Thursday, June 13, 2013


I follow Fr. James Martin, SJ on Facebook. He is the author of Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life. He's also done some amusing blogging for the Huffington Post.

Tonight he's done a really nice post on his Facebook page about the popularity of the story "Footprints", and how its very popularity causes some people to snobbishly discount this story as being insignificant. He says:
"The Holy Spirit speaks through both "high" and "low" theology, and, besides, why do we need to make such distinctions at all? I'll bet that the Beatitudes didn't sound all that sophisticated either."
If you've never read the footprint story before, you should. You can read it here.
And below you will find a comic that comes into my mind every time I hear the story...


  1. This reminds me of a thought I had a few nights ago, I hope you don't mind me sharing it here. I was finally settling down to sleep after 20 hours straight of working, and I was called to come deal with a delirious patient who was 46 and dying (died today in fact). I knew that this meant having a conversation with his wife and 8 yr old daughter about the severity of his disease, and transitioning him and them to accepting a palliative care approach to his treatment(I planned to have this conversation the following day after some rest). Anyways in my exhaustion I was afraid of the monumental task before me, I couldn't fathom it. But I realized I had to be the one, there was no one else. And on the way up I had this thought that God would not ask of me more than I could handle, or perhaps the other way of thinking about it is that when it is more than I can handle, God will carry me through- there will only be one pair of footprints, so to speak. This thought struck me, especially afterwards in the back room where I was alone and the sun was rising and I couldn't hold back tears, not because of sadness for the patient, but because I was so absolutely exhausted emotionally and physically. I agree with Fr. Martin, it's easy to stand back and laugh at "facile platitudes" like this story, but sometimes it seems that in the throes of lived life they are what ring most true.

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