Friday, February 27, 2015
His Star is Rising- to the North, North Star
Celebrity culture hails individuals for all the wrong reasons often but there is one YouTube celebrity that is hailed for the right ones: Father James Martin, SJ (Jesuit Priest) is fastly becoming more famous than Stephen Colbert whom he pastored in the now dormant Colbert Report. With the expansion of America magazine into America Media, he flips the script and mike to become not the interviewee but the interviewer of spiritually interesting significant people as the Jesuits answer to Oprah.
His star rises like the North Star- not just because he is in the NorthEast (son of the Boston province from Philadelphia originally now in Manhattan), but because like the North Star everything he does brightly beams a spotlight on JESUS.
James Martin is the author of "Jesus: A Pilgrimage" and about a hundred (exaggeration) other best selling books, some hilariously funny as he strove to put humor back in the oft morose spirituality of the limping saved.
He is what you hope a true christian is-- for his Lenten message he talked about not so much giving up something (my mother always gave up watermelon which was never in season) but about affirmatively doing something concrete along the carnal acts of mercy lines- echoing Pope Francis' mandate to pay attention to the Matthew 25 demands. His lenten message was simply titled "Be Kind" which would be a good description for him all around.
Father Martin started his career in finance as a Wharton grad working at GE. He decided to enter the prieshood after the business world which he says is a great career for some but just not for him as he heard the call. He is incredibly witty, smart, and imminently wise. Once in a while he goes on book tours and you can catch him and get him to sign a book. He will be appearing March 1 at Fordham Prep in NYC in an event open to the public with blogger/author Andrew Sullivan and a Fordham theology professor to sign more books. If you are lucky enough to be in NYC go. I love this guy.