Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
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Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

4.2 72
by Gregory Boyle
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1439153027

ISBN-13: 9781439153024

Pub. Date: 03/09/2010

Publisher: Free Press

Father Gregory Boyle’s sparkling parables about kinship and the sacredness of life are drawn from twenty years working with gangs in LA.

How do you fight despair and learn to meet the world with a loving heart? How do you overcome shame? Stay faithful in spite of failure? No matter where people live or what their circumstances may be, everyone needs

Overview

Father Gregory Boyle’s sparkling parables about kinship and the sacredness of life are drawn from twenty years working with gangs in LA.

How do you fight despair and learn to meet the world with a loving heart? How do you overcome shame? Stay faithful in spite of failure? No matter where people live or what their circumstances may be, everyone needs boundless, restorative love. Gorgeous and uplifting, Tattoos on the Heart amply demonstrates the impact unconditional love can have on your life.

As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory Boyle created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people could work together and learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration. Tattoos on the Heart is a breathtaking series of parables distilled from his twenty years in the barrio. Arranged by theme and filled with sparkling humor and glowing generosity, these essays offer a stirring look at how full our lives could be if we could find the joy in loving others and in being loved unconditionally. From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JCPenney fresh out of prison, we learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From ten-year-old Lula we learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Pedro we understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the darkness. In each chapter we benefit from Boyle’s wonderful, hard-earned wisdom. Inspired by faith but applicable to anyone trying to be good, these personal, unflinching stories are full of surprising revelations and observations of the community in which Boyle works and of the many lives he has helped save.

Erudite, down-to-earth, and utterly heartening, these essays about universal kinship and redemption are moving examples of the power of unconditional love in difficult times and the importance of fighting despair. With Gregory Boyle’s guidance, we can recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables and learn to find joy in all of the people around us. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439153024
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
03/09/2010
Pages:
217
Sales rank:
189,566
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction: Dolores Mission and Homeboy Industries 1

Chapter 1 God, I Guess 19

Chapter 2 Dis-Grace 41

Chapter 3 Compassion 61

Chapter 4 Water, Oil, Flame 83

Chapter 5 Slow Work 109

Chapter 6 Jurisdiction 129

Chapter 7 Gladness 147

Chapter 8 Success 167

Chapter 9 Kinship 187

Acknowledgments 213

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Tattoos on the Heart 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
sparkspace More than 1 year ago
I read Tattoos On The Heart almost in a single sitting. Not often do I find a book that grips me like this one did. MAN! It really made me think about what I'm bringing to the world. I'm an upper middle class white guy from the midwest, about as far removed as I can be from the Los Angeles latino gang world Greg has put himself in the middle of. Talk about courage and walking the talk of Christianity! This book should be a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if Christians are real and authentic. I wish more were like Greg. Heck, I wish I was more like Greg! A priest who lives among the people, talks like the people, serves the people, helps the people, celebrates with the people, encourages the people, and mourns with the people. The word "inspiring" almost seems too small to describe this book!
teachermanJG More than 1 year ago
Father Boyle has been living out his faith and his calling for more than 20 years. How smart and talented people have the heart to love so deeply is a cause for much reflection. Most of the really smart and talented people I meet are so into "self" that there's no space for the compassion we encounter in "TATOOS ON THE HEART." You'll find each page a source of inspiration and a challenge to reflect.. Retired Teacher Orange, CA
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Tattoos of the Heart by Father Gregory Boyle is the kind of book I want to press into the hands of everyone I know to make them read it and love it as I do. Boyle is the creator of Homeboy Industries which employs gang members in Los Angeles. Originally a bakery, it has grown to a silk screening business, graffiti removal business, plus more. They provide counseling, tattoo removal, and a wide range of other services for the entire community. Boyle fills the book with an assortment of anecdotes from the hilarious to the outrageous to the tragic. While reading, I kept sharing different stories aloud with my husband, because they are so stunning, I just had to share them. The message that Boyle wants his readers to get is that every single one of these gangbangers, no matter how hardcore, are in need of love, and to know that they have personal worth and value. He has faced a lot of prejudice in his dealings with them, and to the average reader, some of these people are truly frightening, but Boyle makes them always human and fragile. He speaks their language and gives them the opportunity to get a job, and to shatter the limitations imposed upon them by a variety of societal conditions. Boyle doesn't just share the "success" stories, but he wants to change the reader's definition of success. It can't be measured by a number of jobs or education, but by the number of hearts changed permanently by an organization who pours out the unconditional love of God. I dare you to read this book and not be moved by the stories within. Try not to cry as a mother loses yet another son to senseless violence. Don't smile when reading as a former gangbanger shares how he reads stories with his children each night before bed. These stories will tattoo themselves onto your heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have had the privelege of hearing Fr. Boyle speak. This book is just as amazing as his speeches. He has worked closely for years with a group of individuals that most people would want nothing to do with. The effects of his work on countless lives is truly incredible. While he ties in faith, you do not have to be religious to really appreciate the book and its message. Fr. Boyle's message goes beyond religion. He speaks of the value of human life and never treating anyone as if their life is worth less than anyone else's.
Jennmarie68 More than 1 year ago
The stories in this book were so touching. There were times I was crying and times I was laughing. Hope and compassion are really great words to use when talking about this book. There were so many stories, and while they were all touching they were presented in a way that seemed a bit jumpy to me. If the stories had flowed better I would have been much happier with this one. But it was still pretty good as it is. The language took a bit for me to get used to. Greg Boyle's language shocked me the most. There were a few times that he used some swear words, and all I could think was this is a man of cloth.... But given the situations that he was in, and the people he was in those situations with the language was understandable. It just shocked me the first few times. The work that Greg Boyle has done working with the Homies is amazing. The stories he has gained in the last 20 years are a testament to his work. These stories range from sad, to touching, to happy. It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster reading this one, but I think it was well worth it. There is a religious message in this book, and even though it is repeated many times throughout the book I didn't feel as if Greg Boyle was trying to be pushy. For those that don't like to read religious books I would say you should give this one a go regardless. The stories really are touching and they filled me with a feeling of hope.
vegelise More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put the thing down!  Very inspiring read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Father Boyle is an amazing man, full of heart and courage. He's also a talented writer, breaking the tension of the heartbreak with his keen sense of humor. I learned so much about gang life and what the members go through to drive them into gang life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book three times and listened to it on audio book many more. Having 1st met Fr. Gregory Boyle at a fundraising event in LA where he was a guest speaker I became fascinated with his story. The messages in this book are amazing. I have not met many people that have been given the gift of not judging others but Fr. Boyle has this gift. The stories are sometimes very funny and they will have you in tears. A must read.
CPK37 More than 1 year ago
A very powerful book that held my attention all the way through. Gregory Boyle is truly a man of God, doing God's work in changing many people's lives. He should be given a Nobel Peace Prize for all that his group does.
roselyndeere More than 1 year ago
The first I learned of Father Boyle he was speaking at a church I was visiting. I was so moved by his words I bought his book. This is a moving tribute to what one man can accomplish with faith and an open heart. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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GrammyX More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book, touching, informative. It makes one's heart grow bigger. Well writtten. Recommend it highly for everyone to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Have recommended it to all my friends!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It will give you a different perspective of yourself and those who hurt others because they are hurt and how to affect their lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend recommended this book, and I am eternally grateful for it. Greg Boyle gives us an insider's view of the environment that leads to and perpetuates gangs. He points out that many of the members, male and female, have virtually raised themselves and find their only group identify and belonging in a gang. And he gives us the brutal truth that goes with that belonging, as well as the flashes of humor and fun that occur. Reading this book opens your heart to the young men and women who expect to die young and only hope to have children first, if not to watch them grow. It is tragic and funny and gives an intimate look at how a community can show compassion and love and how the gang members can learn to overcome their affiliations. There is no happy ending here, because early death is the norm in gangs and gang neighborhoods; but the uplift from the transformations witnessed along the way will keep you soaring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It had me writing notes on what it means to be a good person in this world. I believe I cried at least one time every five pages. I challenge you not to love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago