St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Society of Jesus (aka the Jesuits), was known for his practical spirituality. The "way of Ignatius" has helped millions of people from the doubtful seeker to the devout believer find freedom, make friends, live simply, work sensibly, fall in love, experience joy, and enter into a relationship with God.
The Ignatian goal of "finding God in all things" eans that every part of our lives can lead us to God. The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything shows us how this is possible, with user-friendly examples, humorous stories and anecdotes from the heroic and inspiring lives of Jesuit saints and average priests and brothers, as well as examples from Martins twenty years as a Jesuit. The traditional wisdom that Jesuits use to help other people in their daily lives is easily applied, but not often explained well to the general public.
The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything translates these insights of St. Ignatius for a modern audience and reveals how we can find God and how God can find us in the real world of work, love, suffering, decisions, prayer, and friendship.
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.
Ignatius of Loyolas "way of proceeding" as lived by the Jesuits, the community of men he started in 1540, forms the basis of this spiritual handbook. Author Martin, a Jesuit for 20 years, claims anyone can benefit from the methods Jesuits employ in conducting their lives. This includes not only believers in God, but those who eschew religion, reject God, explore the spiritual terrain, or are just plain confused. After all, Martin writes, the Ignatian way is about "finding freedom," and the Jesuit founder wanted it to be available to everyone, not only members of his community. Martin provides a brief history of Ignatius and the Jesuits, followed by a how-to that covers prayer in its various forms; the Jesuit vows of chastity, poverty and obedience; friendship and love; discernment; and finding a life path. Readers familiar with the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius-an ordered set of spiritual themes and practices-and other facets of Jesuit life will find this rather elementary, but Martin has done a creditable job of making the Ignatian way relevant to a contemporary audience.
- Publishers Weekly
"Funny, inspiring, practical, and wise. The spiritual genius of St. Ignatius Loyola is made accessible and useful, allowing even the most skeptical readers to appreciate Jesuit ways and to incorporate practices that are guaranteed to improve their lives."
- ROM HANSEN, author of Mariette in Ecstasy and Exiles
"A practical guide for living an authentic life ... Generously sharing from his own experiences, Martin introduces the major themes of Jesuit spirituality in a remarkably hospitable way."
- KATHLEEN NORRIS, author of The Cloister Walk and Acedia &, Me
"Martin has done it again-written a book about a profound subject with uncanny insight, down-to-earth yet sparkling writing, and great humor. Jesuit spirituality and real life are very well served by this book."
- WILLIAM A. BARRY, SJ, author of The Practice o f Spiritual Direction
"I recommend [this book] to you for your own use and for those whom you hold close to your heart."
- CARDINAL SEAN OMALLEY, archbishop of Boston
"Three cheers for St. Ignatius and his spiritual son, who brings us his founders wisdom and guidance.... I love this book!"
- SISTER HELEN PREJEAN, author of Dead Man Walking
"Martin is arguably the best writer on Catholic spirituality.... Reading Martin on his own storied order is therefore my five-star, slam-dunk, cant-miss tip of the year: This book is a winner!"
- JOHN L. ALLEN, JR., author of The Future Church