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The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  3,992 Ratings  ·  452 Reviews
St. Ignatius to the Rescue!

St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order, was known forhis practical spirituality. Now, Father James Martin translatesIgnatius's insights for a modern audience, revealing how we canfind God in our everyday lives in often surprising ways.

Includes a new reading group guide and bonus material
Paperback, 436 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by HarperOne (first published 2010)
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Liu Jianqing The Ignatian Adventure is a practical book on related topic.

It is a 32 week prayer and meditation guide to…more
The Ignatian Adventure is a practical book on related topic.

It is a 32 week prayer and meditation guide to practice Ignatious Spiritual Exercise.(less)
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Theresa Leone Davidson
Let me preface my review by saying that, despite being almost completely educated by Catholics (only high school was public for me, and the second time I went to graduate school, that college wasn't Catholic), and despite my parents being devout and attending Mass every week, I never had a blind faith in either the church or in God. However, as an adult, I made a conscious decision that God in my life only made my life better, that I was a happier, more fulfilled person because of my faith. Now, ...more
Derek Emerson
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Religious, and specifically Christian, books can be a challenging lot. On the one hand there are plenty of great theological texts to read (Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Rahner, Barth, etc), but suffice it to say they are not the type of book you curl up with at the end of the day. On the other hand, there are too many "Christian-lite" books (I'll be nice and not name names) which touch on Christian themes, but lack the depth to really challenge the faithful.

With his rather bold title, The Jesuit
Tom Tabasco
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Read in 2012. This is one of best books I've ever read, full stop. It had a profound impact on my life. Father Martin is able to communicate fundamental concepts and wisdom in a very modern and effective way.

2017 update - too bad recently Fr Martin has turned very political. That is taking him away from his original focus (and the focus of this book) which was to make the beauty of Catholicism more accessible and understandable to everyone. In these days everything he says seems to have the cent
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I was already aware of some aspects of Ignatian Spirituality, but this comprehensive treatment opened my eyes to the great wealth of useful tools one can employ to grow deeper in intimacy with God.

After reading this, the following thought came to mind:
On the path of life, God puts graces in our way to help us on our journey and lead us to our destination. Ignatian Spirituality helps us to recognize these graces and in freedom we then enter into deeper relationship with God.

Jp Bagatsing
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything is a nice book and recommended to be read by ordained ministers(bishop, priests, nuns, etc.) and even by ordinary people.

Fr. James Martin, SJ discusses in this book on the secrets of living the Ignatian Spirit that was pass down from the Jesuit founder himself St. Ignatius of Loyola to the present Jesuits around the world.

It is nice that the writer of this book allowed us to gain access of the life of a Jesuit and allowing us to practice their ways even th
Michael John
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Let me just start by saying that this book kept me from leaving my lifelong Catholic faith on two occasions. Fr. Martin has written a book that reminds us of the good that is in Christian faith, especially Catholicism, in a time filled with troubles. He makes the teachings of the Jesuits easily comprehensible and applicable to everyone's life. I especially remember section on finding God in everything (not to be confused with worshiping everything). Fr. Martin's book also reminds us of the impor ...more
Father’s Martin’s book is what it claims to be—a ‘spirituality for real life’. It’s an immensely practical ‘guide to discovering how God can be found in every dimension of your life. How God can be found in everything. And everyone, too.’ Martin’s writing is humorous, light-hearted and easy-to-read. And it’s a book you can feel comfortable recommending to people from widely varied backgrounds—as the numerous positive reviews here on GRs indicate.

As a guide, it could be used on one’s own or even
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book. My only criticism would have to do with a bit of the "writing from a bubble" that one can perceive in passages where the story seems to be more about the effect on oneself than on the people involved. A very Zen attitude that is common in writings from people in large communities or sheltered by them. The very reason why I would never trust spiritual advice from wealthy people.
However, Jesuits themselves are not wealthy and , of all religious orders, they tend to be a lot more en
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. To be honest, I've carried a very negative view of the Catholic faith/tradition for much of my life, based on what I've seen in the news (child abuse scandal), and people that I know that identify Catholic. Then again, a lot of other people who identify as Christians, in whichever way they practice, don't do a great job of representing their beliefs/denomination.

That being said, learning about the Jesuits was extremely refreshing. I love how academic they are, contemplative,
Dec 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went to a Jesuit college half a century ago and while I vaguely recall the sequence of the required courses in religion and philosophy (based on Thomas Aquinas' medieval scholasticism), carefully arranged as if they were a permanent pipeline to the TRUTH, the actual content of the courses has pretty much evaporated.
What stands out, though, was the dreaded “orals” examination in which a trembling student appeared in front of a panel of three Jesuits to answer questions about his knowledge of
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I'm not going to be coy: I have a schoolgirl crush on Fr. Martin. I know, I know. He's a priest, Juliette, but I can explain. He's smart. He's a practicing Catholic. He's funny. He's sarcastic. I await his Facebook posts every day. He's my ideal man ... only ... with a Roman collar. And I'm not a The Thorn Birds kind of girl. It's okay, though. There are other fish in the sea, and I only need to cast my net. (“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not since J. K. Rowling have I ever wanted to write to an author so much. I want to thank James Martin for seemingly comforting me during one of my darkest times. I've always viewed myself as Agnostic ever since high school ended and I have felt too many times that God has distanced himself from me through the years. Why hasn't God been helping me and such questions arose.

For this FY15, I really wanted to understand more about God and about spirituality in general to help me with my current iss
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
Fr. Jim says Ignatian spirituality is simply about finding God in all things. And prayer is a long, loving look at the era.

His book takes the reader through the life of Saint Ignatius and his own experiences to show that common events and common longings are where God may be found. Savoring things, naming your desires--these allow moments of contemplation.

Fr. Jim quotes Anthony de Mello: 'You sanctify whatever you are grateful for.' and Father Keenan: 'Sin is often a failure to bother.'

my first ebook read ... bookmarks and notes are easy. yay. saving those trees! eye-ease seems okay. still working on the best print size for me. content is excellent. excellent. excellent. a help on the journey for SURE. recommended. this book marks the beginning of my immersion into the ignatian discernment process and ignatian spirituality. thank you, james martin.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, nonfiction, 2017
Father Martin's voice is friendly and compassionate as he guides the reader through different aspects of Jesuit spirituality and its application for seekers, regardless of their backgrounds. He talks a lot about Jesuit history too, which I thought was fascinating.
I'm glad I bought this one. There's a lot of wisdom within, and I'm sure I'll want to refer back to it.
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps my biggest takeaway from this book is the idea that as we grow older, we must develop a "new" relationship with God. That is to say, far too many of us are introduced to God or religion by our parents while we are still to young to truly comprehend the magnitude of the concepts we are being taught. Many Christians never grow out of this phase and move forward with blind faith. Equally troubling is that once we reach adulthood, many of us turn away from the "dumbed-down" religious princip ...more
May 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed immersing myself in this book. James Martin, SJ does a wonderful job of conveying the message of spirituality in a way that is enriching for christians, jews, buddhists, muslims. It will help you in your journey towards a closer relationship with God. It also provides a spiritual roadmap to help you with more thoughtful decision-making, better relationships and an understanding of the spiritual exercises as set forth over 450 years ago by the founder of the Society of Jesus (aka ...more
Callie Hornbuckle
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable, casual introduction to the basics of Ignatian spirituality. I had a vague concept of the examen and lectio divina, but Fr. Martin describes them in clear, practical terms. Recommended if you're looking for new directions for your prayer life. For what it's worth, I have since learned that Fr. Martin's politics might be possibly somewhat questionable from an orthodox Catholic perspective, but this does not come through in this book. He writes with a genuine love for God, for St. Ignati ...more
Lauren Davis
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely terrific book. Fr. Martin is funny, practical and inspiring. Not just for Jesuits... not just for Christians... fine thoughts here on the art of living in kindness and connection.
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book.

Admittedly, I am probably predisposed to like this book because 1) I am Catholic; 2) I work for the Catholic Church and love spiritual writing; 3) I am fascinated with the charisms of the mendicant orders; 4) I am familiar with Fr. Jim's writings from his work in America magazine and have a favorable view of it. So, I started biased.

The book offers a very approachable look at St. Ignatius Loyola's spirituality. And as the title suggests, it delivers on providing a spiritualit
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I'm a bit biased, I have this impression that Jesuits are really sincere, practical and accessible with their Faith, with the Catholic Faith. Sometimes religion/faith/Christianity tends to be too "up-there", too symbolic, too superficial, or too showy. It's something that I admire and really wanted to learn about, which is why I got this book in the first place.

There might be some topics that can be too expounded upon, but then maybe the Author really wanted the reader to understand how a
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written and thorough as all get-out. Approachable. Includes a sense of humor (always nice). Lots of practical stuff, too, like how to make decisions the way St. Ignatius did. Some history, some self-help, some religion, some philosophy, and some memoir-ish touches. The memoirish part is repetitive if you read My Life With the Saints, a book I enjoyed more only because it kept changing topics as Martin went from saint to saint and connected their experiences with his own. Still, I cannot fau ...more
Cassidy Stinson
Fr. James Martin's book came highly recommended to me, and I honestly expected to love it. In retrospect, however, I believe this approach to the work's easily discernible subject matter - namely, applied Jesuit spirituality - is integrally flawed. Martin attempts in his writing to divest "Jesuit" spirituality as much as he can from anything that is overtly Roman Catholic, which he claims is intended to make said spirituality accessible to people outside of Catholicism itself. Unfortunately, a J ...more
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catholic, religion
This is a good read. If anything, it's an easy, approachable primer on Jesuit, and thus Catholic, belief systems as applied to life. It does have something for everyone, as Martin says. However, on a little tangent, I don't think there's something for everyone to apply to their own lives.

Reading the book as a spiritual guide more or less requires a belief in a Judeo-Christian God. If that belief is not there for someone, then this book will read as an introduction to what Jesuits believe and ho
Robert Snow
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jesuits think on a different level than the general public and it is very evident in this book. We read this for our Catholic Men's group and it took us forever to read. The interesting thing about this book was many of the practices were not new, I just didn't know that other people thought in the same way. This can be a very helpful book to many people unfamiliar with St. Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. The "Examen" portion and the five steps at the end of the day I found the most in ...more
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I started reading this at roughly the same time as The Sparrow. What I learned here shed an interesting light on that book, which didn't fare well by comparison. I learned more of Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality here than I did at my Jesuit college - but then I had other focuses at the time.
This book is very accessible and covers both history and practices in a clear stepwise fashion. The narrative illustrates these steps neatly as well. Even though I was often interrupted, I found it easy to
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The retired bishop of my diocese recommended this book during the closing Mass of my Cursillo retreat weekend. It's packed with practical, easy-to-understand advice and anecdotes for living the Ignatian spiritual path, which Jesuit priests and brothers live. The author says you don't have to be a Jesuit, a Catholic, or even a Christian to benefit from this way of living. I found the chapters on meditation and poverty (i.e. living a simple life) most thought-provoking and helpful.
Alexis Johnson
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
This a rich and wonderful book about the Jesuit way of living for the Lord. I have been a big "fan" (for lack of a better term) of Jesuit theology and their approach to life. Their motto comes from St. Ignatius of Loyola and that is "Finding God in all things." Or, in other terms, seeing God at work in every aspect of our lives. This isn't light reading, but it is informative while also being incredibly encouraging and inspiring spiritually. I closed the book refreshed in almost every way.
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is a book I mean to read over and over again. I was moved in more than a few occasions. In this world where we are faced with many challenges in our journey, it is good to know that others have walked the same or a similar distance and that there is a helpful guide to help us through and along it...
Claire Gilligan
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good! Definitely accessible to beginners, yet covers all the important facets of developing a spiritual life, for believers at any level. Looks at everything from an explicitly Jesuit perspective, so once I stopped muttering under my breath "Not just Jesuits! Also Franciscans! And Dominicans! etc", I came to quite enjoy it.
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James Martin, SJ is a Jesuit priest, writer, editor at large of the Jesuit magazine America, and consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communication.

Fr. Martin grew up in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, United States, and attended Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business in 1982 and worked in corporate finance at General El
More about James Martin...

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“When John O’Malley was a Jesuit novice, an older priest told him three things to remember when living in community: First, you’re not God. Second, this isn’t heaven. Third, don’t be an ass.” 6 likes
“Before you begin, as in all prayer, remind yourself that you’re in God’s presence, and ask God to help you with your prayer. Gratitude: Recall anything from the day for which you are especially grateful, and give thanks. Review: Recall the events of the day, from start to finish, noticing where you felt God’s presence, and where you accepted or turned away from any invitations to grow in love. Sorrow: Recall any actions for which you are sorry. Forgiveness: Ask for God’s forgiveness. Decide whether you want to reconcile with anyone you have hurt. Grace: Ask God for the grace you need for the next day and an ability to see God’s presence more clearly.” 4 likes
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