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"The Whole Language" offers messages needed always, and especially needed now.
Gregory Boyle writes and speaks God's loving truth with his every word - crossing all religions and bringing together the work of so many different people - from Hafiz to Mr. Rogers.
Like his previous books, Father Greg has us laughing and crying on repeat. He shares his personal, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes humorous stories, from his years with our brothers and sisters at Homeboy Industries and in Los Angeles, CA. Father Greg threads these stories together with our loving God's most loving messages.
Out of all of Father Greg's books, this one is my favorite. If you read only one book this decade, make it "The Whole Language" by Gregory Boyle.
So confession: I have always admired Greg Boyle and Homeboy Industries. I live in LA, and so I have a front row seat to the work Greg and his team do. His first book, Tattoos on the Heart is something I come back to again and again.
And so when I knew a new book was coming out, I was excited. I actually went to the book launch at Homeboy and when I heard Greg read a selection out of the book, I knew I was in for a treat.
The book was written during the early months of COVID-19, and I think that matters A LOT as we reflect on the text, where we are at this moment in our collective history, and my own reflections on God in times that feel so polarized.
This book breathed life into me. It made me ponder why we don't speak of love when advocating for justice? And it made me dare to imagine a "no matter what" kind of God who loves me, often in spite of myself.
The book is great. If you're burnt out, worn down, frustrated, whatever the case may be- this book is worth your time!
I first discovered Fr. Boyle's work through an earlier book he'd written. When I saw he'd written more, I couldn't wait to read them. This book has all the things I've loved from his others: great storytelling, strong connections back to spiritual principles, and a continuing message about compassion, kinship, and connection with others, especially those on the margins.
I recently experienced some difficult things within my family, and this book helped me keep what matters in perspective. I have both the e-book and the audiobook versions, and I love them both. I like that I can highlight and add notes to the e-book version and I love listening to the audiobook at night when I can't sleep.
If you haven't read anything by Fr. Boyle yet, you can start with this book or his others. They're each snippets of stories from homeboys or homegirls he's met or some descriptions of things he's been through in his own life, so they don't need to be read in any particular order.
If you're looking for a book that kind of distills Christian faith down to its core principles and shows them in action, I recommend this one.
An amazing read. Every page will make you laugh or cry. Gregory Boyle is an earth angel, showing kids how they can be miracles no matter how traumatic their lives have been. He's donating all the profits back to the Homeboys organization. Another reason to buy this book. Pass it on and change the world.
Father Greg does it again. The Jesuit priest manages to take you into the halls of his nonprofit and send you out as an amateur mystic. But surely, that is not Fr. G’s chief intention. He wants you to know that you belong. But, in turn, all whom you encounter are part of your circle of belonging, as well. That means our lives can be cherished enough that we may be able to quote years later the most everyday of experiences like being in line at a grocery store. The prerequisite is presence.
Gregory Boyle has done it again! Once again Greg Boyle opens the minds and hearts of readers to see that former gang members are human beings made in the image and likeness of God. With honest and realistic stories we are invited into the world of Reentry and Restorative Justice in action not just in theory. Boyle has a unparalleled gift as a writer and pastoral minister in this book and his two previous books. Honestly, I could not put the book down as I read it while incarcerated living first hand the punitive system of justice that destroys human dignity and self-worth. A true Jesuit to the core Boyle deserves sainthood.
This book is great. Pastor G has a powerful message about valuing everyone. This book was written during the pandemic and reading how he and the Homeboys and Homegirls dealt with this is a lesson we can all learn.
A friend of mine shared with me how she was reading again, but this time with her husband. They couldn’t get enough of “Father G”. After reading Tattoos on the Heart, I too wanted more! Now I find myself searching for his YouTube videos so I can start my day listening to more stories of true unconditional love, compassion and kinship. May we all strive to be more like Father G.