The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

by James Martin

Paperback, 2012

Status

Available

Call number

Adult > Spiritual Life

Publication

HarperOne (2012), Edition: 32097th, 448 pages

Description

A practical, spiritual guidebook based on the life and teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola shows readers how to manage relationships, money, work, prayer, and decision making, while keeping a sense of humor about life.

Media reviews

The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and associate editor of America, the Jesuit magazine — and a very funny, and fine man — has written a new book for those interested in borrowing from Jesuit tenets to live simpler lives. It's called The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything: A Spirituality for
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Real Life.
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1 more
He writes in The Jesuit Guide that "within the Christian tradition, all spiritualities, no matter what their origins, have the same focus — the desire for union with God, an emphasis on love and charity, and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God."

User reviews

LibraryThing member ComposingComposer
I went into this book expecting humor at every turn. Instead, what I got was an informative and insightful guide to spirituality with stories of saints, as well as personal stories from the author. And yes, there was some humor, but it wasn't the focus of the book (I believe my expectations of
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humor can be mainly attributed to the brought orange and yellow cover, as well as the (almost) because for some reason brackets in a title makes me expect humor.) Still, despite my expectations, once I got into the book and realised that this was not a book of Jesuit, or even Catholic jokes, but an excellent introduction to Saint Ignatius's teachings, I found that I really enjoyed it, and learned a great deal. I also admired the fact that that the author, a Jesuit, was able to take practices and insights from Judaism, Islam and even Buddhism, and use their rituals to praise the God of the Trinity in a way that was still very Catholic. I listened to this via audiobook, but I also own a physical copy, for which I am grateful, because this book would be a good one to be able to go back to chapters and re-read parts.
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LibraryThing member dmmjlllt
I'm sorry, but no. I understand, to an extent, what he's trying to do, but trying to "apply the insights of Ignatius" to people in "other faith traditions" is utter nonsense. Ignatius isn't just a Christian, he's Catholic, Roman Catholic all the way down. Trying to ignore that fact, for whatever
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motive, is just stupid.
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LibraryThing member MelissaMcB
I'm not Catholic and not religious, but I saw the author on the Colbert Report and had to have this book. The author does come down to the ultimate goal being a relationship with God, but he does a good job of making the book accessible to those with different beliefs. It gave me a lot to think
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about in how I live my life.
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LibraryThing member atheist_goat
This is not a Jesuit guide to almost everything. It is a Jesuit guide to worshipping, written for people who are already practicing Catholics. In other words: preachy as balls.

You may ask, why was I surprised by this? Well, I bought the book after seeing Martin on the Colbert Report, where he came
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across as down-to-earth, thoughtful, and accepting. So I expected his book to be like In the Spirit of Happiness, by the monks of New Skete, which, although written by people who believe very passionately in a faith I don't share, is loving, useful, and doesn't proselytize. The monks are in fact very explicit about how their book is not designed to convert anyone or claim that any faith, or lack thereof, is better than another. It's utterly charming (with one unfortunate digression into abortion politics, but that is used as a discussion point for forgiveness, as opposed to Martin's stance on abortion, which he mentions gratuitously in the middle of a passage about something else entirely).

Martin comes right out in the beginning and says he only wants atheists or agnostics to read his book if it converts them. Frankly, if that's your aim, you should start with the real-life applications of the Jesuit principles and do the hard-core prayer bits in the second half. Martin starts with the prayer rituals, and the result is that for 170 pages the book's dry, pedantic, and dictatorial. I pushed through out of sheer stubbornness, and because the inserted quotes on many of the pages, from past Jesuits and/or poets (a lot of Gerard Manley Hopkins), pleased me aesthetically. I don't think you could pray a better prayer than Hopkins' "send my roots rain".

The second half is better, albeit still proselytizing. In that half Martin talks about the real-life applications of poverty, chastity, and obedience. I actually liked his chapter on chastity: even if he's heavy-handed about how the only acceptable sex life is within a marriage, he is insightful about how our society devalues the love in non-sexual relationships, because so many of us (especially women) are taught that the only way to show love is to engage in sex, and that the only value our love has is in its sexual expression. It was refreshing to hear someone honoring the love between friends.

Unfortunately, other than in that chapter, I felt that this book was actively hostile toward me, and towards anyone who isn't already sure of their Catholicism and doesn't already attend services regularly: there was no advice about finding a church which suits you, or incorporating religion into a life which didn't previously include it. It didn't honor any divergent beliefs, it didn't offer any way to use Jesuit teachings in your life without converting full-bore, and for all Martin's emphasis on "God meets you where you are," I came out of it feeling that Martin's God thinks I am not anywhere near the right place. I got the impression that if I sat down with Martin to talk theology and life choices I would get judged up one side and down the other. Again, to contrast with the monks of New Skete: I periodically return to In the Spirit of Happiness and always find something I can apply to my actual life and be more peaceful for it, and I'm often very tempted by the idea of a retreat at their monastery (or the adjoining convent). Disappointing. (Though not surprising that I identify more with Franciscans who raise dogs.)
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LibraryThing member nmele
This book is an introduction to just about every aspect of the Jesuits: history, spirituality, you name it, but it is more importantly a great introduction to/refresher course in Ignatian spirituality. What more to say than that after reading it, I want to buy a copy for our library?
LibraryThing member oldman
A book that is very engaging and easy to read, but covering the Jesuit way of memitation. definitiely a re-read book. 5 stars
LibraryThing member MorganGMac
A good introduction to Ignatian spirituality, both historically and how it applies to real life decision-making.
LibraryThing member dickmanikowski
Very interesting read, but I allowed myself to get sidetracked by other books.
LibraryThing member hazel1123
This is a very useful book for me in spiritual growth. It's about practical applications of the Spiritual Exercises. The thoughts and 'advice' applies to real people who live in a real (busy/confusing/demanding) world. I bought another copy for my son because I thought he would like it, and I don't
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want to give up my copy. I will go back and read parts of this book over and over. I really don't think I can recommend this book too much.
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LibraryThing member rynk
The new pope is from the Americas, but I think the bigger story is that the new pope is from the Jesuits. Rev. Martin has been a TV talking head during the conclave but doesn't address the papacy here. His book is about the Jesuit worldview, and he does fill in some gaps in a Catholic upbringing
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supervised by two parents from Marquette. St. Ignatius' use of reason and imagination is distinctly modern and Zen-like in this telling. Martin makes his best case for poverty and chastity, but he's more likely to attract converts with suggestions on how to cultivate friends and handle setbacks. When packing for Mom's move I flipped through my father's prayer book from the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago, then put the missal in the giveaway pile. Probably the Jesuit thing to do. Then I downloaded the breviary app. Not checking it as frequently as Twitter but there's hope for me yet.
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LibraryThing member penelopemarzec
A wonderfully candid and practical guide to Ignatian spirituality.
LibraryThing member atreic
Lent book 2017. An introduction to the Jesuits, and a practical guide to ways to pray, and how to find God in your daily life.
LibraryThing member gottfried_leibniz
Wonderful book, Although I personally learnt some of the things in my own and from other friends, this book helped me to connect all the methods. I think all Christian traditions have similar insights on Spirituality.
I would thank this author for helping me to understand the quote in a more
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profound way, "Take God in all things in your life."
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LibraryThing member gottfried_leibniz
Wonderful book, Although I personally learnt some of the things in my own and from other friends, this book helped me to connect all the methods. I think all Christian traditions have similar insights on Spirituality.
I would thank this author for helping me to understand the quote in a more
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profound way, "Take God in all things in your life."
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LibraryThing member JBreedlove
A more in depth look at the Examen and Ignatian spirituality thrpugh the eexperience of James Martin, SJ. The God in all things approach and the history of these intrepid missionaries is uplifting and settling at the same time. Focus on the every day experience while striving for something greater
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all th ewhile being aware of God or the Eternal Presence and how it is alive in all experienced and the people met.These Jesuit readings along with family and life are bringing me back to the Catholic Church. All in all not a bad thing.
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LibraryThing member Harrod
interesting and amusing

Original language

English

Original publication date

2010-03-01

Physical description

448 p.; 5.31 inches

ISBN

0061432695 / 9780061432699
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