Nathaniel Martin sailed with his friend and fellow-naturalist Stephen Maturin on two long sea voyages in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, first as the ship's chaplain and later as Maturin's assistant surgeon. Never much of a fist at sermonizing, Martin took to writing and publishing impolitic tracts that offended the Royal Navy Board and prevented him from returning as a chaplain.
Martin lost an eye to an owl, and, as long as Martin's eye was single, O'Brian let him rival Captain Jack Aubrey for Maturin's time and friendship. Martin married between voyages, however, and his newfound obsession with providing for his family began to make him tedious company for Maturin. (Banality is the worst symptom a character can present with in these novels.) Martin's overheated conscience led him to an end straight out of Hawthorne, with whom he shared his first name.
These are the sermons he never wrote.
I want to be a monk. I feel bad about it sometimes. It’s a selfish desire for a married man. Stupid, too: Victoria is my soulmate and beautiful, nine years younger than I, and the work we’ve put in over almost seventeen years of married life has been paying off, we both think. My therapist, […]
[The second of four occasional articles of variations on Lectio Divina meditation, based on the book Prayer and Temperament by Chester P. Michael and Marie C. Norrisey.] Ironically, one of the most entertaining forms of Christian meditation is most appealing to the most practical and rules-oriented kind of people, according to Chester P. Michael and […]
Chester P. Michael is the co-author of Prayer and Temperament: Different Prayer Forms for Different Personality Types. The interview was conducted in April 2004. What gave you and your prayer project the idea to link the Briggs-Myers research with prayer and meditation? I was introduced to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [MBTI] by Morton Kelsey in […]
“The dark night of the soul” has taken on a broad and vague application in our time, and, vague as it is, this application gets us somewhere. Taken alone, the phrase “dark night of the soul” suggests that we have some purpose to our suffering. It introduces us to the idea of a mystery in […]
The root of much of my hypocrisy may have been a fundamental misconception of Christianity. I believe I have shared this misconception with many of my evangelical friends for more than twenty years. The misconception? I equated being a follower of Jesus with conversion. They’re not the same. Take me, for instance. I became a […]