The following comes from a June 13 Santa Clara University press release:
In a speech that sounded straight out of “The Colbert Report,” where he was a frequent guest, nationally known Jesuit, Catholic author and commentator James Martin, S.J., entertained and inspired the Santa Clara University graduating class Saturday morning, with advice that was part pastoral, part comedic.
Kicking off the first of ten life lessons for the graduates assembled on Buck Shaw Field, Martin declared, “you’re not God; this isn’t heaven; and don’t be an ass,” to a burst of laughter. He said even when life is at its most aggravating and burdensome, “you can be sad and disappointed and angry, and you can share your struggles with your friends, but you don’t have to pass on your anger….it doesn’t mean you have to act like a jerk.”
Father Martin was perhaps best known as the “Chaplain of the Colbert Nation,” a recurring guest on the Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report,” which ended its run last year. Martin is editor at large of America Magazine, the national Catholic weekly with 45,000 subscribers. His articles and commentary have also run in publications including Commonweal, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine, as well as on CNN, NPR, and other broadcast media.
Quoting (occasionally dubiously) from the words of Jesus and others, Martin urged the graduates to live out their deepest desires, which he said are also “God’s desire for you.” Other good life lessons, he said, are to stop trying to get others’ approval or comparing yourself to others, which he said “leads to despair.”
After reminding the crowd to great applause that each one of them is a “beautiful creation of God,” and “being holy means being you,” he deadpanned “Remember this: God does not make crap….in the words of Jesus…more or less.”
He ended his speech “In the words of Jesus Christ, ‘Go Broncos!'”
Once his 15 minutes are up, how will he handle eternity?
Clock is still ticking way past 15 min. In that time, who have you brought closer to Christ?
How long Oh Lord how long????
And to think this clown is basically the most well-known Jesuit in the United States. How the mighty have fallen! St. Ignatius, pray for us!
Yes, and a darned good one, too. Read his serious writings:
* Jesus, A Pilgrimage
* A Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life’
* My Life With The Saints
* Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life
Sic transit gloria mundi.
I would love to see Father Mitch Pacwa, Father Fessio and Fathe Spitzer be in a debate with this poor misguided Priest brother of theirs! Father needs prayers!
This is the same Fr. Martin who proclaims himself to be pro-life—-from the moment of conception to death, but fails to emphasize this core belief politically. He is prone to emphasizing the Lefist approach to pro-life—that is, to emphasize anti-death penalty politics or “social justice” causes.
Did Fr. Martin even mention the killing of unborn human beings in his (paid?)
speech to these young people?
In his effort to appear “hip,” he used a vulgar term. Was this necessary? he could have said, “God is the Creator and does not make trash. This is why we as Catholics uphold the sanctity and dignity of human life from conception to death.” No, he was afraid to say it because he might be booed at a “Catholic” school.
God bless Fr. Martin for his priesthood. But this advice is in line with all of the ineffectual, feel good stuff that you would hear at any graduation speech. What does “being you” mean? How about dying to self, embracing your cross, standing up to the secular culture and occasionally being an ass because you need to tell someone the truth? How about proclaiming the Gospel and being the salt of the earth? If our message is only tolerance and inclusion, we might as well put “Coexist” bumper stickers on our cars and just shut up.
How many of you who have listened to a graduation speech – even when you are one of the graduates – and remembered what the speaker said ? Some of us have gone from taking appropriate things seriously right into a HUGE mistake – taking ourselves seriously. It’s reflected in a few of these commentaries, and for me it’s
disappointing. I suggest that the idea “Lighten Up Once In A While” is worth considering.
I would bet that Fr Martin was paid or in some way compensated for his speech.
When a Catholic priest has an opportunity to speak to so many bright young, possibly Catholic, people, he had an obligation to be meaningfully Catholic,
I’m not sure what the title of the post has to do with the content. Everything he said is compatible with church teaching. Sure, he wasn’t dour, but there is no need to be.
I sincerely don’t understand the negative responses to the few snippets that made of whole seconds of his speech. Are people looking to be upset?
Well, St Peter, then Hurrah! And welcome to the profound and enduring message of the Church of Bellylaughs ( to borrow V La Fond’s observation above).
Being holy means being like Jesus, NOT like being yourself. Saying “God’s desire for you” are your own deepest desires is more of the same, utter selfishness, backwards just like Satan wants. More self-idolatry of the modern age. But who am I to judge?
Looks like Fr. Martin is throwing the devil sign in the picture above. So to answer the question, sadly no, this is not a Catholic priest. He is leading souls into perdition. It is better to be “cool” than to preach the Gospel.
It’s not the devil sign. It is an Italian hand gesture to ward off evil which was adapted to mean “Long live Rock and Roll.”
But he is doing it backwards.
It seems he is in good company St. Francis de Sales said: “Let us be who we are, and be that well, so as to honor the Master Worker, whose handiwork we are.” Also: “Don’t waste your time dreaming of being someone else. Don’t try to be someone else. Work and pray at being yourself. Be who you are, where you are. This is what God asks of you.” Or will you all question his orthodoxy too? Remember charity.
My objection is to someone saying things are the Words of Jesus when they are not.