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Book Discussions > Tattoos on the Heart: "No force besides love"

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message 1: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Cottom (goodreadscomcaroline_cottom) | 98 comments Mod
I'm not sure if you are able to get this wonderful book outside the US and Canada. The author, Father Boyle, has worked for decades with young men and women of the ghettos of Los Angeles, California. He works from a place of deep compassion, helping these youths find meaning in their lives. Among other tasks, he presides over the burials of those killed in gang warfare, as many as seven in one week. If you have read this book, please share your comments with our discussion group.

message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 16 comments I JUST started reading this and I LOVE it. It's taking me FOREVER because I start reading and have to put it down and digest it.

I'll try and organize some thoughts later this weekend.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 16 comments So, something that has stood out in my reading of the first chapter is the idea of father/motherhood. Boyle talks about the kids with whom he works as HIS own children. In fact, he shares a story in which he tells one of the boys that he has viewed him as a son. What a lovely concept.

In the environment in which I was raised, the concept of God the Father was widely known and discussed. And it was not difficult for me to consider God as a loveing Father, despite my own earthly father's failings.

Something I personally missed out on was a strong earlthy MOTHER. My mother meant well but she struggled a lot. She had her own history of abuse, her own fears, her own mental illness, and her own faulty upbringing. As the most "put together" of her kids, I often got overlooked. My needs were not great enough. Now, I don't want to be one of those grown women pointing back at my childhood "It's my mother's fault". I'm a grown woman and I take responsibility for my own choices.

That said, I'd love to have a mother. I'd love to have someone from whom I can get advice on parenting my daughter; from whom I can get guidance in being a good wife and partner; from whom I can get comfort on all things womanly. My (well meaning) mother cannot do that.

But God the Mother can. It's not something that Boyle says directly, but I think it's a concept that can be pulled from his writing.

I'm wondering if anyone here has read much or thought much on God the Mother-- not just Mother Earth-- but a guiding force in the life of a woman.


message 4: by Connie (new)

Connie Livingston-dunn | 139 comments The Matrix that we live in is feminine, and is not recognized in some religions, so I see the Uni-Verse, as ONE Song that includes all and the feminine is the Essence that guides us. I use Great Spirit or Great Mystery, Native American terms, because God, for me, is the white guy with a beard on the Sistine Chapel ceiling and I think, is the image that many others see also. It is not a correct image, and has given a graven image to the word God.

message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 16 comments how sad is it that this book hasn't gotten much discussion? I love this book.

The thing I like about the Christian concept of God is the personal God. I love the way Father Boyle talks about the deep intimate personal love of God. My mentor told me to talk to God about what I need and She will provide. What I NEED is a mother... someone to help me know how to be a good wife and mother to my own family, someone to talk to about woman things. Someone who is proud of the woman I've become, someone I can emulate and model myself after. My own mother, hard as she tried, was not this woman.

I think that God Father Boyle describes is this woman though. Mother God reaches down into our lives and loves us so much. She can serve as model of a fine woman for me.

message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 16 comments Is Gahndi's book next? Which book?

Oh and Connie-- you HAVE to read this book. It's so great. I literally laugh and cry and have grand ole time with it! :)

message 7: by Connie (new)

Connie Livingston-dunn | 139 comments I would love to Sarah, but time is not in my favor right now.

message 8: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Cottom (goodreadscomcaroline_cottom) | 98 comments Mod
A quote from Gregory Boyle's Tattoos on the Heart: "There is no force in the world better able to altar anything from its course than love." What do you think? Can you give examples?

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