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All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,572 ratings  ·  313 reviews

It has been over twenty years since the publication of The Ragamuffin Gospel, a book many claim as the shattering of God’s grace into their lives. Since that time, Brennan Manning has been dazzingly faithful in preaching and writing variations on that singular theme –   
“Yes, Abba is very fond of you!”
But today the crowds are gone and the lights are dim, the patches on hi
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by David C. Cook (first published January 1st 2011)
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4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,572 ratings  ·  313 reviews

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Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Brennan Manning's farewell book really got to me. Through most of the book, I thought it was interesting to read his life story and that the book was "okay." Then as it all came together into a final challenge from the author, made more poignant by the insight into his life that the chapters before gave me, his message hit hard and I thought, "This book is really good!." Then the poem at the end made me cry and closed the deal...THIS BOOK WILL BOTH ENCOURAGE AND HAUNT ME FOR A LONG TIME TO ...more
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
As Yancey says in the forward: "I heard the details of Brennan's life: his loveless childhood, his marathon search for God, his marriage and divorce, his lies and cover-ups, his continuing struggles with alcohol addiction. As you read this memoir, you may be tempted, as I was, to think, 'Oh, what might have been...if Brennan hadn't given in to drink.' I urge you to reframe the thought to, 'Oh, what might have been...if Brennan hadn't discovered grace.'"

At times this book was painful when I'd let
Todd Wilhelm
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an autobiography of Brennan Manning. While reading it I was moved to tears, not something I am prone to do. I can give no better recommendation.

"My life is a witness to vulgar grace - a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands, or
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual-memoir
This "review" is simply a pasting of my blog post on this book -

Sometimes I get tired of being a Christian, let alone a pastor.

I struggle with doubt: Is God really there or when I pray am I just talking to myself?

I struggle with cynicism: American Christianity is really arguing about ______? Really!?

I struggle with feelings of inadequacy: If only I was as talented/gifted/intelligent/personable/etc. as ________, then I’d be a better campus minister.

Then I
Josh Morgan
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café (

Brennan Manning has long emphasized the importance of grace and God's unconditional love. His speaking and books have touched thousands, if not millions. While I have heard wonderful things about him, I realized I have never actually read any of his works. So my first direct encounter with Manning was through his memoir, All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir.

This book is an exemplar of the power of grace t
Ben Zajdel
All is Grace is Brennan Manning's long awaited autobiography, which he agreed to publish five years ago. It isn't the most complete account of his life, but it's written with the heart and soul that Manning brings to all of his works. His life truly reflects what he has told others countless times throughout his life: "God loves you just as you are, not as you should be."

Manning recounts his life from his childhood, giving special attention to his mother and father, and how their influence affec
Aaron W. Matthews
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a fine memoir from a man that has written love-drenched words throughout his career. He is not perfect, but that is one of the reasons I love Brennan Manning. What a fitting finale to read after completing all his other literary works. I'm thankful for the inspriation this book brings - raw, brash, lucid, and from the deeps of the heart. All is most certainly is!
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this very much. Thank you, Brennan Manning.
I really don’t know where to start as this is a tremendous memoir by an amazing man. I have thoroughly enjoyed this audio and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys memoirs/biographies. As Brennan himself says he is a survivor and is very honest about his life. It is upsetting at times but very inspirational throughout.
I identified with his Irish Catholic roots and the baggage accompanying it, something I haven’t really thought about much before, but which makes a lot of sense.
Maurice England
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book reminded me that only people who wrestle constantly with their flesh can TRULY know what Grace is and delight in it. It is ALSO a reminder to me of how we can encourage one another, but no man or woman should EVER be lifted up as Jesus.
Brennan Manning was a very human human. It makes me love him all the more that he revealed these things about himself. Most preachers keep them hidden. As if portraying yourself as something you're not is the way to show others Christ.
I see the grace o
Rebecca Spooner
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What struck me most about this memoir was realizing that Brennan was in and out of his addiction to alcohol all of his life. I heard him speak in Conway in the late 90s. It was nice to physically see him but his talks were simply parts of his books cut and pasted together. I learned from his memoir that he was drinking to black out stage during this time.
I am going blank on the mind disorder that he currently has, but it is a result of years of alcohol abuse and dependence. For me, this made his
Ken Bickley
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Don't expect this to be an easy-to-read, sweetness-and-light book. It's not. Though he has written some of the most meaningful inspirational books available, Manning has had a hard life and he pulls no punches in this memoir dictated to John Blasé shortly before his death. He failed as a marine, as a Catholic priest, and as a husband and step-father. Most of his failures were caused by his inability to stop drinking alcohol. Any further information from me would spoil it for you, but suffice it ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve yet to read a book by Manning that disappointed me. This farewell song of grace was no exception.
Haiko Eitzen
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lo fascinante de Brennan Manning es que fue un monumental pecador, un fracasado, un alcohólico reincidente, un sacerdote que renunció para casarse, y que luego se divorció, y aún así haya sido uno de los hombres de Dios más inspiradores del último siglo con su sencillo mensaje "Dios nos ama tal cual somos, no como deberíamos ser". A Brennan le gusta identificarse como andrajoso y se hace amigos con otros andrajosos espirituales, que en realidad lo somos todos, argumenta él, aunque no todos lo qu ...more
Jodie Pine
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Written near the end of his life in 2011, with assistance from John Blase, Brennan Manning reflects on his life's journey in a deeply honest way. As a fan of all of his writing, I was especially moved by the conversational way he writes to his readers so that they might truly know him and recognize that all of his life--with many dark chapters--is grace. One of my favorite stories was from a speaking engagement in Charlotte, NC in 2009 when his mind went completely blank. He asked his audience t ...more
Gary B
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, read-2017
I really enjoyed Brennan's reflections on his own life. Plenty of warts on display, but he is/was also quite cognisant of God's goodness and grace.

I most enjoyed his reflections on the "Notorious Sinners" - men he approached to participate in a one-off retreat but which ended up getting together annually for 20+ years (and perhaps they still do?)

His thoughts and reflections on grace are helpful and refreshing - and also challenging.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a small book, but such a beautiful one. Brennan is honest about his life, and about his love for the God who loves us just as we are, not as we should be. I can't comprehend this God who still loves us even when we remain a mess. I hope that it is true, for the sake of all us ragamuffins out there.
Nick Jordan
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have several friends I greatly respect who have long adored Manning. That’s never been me. But this was a great read, his last book, I believe.
Derrick Harris
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
As someone who is a big fan of Brennan Manning's writing and his overall message about grace, love, and acceptance I truly enjoyed learning more about him. Hearing the background of his struggles and triumphs is exactly what I expected. I love is raw honesty about his not so perfect life. Great person!
Thomas Holbrook
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was reminded in this book of one of the best first lines in any novel I have read; “I am a Christian because of Owen Meany” (A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Random House Publishing Group, 1990). Reading this present book spoke of a similar reality for me - the way I seek to follow Christ is due, to a large degree, because of Brennan Manning. I have never personally met Fr. Manning, nor have I had opportunity to “share my heart” with him; I have only had the privilege of him sharing hi ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quick read. Powerful read.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Highly satisfying. Only thing that kept it from being 5 stars for me is that I have such a long history of loving his writings that to be let in on the reality of his life's longings and regrets was deeply saddening for me.
Robb Ryerse
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If your life were to be summed up in a single sentence, what would it be? If you could encapsulate all that you have experienced, all that you have tried to pass on to your children and others, all that your life has been about in a few words, which would you choose?

How about these:

God loves me unconditionally, as I am and not as I should be.

Could that impossibility be true? It seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? It sounds so unfair, so unrestrained, so unqualified. It sounds so much like we
Tatiana Torres
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
brennan breaks you with his honest truths and love. in a good way. makes you feel, makes you love, makes you think
Jenny Bennett
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. A paragraph I've bookmarked that sums it up says:

"My hope, as always, is to point to the God too good to be true, my Abba. I've no delusions of heroically bringing down the house of fear that imprisons so many. My desire is to witness, nothing else. My message, unchanged for more than fifty years, is this: God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be. It is the message of grace ..."

This was a very encouraging
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Bought this on a whim last week; I had read a couple of Manning's books probably 10 years ago (Abba's Child and The Ragamuffin Gospel) and I appreciate his ability to capture an aspect of the Christian idea of grace in brutally simple terms. But if you have, like me, always been a bit concerned by the hint of 'license' in Manning's work on grace, this book will confirm your fears. It's not that he ceases to proclaim the part of the good news that involves God's radical acceptance of us "just the ...more
Rachel N
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
I was impacted by Manning's vulnerability and willingness to share such raw emotions and heart-wrenching incidents from his life (particularly from his childhood). The description of his vivid, life-altering encounter with Jesus back in 1958 was deeply moving. "All is grace" could not be more true - reminds me of Martin Luther's revelation that we are all "saved by grace" (a revelation that led him to action, ushering in a cultural reformation). There is no doubt that I certainly need an ever-de ...more
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, faith
"As a writer I live in daily awareness of how much easier it is to edit a book than edit a life. When I write about what I believe and how I should live, it sounds neat and orderly. When I try to live it out, all hell breaks loose. Reading Brennan's memoir, I see something of a reverse pattern. By focusing on the flaws, he leaves out many of the triumphs. I keep wanting him to tell the stories tha...t would put him in a good light, and there are many. Choosing full disclosure in a narrative that ...more
Adam Shields
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Short review: This is Manning's last book. He is in very poor health and needed someone to help him write this. I have really enjoyed reading last books by people that I respect. If done well, and this one is, then it really can show what is important for that person. There is always a hint of sadness in a last book, but usually at least a hint of hopefulness as well.

This is not a long book (just over 4 hours on audio), but it does a very good job showing why for Manning 'All is Grace'. He live
“This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It's not cheap. It's free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the Orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.”

I last read books by Manning in 2008. Somewhere along the way, I was able to download this book, his auto
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Richard Francis Xavier Manning, known as Brennan Manning (April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013)was an American author, friar, priest, contemplative and speaker.Born and raised in Depression-era New York City, Manning finished high school, enlisted in the US Marine Corps, and fought in the Korean War. After returning to the United States, he enrolled at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. ...more
“Do you believe that the God of Jesus loves you beyond worthiness and unworthiness, beyond fidelity and infidelity—that he loves you in the morning sun and in the evening rain—that he loves you when your intellect denies it, your emotions refuse it, your whole being rejects it. Do you believe that God loves without condition or reservation and loves you this moment as you are and not as you should be.” 84 likes
“My message, unchanged for more than fifty years, is this: God loves
you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because
nobody is as they should be. It is the message of grace…A grace
that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages
as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten till five…A grace that
hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking
of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands,
or buts…This grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without
asking anything of us…Grace is sufficient even though we huff and
puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot
cover. Grace is enough…Jesus is enough.”
More quotes…