My Life with the Saints is at once James Martins inspiring memoir of spiritual self-discovery and an homage to the Catholic saints who accompanied him every step of the way. From his lukewarm childhood Catholicism to the executive fast track at General Electric to the Jesuits and a life dedicated to God, Martin looked and prayed to the saintsfrom St. Peter to Pope John XXIIIto intervene and guide his life. As this witty, confessional, and surprising account unfolds, we see how saints can help us each find our way in the world. Winner of the 2007 Christopher Award and the Catholic Press Award for best spirituality hardcover book of 2007, and named one of Publishers Weeklys 100 Best Books of 2006.
James Martin, S.J., is a Jesuit priest, culture editor of America magazine, and the author of many books including the New York Times best-seller The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life (HarperOne, 2010) and My Life with the Saints (Loyola, 2007), which has sold over 100,000 copies. A frequent commentator on NPR, a recurring guest as “chaplain” to the Comedy Channel’s “The Colbert Report,” and a blogger on The Huffington Post, he is widely regarded as one of the most popular Catholic writers today.
Martin, a Jesuit priest and associate editor of America magazine, takes a splendid idea and develops it masterfully by weaving stories from his life into those of his favorite saints. Leading off with St. Jude, whom he affectionately dubs "the saint of the sock drawer" (where his statue of the saint of impossible causes took up residence after the author entered high school), Martin relates how he discovered various "saints" and how each has affected his life. Thomas Merton, for example, influenced his decision to leave a corporate career for the priesthood, and John XXIII taught him how to live chastely as a member of a religious order. Both Merton and Jesuit Pedro Arrupe served as models for obedience to religious superiors even as Martins own superiors instructed him to avoid certain controversial topics in writing this book. Martins personal experiences of befriending saints provide convincing testimony as to their efficacy as role models. He draws a distinction, however, between the superstition that sometimes surrounds Catholics reverence for the saints and true devotion to them. Despite a theme built on a particular facet of Catholic belief, Martins animated style and wide-ranging experiences make this a book readers of diverse backgrounds will enjoy.
- From Publishers Weekly
It is one thing to read the lives of the saints, quite another to read about somebody who lives with the saints, who thinks about, researches, and calls upon certain saints regularly. Such a person is, today, a rarity. Such a person is GE-exec-turned-Jesuit Martin, associate editor of the national Catholic weekly America, who details his introduction to and relationship with more than a dozen of his favorite haloed heroes in this book. They include Jude, patron saint of lost causes, whom Martin refers to as "the saint of the sock drawer" because thats where, when a young man, Martin kept a statuette of Jude; Ignatius Loyola, who inspired Martin to look for God in his daily life; and St. Joseph, whose quiet service to Christ motivates Martin. With wit and candor, Martin brings those and his other seemingly distant role models down to earth, citing instances from their biographies and, with deepest effectiveness, revealing his personal connection to each and how each has assisted his life.
- Donna Chavez, Booklist