Friday, August 7, 2009

What Goes Around Comes Around

Ever since he first appeared on the Colbert Report, Father James Martin, SJ, has been one of my favorite voices of faith and reason, combining worldly intelligence and credentials put to use serving God as a Jesuit priest.

I mainly want to post the link to his story of conversion, as reported through his Alma Mater, the Wharton School of Business at U Penn. I came across this particular story in an article in the NY Times today about the impending exposure of GE's unethical financial reporting activities. These were the same shady tactics that had given Fr. Martin pause back when he worked in the financial reporting department at GE, the exact practices which GE had now been found liable for $50 million had been documented in one of his book's decades ago, “In Good Company: The Fast Track From the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.” Father Martin himself describes his own glee, feeling vindicated all these years later, at America Magazine.

Check out an excerpt in Fr. Martin's own words at how he somehow ended up in his unlikely position today. Referring to his background in finance that led him to work with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Kenya and eventually establish the Mikono Centre, which helped channel investment funds for the refugee community:

The "somehow" of Father Martin's priestly vocation haunts him when he thinks about it. Somehow he set out on a lifetime career in business and ended up a priest - almost despite himself. "Divine Providence," the theologians call it. "If I had tried to design a perfect background to work at the Mikono Centre," he observes, "I could not have done as well as I did by accident."

It's a hope-giving tale of real life karmic justice. Made me smile.

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