generalize.
  2. Good question. The key is that we need to remember that it will be God who judges. We must always try to forgive. We leave the ultimate judgment up to God.
  3. St. Peter Favre, the newest Jesuit saint. And I will pray for you!

Vhrix21 karma

Father Martin, thanks for taking the time out of your day for this session. Having attended a Jesuit high school and Jesuit university, I was delighted to see your name pop up on the sidebar earlier in the week! Since being selected, Pope Francis has embarked upon a courageous effort to return the Catholic Church to solidarity with the poor and has spoken on issues of wage equality and so forth.

1) What efforts do you believe individual dioceses, individual congregations can take to work towards his message? How much of this is part and parcel with social justice activities preached far more predominantly in Latin America?

2) I worry about the age of our Pope, worry that in hopefully many more than a few years but soon enough that another pontiff will be selected who will slowly begin to erode the stand Francis has made. What steps can Catholics take to ensure that his work continues, that it does in fact make an indelible mark on the institution?

JamesMartinSJ24 karma

1.) That depends on the local bishop. Of course already groups like Catholic Charities in each diocese do this sort of thing. How much they connect it with social justice (explicitly) is often up to the bishop. 2.) Hm....I think it will be hard to "go back," in a sense. And I think the cardinals and bishops really like him, and will select (I'm guessing) someone to carry on his legacy.

nezgrrl20 karma

Father, some secularists point to Blessed Mother Teresa's spiritual dryness as a sign that she was not really a saint. Have you had any experiences with spiritual dryness and do you have any suggestions of saints to read/pray to when experience the feeling of separation from God.

BTW your books helped me encourage my husband to return to the sacraments. Thank you.

JamesMartinSJ33 karma

Nearly all the saints experience some form of dryness, though not as extensive as Mother Teresa's. That is certainly not sinful at all! In fact, she was faithful to her original mystical experience through the rest of her life.

wawainwhitehawk20 karma

Fr. Jim, what advice would you give to a transgendered Catholic who wants to enter religious life? And on a related note, what would you say to those who claim that there is no such thing as a vocation to the single life?

JamesMartinSJ30 karma

I would say trust in God's call and test it out in a religious order that appeals to you. And, for sure, I would definitely say that there is a vocation to the single life. I know many holy and faithful single people who do not feel the call to marriage.

KyOatey18 karma

I know the pope said that we atheists could be redeemed, which is nice. I believe most atheists wish the same for current Catholics and Christians (in a slightly different way). Are you cool with that?

JamesMartinSJ40 karma

I'm cool with that!

bobthebobd18 karma

An atheist or non-Christian living a perfect life, but never accepting Jesus as a son of God, would go to Heaven or Hell or other?

JamesMartinSJ42 karma

You've just asked one of the most difficult questions in theology. But I would say God's mercy is greater than we can possibly imagine.

you_know_what_you18 karma

Father James: thanks for doing this!

What are your thoughts on the pastoral care of people who are really and truly pained by what they perceive to be a lack of reverence and/or a focus primarily on the Body of Christ congregated, as opposed to a focus primarily on God, in liturgical activity?

I often find these Catholics tend to be the ones most marginalized by people who have a different liturgical bent than them, and yet these people truly do express hurt and sadness at what they see going on.

What do you do? What do you suggest we do?

JamesMartinSJ18 karma

It's a hard question. I think we need to listen to those people and take their concerns seriously. By the same token, we also need to invite them to remember that different communities have different ways of worshipping. And what they see as "lack of reverence" may not reflect what is going on in the hearts of those around them.

rajjiv14 karma

Hello, sir.

As an atheist, I find myself agreeing with Pope Francis's opinions regarding the church and its policies. Do you think a fellow Jesuit priest like himself was exactly what was needed for winning over unpopular thought about the church? Thank you.

JamesMartinSJ61 karma

Well, I think it's less him as a Jesuit and more him as a Christian overall. He simply exudes Christian joy and God's mercy. His Jesuit background influenced him, but Jesus influenced him more!

rajjiv14 karma

Thanks for your response. Not sure if follow-up questions are allowed but, can you expand further about what you mean about him being less of a Jesuit and more of a Christian to exert these values?

JamesMartinSJ45 karma

Meaning these are not specifically Jesuit values but Christian ones more generally.

Suppa-time13 karma

Hi Father Jim, I am a big fan (and a sinner, please pray for me). I haven't read your newest book yet, but I will. Just curious, what are your views of Fulton Sheen? Do you think he will be canonized in our lifetime?

I read your books. I read Fr. Robert Barron's books. Both of you are great. What I have discovered recently, after I started reading Fulton Sheen books some time back (starting when I picked up "Life of Christ" at a yard sale --one of the most amazing books I have ever read. His prose is like poetry), is that if I combine perspectives of faith, history, and philosophy from both you and Fr. Barron -- that merging them seems bring the perspective of Fulton Sheen. I am indebted to all three of you.

JamesMartinSJ18 karma

I'm a big admirer of the way that Bishop Sheen help to use new media to spread the Gospel. I don't know much about his life in general, but he seems a holy man. And I'm a great admirer of Father Barron who likewise uses the media well!

reimth0113 karma

Father Martin, How is it with your soul?

JamesMartinSJ31 karma

Well, as the Pope said, we are all sinners whom the Lord has looked upon in love!

Carrisford12 karma

You're a Catholic who helps bridge the gap between non-Catholics and the Church. I'm studying at a secular university and find myself in the position of having to be a constant apologist for the faith with people who honestly don't know anything about it (but they've HEARD things...). What keeps you grounded and able to keep going back out there, day after day, rather than retreating more fully into a "Catholic" environment?

JamesMartinSJ19 karma

Grounded? Jesus! He is the center of all that I do, the one who inspires me, and the one who through the Holy Spirit guides me.

Iunipera10 karma

Jesus did not have a wife, but it looks as if the Church will ordain married men before, if ever, it ordains celibate women. Why is this so?

otiac130 karma

There are two salient points you should understand about the 'all male priesthood.' The Catechism will be especially helpful here.

First, the sacraments symbolize outwardly what they confer inwardly; or, as the Catechism (para 1131) would say, "the visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament." This is important because the ordained priesthood, unlike the baptismal priesthood (or 'universal priesthood of believers'), guarantees that it is really and truly Christ Himself who "acts in the sacraments through the Holy Spirit for the Church." They do this, like "the Apostles and through them to their successors," by receiving "the Spirit of Jesus to act in His Name and in His Person." (paragraph 1120). The ordained minister, in conferring the sacraments, acts in persona Christi, that is, in the person of Christ. As Christ was a male, only men are suitable for the role of acting in persona Christi: in point of fact, the sacrament of holy orders doesn't simply "allow" someone to be a priest, it confers a real, permanent change to the priest's soul, making him a priest. This isn't merely a matter of men and women "not being equal" but a matter of "man and woman He created them:" the innate differences between men and women, created as distinct beings and not simply all men or all women, serve complimentary but distinct roles.

Second is the result of the Church recognizing those elements of the sacraments which She considers the Lord Himself as having instituted; as water is used for baptism and only males are ordained to the priesthood, in this case wheat bread is to be used for the Eucharist. The Church is subject to His will in these matters. Were the Church able to change the matter of the sacraments according to societal or cultural norms, the connection to the historical Person of Christ, who bound Himself in matter and form as Man at the Incarnation, would be lost.

Regarding Christ's sexuality, and how it applies to the why of Why are only men able to be priests?, He was only male; therefore, it is fitting that only men are able to be made like Him. This goes beyond social stereotypes or cultural norms. It speaks to who Christ is as a real person, a real priest, prophet, and king, and not a mere custom of priest, prophet, and king. Were His priesthood, prophecy, or kingship merely customary, then there may be room for discussion. But it is not merely customary. Christ set those apart He found suitable for the ministerial priesthood, and those whom He set apart were all men, like Him in this regard. The Church does not have the authority to depart from the work Christ started when choosing His successors.

Regarding the distinct differences between males and females theologically, these differences being denied and attributed to what the Church calls "historical and cultural conditioning" leads to the denial of the two-parent family structure and polymorphous sexuality: the denial of our "essential constitutions" as man and woman. To deny the differences between man and women is to simply be out of touch with reality. Our human sexuality was given to us by God, in Whose image we are created. The accounts of creation in Genesis 1 & 2 give us some insight as to the differences between man and woman, expressed in absolute form through nuptial love: the self-giving of the man is different from the self-giving of the woman. How this impacts the why of Why did Christ institute an all-male priesthood? I will be quite honest: I am not certain I will ever fully know - while on earth - the precise, full "how." Until then, I will be satisfied with the reasons Ordinatio Sacerdotalis lists: "the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church."

Presently, the Church ordains married men to the priesthood; typically, this occurs either because the priest is a member of one of the Eastern Churches or the Anglican rite of the Latin Church. Celibacy is enforced as a discipline, not a doctrine, for a variety of reasons.

JamesMartinSJ25 karma

Thanks, very helpful. Celibacy is, as you say, a discipline, not a doctrine.

JamesMartinSJ23 karma

There are already married priests in the Catholic Church, from the various Eastern rites. So that rule might be an easier one to change, because the hierarchy is more familiar with this.

PreciousPuritans10 karma

Do you have a favorite Protestant theologian, and if so, who?

JamesMartinSJ41 karma

I really enjoy C. S. Lewis. I know that technically, he's not a theologian, but I enjoy his writings. As for more specific theologians, I would say, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, William Barclay, and Reinhold Niebuhr.

coleper9 karma

What is the most important thing you discovered about Jesus (that you didn't know or recognize before) while writing your new book.

JamesMartinSJ24 karma

That Jesus is fully human and fully divine at all times. I knew this before of course, but I was reminded that even when he is performing miracles, he is human; and when he is sawing wood he is divine. Good for me to remember.

Underthepun9 karma

Hi Father Martin! I am sure you come across a lot of lapsed cradle Catholics who are mulling over a return to the church but have the usual hangups, such as disagreement on doctrine, and doubts about God. What are some things you usually say to them? Keep up the good work, sir.

JamesMartinSJ17 karma

I would say that the desire to return to the Church, more broadly to become more involved in church life, comes from God. So don't doubt that call. You will not find a perfect parish anywhere, but the desire to return is a holy one.

Steampunk_Gypsy8 karma

Hello, Father! Thank you for the AMA! I don't really have a question, but I wanted to thank you for your writings. I'm an Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian, and I really loved The Jesuit Guide... I have a copy of Jesus: A Pilgrimage for my TBR list.

JamesMartinSJ11 karma

You're very welcome.

TonyRain7 karma

I'm curious about your new book. What's your opinion of 'mission vacations'? I've done them in the past, and found them very fulfilling. I wonder if visiting the Holy Land will have a similar impact (I guess you can't really answer that)

JamesMartinSJ10 karma

I'm not really sure what "mission vacations" are but it sounds like one in which you would combine mission work with travel. That sounds wonderful to me!

NM16106 karma

Hello Fr. Martin, my question is as follows: Being a student at a Jesuit high school, I have been enlightened about the shrinking number of Jesuit members (and members of the Priesthood as well). Is there anything that is being done in an attempt to increase these numbers?

JamesMartinSJ12 karma

Yes, definitely! We're always doing our best to try to increase vocations in any way that we can. Even by going on Reddit!

CdnMichael6 karma

Father, thanks for doing this AMA!

I'm a (relatively) young, Church-attending Catholic (probably the youngest at any Mass I attend) who supports marriage equality and a number of more "progressive" social positions. Pope Francis has given a lot of us modern Catholics a lot of hope, but is his election really a sign of change within the Church structure? Will he be able to appoint enough like-minded Bishops/Cardinals to really make a difference long-term?

JamesMartinSJ16 karma

Oh I do think it does signal a change. He's committed for one thing to reduce "clericalism," and also really wants bishops who love the poor and are with the people. The longer he's in, the more he'll be able to change things.

spacey325 karma

I saw you at ST. John's!

JamesMartinSJ14 karma

Go Red!

thesuperrad5 karma

Hi Father! I'm a huge fan of yours and I'm reading through "The Jesuit Guide..." at the moment. Thank you for writing it, it's a great read. Also a big fan of America magazine.

I have three questions:

  1. Through your book and you pilgrimage, what did you discover about Jesus that surprised you, or that you hadn't known of (or thought of) before?
  2. Do you have a friendship with Stephen Colbert outside the show? If so, do you both regularly stay in touch?
  3. Do you plan on any sort of book tour?

Thanks for doing this AmA!

JamesMartinSJ9 karma

1.) Oh, I think visiting the Holy Land makes you see that when Jesus was talking about "rocky ground," "fertile ground," "thorns" and all the things in the parables (seeds, wheat, birds) he was talking about things right here! That is, all around Galilee is the stuff of his parables. Really grounded Jesus for me. 2.) Hmm...I think I should keep that private! :) 3.) I don't do full-blown book tours because the idea of flying from city to city just doesn't appeal; instead I do cities one at a time

minarrific2 karma

Now that Stephen Colbert is moving to Late Night when Dave Letterman steps down, will you be "official Chaplain" of Late Night with Stephen Colbert? ;) AMDG!

JamesMartinSJ8 karma

I'll accept if he asks!

LordPringus2 karma

Is Colbert's hair as beautiful in person as it is on TV?

JamesMartinSJ6 karma


burnitblue2 karma

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

JamesMartinSJ8 karma

Butter pecan--yum!

ChesireNYC1 karma

I know a lot of the students you spoke to at St. Johns were very moved by your talk and have been reading and discussing your book.

If you could give a similar talk to all the youth/students in the world, what 2 key points would you want them to talk away?

Another Question: Some churches have advised practicing Catholics to avoid the Holy Eucharist if they are gluten sensitive. If we truly believe this is the body of Christ, should people avoid it?

JamesMartinSJ6 karma

Two points? First, trust that God loves you as you are. You don't have to be someone else for God to love you. Second, remember that religion isn't a solitary affair. We all need community. Also, I think we need to find better solutions for people with celiac disease than that!

danny_rhea1 karma

  1. Could you recommend some more modern spiritual readings within the Jesuit tradition that have impacted you? (I'm new to your fold, so if one of your books details this feel free to point me in that direction.) 2. Since a Lutheran was who introduced me to your writings: What new roles can the Holy Church play now that more and more Protestant churches, such as Methodists, are recognizing--at least spiritually--her as their "mother church"? And, of course, thank you.

JamesMartinSJ3 karma

Sure. William A. Barry's "God and You, " is probably my favorite. Also, I like anything from my friend Mark Thibodeaux and also Margaret Silf. As for the second question, I think that just by showing good Christian witness, we can help all churches.

moderatemormon1 karma

Given your relationship with Stephen Colbert, could you please comment on his decision to take over for Letterman? Assuming you like the choice what do you think are the greatest strengths he'll bring to the position and what will be his greatest challenges transitioning to network tv?

He seems to have maintained a relatively healthy balance between his work and his family/religion up to this point. Do you think this will change as he moves to this new environment?

JamesMartinSJ7 karma

I'm delighted. The greatest strengths he will bring are his incredible intelligence and delightful sense of humor. His greatest challenge? Perhaps not "being in character." As for the second question, I would probably keep that private, but I can say he maintains a very healthy balance.

poorlilpoorgirl1 karma

So, are you going to be the official chaplain of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert? (Working title)

JamesMartinSJ4 karma

I'll accept if he asks!

robodebeep1 karma

Hello Father Jim,

I'm a relatively young Catholic that is engaged in New Media and podcasting. I listen to "The Break" with Father Roderick Vonhogen. He interviewed a Dutch Jesuit and the Jesuit said that perhaps Pope Francis is trying to change the Vatican too fast in his reforms. What do you think of that assessment? Also, you have posted on the in favor of pro life movement, what can us young Catholics do to represent the Church and her teachings in a better light, regarding the pro life movement and activities? Thank you for your time and I loved meeting you in Houston. Please pray for Fr. TJ's recovery from stomach cancer, he needs Blessed Miguel Pro's intercession!

JamesMartinSJ4 karma

First, I don't think he's going too fast. I think he's leading us well. As for pro-life Catholics, keep doing it, but always remember to give your adversaries all of your charity. And TJ's a good friend of mine.