From the popular religious commentator and best-selling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything—which was the book club selection for March 2010—comes this new work on the importance of a joy-filled spiritual life. As Fr. Martin, culture editor at America, reminds readers, the tradition of laughter and joy can be located in many biblical stories—and especially in the person of Jesus. “A lighthearted spirit,” he writes, “is an essential element of a healthy spiritual life and a healthy life in general.” Know, however, this is a serious book with a serious purpose. Its nine chapters consider, among other themes, humor and the saints (joy as a gift from God); vocation, service and love; levity in the community of believers; and helpful insights from theologians and Scripture. The concluding chapter looks at a few means of private prayer: rote prayers, lectio divina, Ignatian contemplation, centering prayer and examination of conscience.

In a forthcoming (Oct. 3) review of the book for America, Marie Anne Mayeski sings a note of strong praise for this book, which “reaffirms the fundamental mystery of God’s love and redemption…at the heart of the...Incarnation.” We hope you will buy two copies: one for yourself and one with which to gift a friend. And remember: Rejoice always!

Purchase Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life from amazon.com.