What Will You Leave Behind This Year? Father James Martin

“Until we can let go of things that prevent us from loving God and getting closer to God, we won’t be at peace as much as we could be.”

Episode 03

In our ongoing pursuit of peace at the end of the year, Jen sits down with Father James Martin, one of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders and a New York Times bestselling author. Known for his thought-provoking books “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything” and “Learning to Pray,” Jen and Father Martin talk about the premises in Father Martin’s new book “Come Forth, the Promise of Jesus’s Greatest Miracle,” which tells the iconic story of the raising of biblical Lazarus from the dead in a way we guarantee you’ve never heard before. If you’ve been in therapy for any time at all, you might have been advised to let go of things that don’t serve you, and lo and behold, this ancient story of Jesus calling Lazarus from the tomb has wisdom and inspiration for today, and promises to leave you pondering on what you might leave behind in your own tomb for a new life.

Episode Transcript

Hey everybody. Jen Hatmaker here, your host of the For The Love Podcast. Welcome to the show. You’re going to be glad you’re here. Sometimes when I interview for this show, an hour disappears in the blink of an eye, and that’s how today’s episode was for me. The amount of questions I held back, the places that I wanted to keep going. Today was an interview that I’ve wanted to have for a very long time, and I’m just delighted to bring it to you because right now we’re in a series called For the Love of Peace. What could be more salient than that at this moment in time? The time of year, what’s going on in the world, and the turmoil that most of us are just walking around with daily. When I think about folks who help us embody peace in our world, our guest today comes to mind. He is certainly one of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders. He’s a New York Times bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything, which is a great title, also Learning to Pray. If you don’t follow him on Instagram, you certainly should. He is just a breath of fresh air in the religious fray of people who think other folks are getting it all wrong, rather, he calls us to love everyone. I have admired and respected him for so long. 

As a Jesuit priest, Father James Martin has long been an advocate for the marginalized, especially regarding inclusion in faith spaces, particularly in his own denomination of Catholicism. I don’t know if you have paid attention or if you’re a part of this tradition, but some landmark perspectives have been handed down from the Vatican recently, including one that says transgender people can be baptized and be godparents in addition to some other forward-thinking statements toward LGBTQIA+ communities who have long been disenfranchised from the upper echelon of the Catholic Church.

Father Martin has been a strong, powerful, and profound voice helping to shape these more inclusive perspectives. We’re going to talk about that a little and how those came to be, how those perspectives were formed. Today we’re also going to focus on a topic that has been close to Father Martin’s heart, the subject of his new book, which is called Come Forth, the Promise of Jesus’s Greatest Miracle. It is a book that examines the death and resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus. Just in case you’re thinking, “Ugh, we’re heading for some boring exegesis of scripture”, we are not. This is not a heavy-handed religious dissection of the story. It is fresh, hopeful, and honest. It’s both divine and human. In Father Martin’s words, It’s about how this story can help us think about what we want to leave behind in our tombs, as it were. What do we want to let die? What parts of our patterns, our behaviors, and even addictions, do we want to leave behind in the tomb to let die so that we can hear God’s voice inviting us to come forth?

Doesn’t the thought of leaving behind what doesn’t serve us or anyone else, something I’ve heard countless times in therapy, sound freeing and maybe one of the biggest possible levers to pull? To bring us peace that can seem so elusive, particularly right now. I love what author Mary Karr had to say about his book. She said, “I came away with a renewed hope that Grace alone can call me out of whatever tomb I’ve buried myself in.” I think you’re going to see what she means in this conversation. If you haven’t already followed Father Martin and put yourself under his sort of spiritual leadership, I hope today is the day you start. He is faithful, trustworthy, good, and wise. What a conversation that evaporated before I barely got started with him. So please enjoy this wonderful conversation with the inimitable Father James Martin.




The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything
by Father James Martin

Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone
by Father James Martin

Transgender People Can Be Baptized Catholic – Reuters Article

Mary Karr

The Seven Storey Mountain
by Thomas Merton


Six Jesuit Martyrs in El Salvador

WWJD (Wiki)

Augustine of Hippo

Come Forth, the Promise of Jesus’s Greatest Miracle
by Father James Martin

CONNECT WITH Father James Martin
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