J. Marshall Jenkins

Author, Therapist, Spiritual Director

The Mystic in the Mirror

  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8). What is your image of a mystic?  A bearded man in a flowing, purple robe casting spells?  A young woman in a habit swooning in prayer?  Or perhaps, your reflection in the mirror? Do you see mysticism as a way of life […]

Beating the Political Blues

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness’ sake, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6). Politics is depressing.  It brings to mind manipulative tactics by ambitious climbers who care little about the causes they claim to espouse and those they hurt on the way up.  We expect this in capitals and state houses.  […]

An Apology for Caspar Milquetoast

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). In the 1920s, H. T. Webster produced a comic strip series called, “The Timid Soul,” featuring Caspar Milquetoast whom Webster described as “the man who speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick.”  The deferent, hesitant, homely old gentleman faced one humiliation […]

My Friendly Quarrel with Buddhism

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). In my last post, I told an autobiographical parable with the hope that my particular story would touch the universal story of aging, loss, and spiritual maturity.  It tells how I find true happiness not by clinging to the identity and security I […]

When Christians Persecute

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10). When Jesus sang out the Beatitudes to open the Sermon on the Mount, there were no Christians. He did not preface the Beatitudes with a request for all comers to sign a confessional statement before he started […]

Love Wears Down Walls

On moving out of our comfort zone to get to lasting peace.