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Seven Last Words: An Invitation to a Deeper Friendship with Jesus Hardcover – February 2, 2016
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“This insight alone makes this book worth reading: Jesus endured suffering, so he understands ours. There is nothing more isolating than suffering, everyone’s suffering is largely incommunicable. Thus, in seeking to shoulder the sufferings of others we must pray to be able to hear the muffled cry.” (Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man Walking)
“As I sat in the cathedral on Good Friday, I listened to Father Martin’s reflections on the Lord’s Seven Last Words, grateful for the spiritual renewal he was bringing to the faithful assembled in prayer on this most solemn day of the Church year.” (Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York)
“Spiritually rewarding and uplifting.” (Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York)
A short but powerful work.” (Publishers Weekly)
“An inspiring, spirit-srengthening resource for anyone bearing the weight of their own or another’s suffering. “James Martin’s compassion breathes through this book.” (Joyce Rupp, author of Fly While You Still Have Wings)
“Tremendous... very moving.” (The Leaven)
“Martin’s book keeps coming back to the central point: Yes, Christians believe Jesus is divine-but, because he also was human, Jesus’s compassion is deeper than we may expect. . . . Readers will walk away feeling hopeful-and feeling a renewed commitment to help others in our world.” (Read the Spirit)
“When you struggle in the spiritual life, when you wonder where God is, when you pray in doubt and darkness, and even when you are close to despair, you are praying to someone who is fully human and fully divine, someone who understands you fully.” (America Magazine)
“Martin invites the reader to inhabit the gospels; to live out the Passion in the privacy of the mind. He knows how to render the familiar-yet-strange events of Good Friday in such a way that the reader does not so much relate to Jesus’ experience as taste it.” (The Tablet)
“Based on a series of reflections he delivered on Good Friday, 2015, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, Fr. Martin preserves the sense of discursive intimacy with which he conducted the talks, while offering the reader the chance to engage the traditional Lenten exercise of prayerful meditation.” (Vatican Radio)
From the Back Cover
New York Times bestselling author James Martin, SJ, offers a vivid and compelling portrait of Jesus based on the Messiah’s dramatic last words on the cross. Father Martin shows how deeply Jesus understands our struggles and why we can turn to him completely—in mind, heart, and soul. Based on Martin’s homilies at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Good Friday 2015, each meditation reflects on one of the seven traditional sayings:
“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“Woman, here is your son. . . . Here is your mother.”
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
“I am thirsty.”
“It is finished.”
With the warmth, wisdom, and grace that infuse all of his writings, Father Martin explains why Jesus’s words from the cross are so important for the life of the believer. For Jesus’s final statements show how deeply Jesus understands our human struggles and why we can turn to him completely, sharing all our hopes and fears with him.
Jesus Understands You
From the New York Times bestselling and award- winning author James Martin, SJ, comes a series of meditations on the seven sayings of Jesus from the cross, which reveal not only Jesus’s love and forgiveness, but also why we can confidently turn to him with our worries, fears, and even doubts.
“Spiritually rewarding and uplifting.”—Cardinal Timothy Dolan, from the Foreword
“This insight alone makes this book worth reading: Jesus endured suffering, so he understands ours.”—Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man Walking
Praise for James Martin
“A masterful teacher and storyteller.”—Our Sunday Visitor
“Father Martin is a great spiritual teacher.”—Mary Karr, author of Lit
“A terrific storyteller . . . wise and entertaining.”—The Chicago Tribune “Martin is one of our most popular spiritual writers—and for good reason.”—Commonweal
Top customer reviews
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I particularly appreciate Fr. Jim’s historical interpretation and the way he shows us Jesus’ humanity and divinity, including Jesus’ ministry of joy. This well-rounded picture of Jesus makes him more accessible. This book has brought my prayer life to a new level.
Christians believe that Christ was fully divine AND full human. This little book goes far in explaining this mystery. Christ's humanity, including the agonizing physical suffering of the Crucifixion, his abiding love for his mother, his feelings of abandonment by God and even his thirst on the cross, link him to us in a basic human way.
This would be an excellent book to read on Good Friday and can easily be read in a single day (even by not-so-fast readers).
Best of all, Fr. Martin writes for everyone--not just Roman Catholics. This book is such a blessing!
Martin gives good insights as to the seven last statements as recorded in the Gospels -- for instance, in the chapter on "I thirst," he goes into some detail about how Jesus had a body, just like we do: he got colds and stomach aches, splinters, tired feet, etc. He even threw up! This sounds rather indelicate in a review, but Martin has just the right touch and the right tone. I highly recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
do not jive well with the rest of scripture.