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Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion Hardcover – March 9, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
—The Los Angeles Times
"An astonishing book . . . about suffering and dignity, death and resurrection, one of my favorite books in years. It is lovely and tough and tender beyond my ability to describe and left me in tears of both sorrow and laughter."—ANNE LAMOTT, AUTHOR OF GRACE (EVENTUALLY)
"One of the bravest, most humane, heartbreaking, brilliant, and hopeful stories I’ve read in ages. Father Greg, the Gandhi of the Gangs, fills Tattoos with unquenchable soul force and down-to-earth love." —JACK KORNFIELD, AUTHOR OF A PATH WITH HEART
"Father Boyle reminds us all that every single child and youth is a part of God’s ‘jurisdiction’—and when they know that we are seeing them as God does, they are capable of great things. Father Boyle is a national treasure."
—MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN, PRESIDENT, CHILDREN’S DEFENSE FUND
"Sometimes we are allowed to see in our own lifetimes what we were supposed to see in the life and ministry of Jesus. Read, and let your life be changed!"
—FATHER RICHARD ROHR, O.F.M., CENTER FOR ACTION AND CONTEMPLATION, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
"Tattoos on the Heart is an astounding book and a remarkable testament. No one brings more triumph and tragedy to the street gang story than Greg Boyle. No one brings more conviction and compassion than Greg Boyle. And no one writes the gang story more beautifully."
—MALCOLM KLEIN, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
"A spiritual masterpiece touching the innermost sanctum of the human soul. Boyle approaches each person as a child of God and fully deserving of love and compassion. His capacity to reach the heart of the most hardened, and to see the best in everyone, inspires. I laughed, wept, and underlined on virtually every page."
—KERRY KENNEDY, FOUNDER OF THE RFK CENTER FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
"An extraordinary reflection of a life totally committed to reshaping and redirecting the lives of countless young gang members (from L.A.’s gang culture), Greg Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart proves one man with courage is a majority." —MARTIN SHEEN
"Tattoos on the Heart is an honest, raw, and compelling collection from Father Greg Boyle’s life and work with gang-involved youth. His commitment should teach us all a lesson in compromise, sharing, learning, loving, and, most important, living life to the fullest." —ANJELICA HUSTON
"Incandescent, always hope-filled and often hilarious. Boyle somehow maintains an exuberant voice that celebrates the strength, compassion and humanity of people often demonized. He simply highlights charity and goodness wherever they are found. Boyle intersperses his narratives about gang members and his work with them with theological and spiritual reflections from a variety of theologians, poets and other writers. By introducing book-buying, highly educated readers to people we may never otherwise encounter, Boyle aspires to "broaden the parameters of our kinship.'"--The Christian Century
“In this artful, disquieting, yet surprisingly jubilant memoir, Jesuit priest Boyle recounts his two decades of working with homies in Los Angeles County, which contains 1,100 gangs with nearly 86,000 members. . . . From moving vignettes about gangsters breaking into tears or finding themselves worthy of love and affirmation, to moments of spiritual reflection and sidesplittingly funny banter between him and the homies, Boyle creates a convincing and even joyful treatise on the sacredness of every life. Considering that he has buried more than 150 young people from gang-related violence, the joyful tenor of the book remains an astounding literary and spiritual feat.”
—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“A set of stories that will stir many emotions. They will leave you dumbfounded at the power of love and compassion to break down high walls built by anger and pain.”
"Jaw-dropping. Boyle take[s] us through the human lifecycle of fall/grace/redemption/repeat again and again. Reading this book is a spiritually cleansing experience that won’t leave you the same. The compassion Boyle writes of is so deep and wide and strong that nobody is ever beyond its reach. Tattoos on the Heart welcomes all of us to join in the “no matter whatness” of God’s unconditional love." Sojourners
Top Customer Reviews
Pastor Gregory Boyle has a very witty way of telling stories of his involvement with gang members and their families. His stories about suffering are both full of laughter and sorrow. The message of this book is bold: Everyone of us - whether gang member, flight attendant, or car shop owner; can break down walls and be a part of the same "jurisdiction". His stories grabbed at my heart and pulled me in as if I was there. The book challenged me to think outside of my box and reconsider the unlovely among me. How can I show them love?
The thing I loved the most about this book is the revealing nature of these gangsters, or as Boyle calls them, "Homies". When you stripped away the anger and pain, you got a view of the things they carry so close to them: shame, defeat, loss, fear, and a basic need to be loved. It would be easy to judge such people as "lost causes" or "hopeless", but Boyle allows us to see things in his world and the view is amazing.
Boyle has chosen to "live among them" and lets us into his sorrowful, violent, and sometimes comical world. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to see the world through compassionate eyes, at the same time being able to laugh at some of the hilarious stories that Boyle tells. All proceeds from the sale of this book go back to Homeboy Industries where "homies" are given the tools to get on their feet and leave their life of violence. It's one more reason I applaud Gregory Boyle and his ever-growing compassionate heart.
Tattoos on the Heart is all about the kinship we should all be sharing with each other, and that God asks us to be kind, loving and compassionate with each other. This book helps to reaffirm the ultimate goal in life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book truly leaves a spot in my heart - sad and uplifting at the same time.Published 19 hours ago by MomForDuncan
well written approach to a painful reality. Boyle sets high standards for us. Loved it and him.Published 2 days ago by Elaine V.
If you are looking for inspirational stories of action taken by a Catholic priest to help and identify with those who are often forsaken or forgotten (or just plain vilified) by... Read morePublished 5 days ago by C. Samuels
May there be more people that go out on the limb to help people that are off the proper track.Published 7 days ago by Mona Lisa
Well written, descriptive and enlightening. I loved the book from start to finish. Good message.Published 10 days ago by Luna
A must read for those asking the question "what would Jesus do".
Written with knowledge, understanding, compassion and Love.