The Messy Quest for Meaning: Five Catholic Practices for Finding Your Vocation

Overview

Drawing on lessons learned from Catholic monks and saints as well as his own experience, Stephen Martin has crafted five unique practices to help Catholics and other seekers grapple with life's truly important questions and discover their calling in the world.

The Messy Quest for Meaning is one of the first books to tap into the wisdom of the Catholic spiritual tradition to ...

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The Messy Quest for Meaning: Five Catholic Practices for Finding Your Vocation

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Overview

Drawing on lessons learned from Catholic monks and saints as well as his own experience, Stephen Martin has crafted five unique practices to help Catholics and other seekers grapple with life's truly important questions and discover their calling in the world.

The Messy Quest for Meaning is one of the first books to tap into the wisdom of the Catholic spiritual tradition to help readers discern a vocation that will not only provide them with a livelihood but also just might help save their lives.

Martin first tells of his own struggle to find meaning and purpose in his life and then details the five transforming practices that he learned, over time, from the Trappist monks with whom he studied, interviewed, and prayed:

1. Follow your own desires and discover what really attracts you.
2. Hone in on what matters most to you and channel your passions.
3. Let go through an act of humility and accept where your desires lead instead of where you want to steer yourself.
4. Realize that you are not likely to find or to fulfill your vocation solely by yourself but that you need to find it in community.
5. Journey into the unexplored regions of your community and, even more significantly, your own heart, mind, and soul.

"What distinguishes this book is the author's new, refreshing voice. The honesty and humility with which Martin tells his own story of seeking his vocation shows enough hard-earned wisdom to make him a credible guide for readers of any age. And the surprise of his pitch-perfect humor adds to the book's rare depth, which in this era of 'spirituality lite' makes his words and ideas memorable. Do yourself a favor and read this book." —Karen Sue Smith, Editorial Director, America

"Stephen Martin generously offers us a glimpse inside his own messy quest for meaning in this engaging book. Inclining the ear of his heart to the monastic tradition, while at the same time listening carefully to the practical wisdom of contemporary works on leadership, he gives pilgrims—all of us—a road map for discernment of our vocations. This hopeful book will be a welcome gift to anyone still sorting out who God is calling them to be." —Tim Muldoon, Author of Longing to Love

"What should I do? Who am I meant to become? Deftly using his own life as a springboard to understanding Catholic traditions of 'discernment,' Stephen Martin helps readers discover answers to those two central questions. Invitingly honest, often provocative, and unfailingly useful, The Messy Quest for Meaning is a boon to anyone who seeks answers to questions of vocation and identity, so as to enter more deeply into a relationship with God, the fulfillment of all our longings." —Rev. James Martin, S.J., Author of Between Heaven and Mirth

"Having spent many years learning from and periodically living in monastic communities, I admire how Stephen Martin brings alive, through compelling stories and crisp prose, Trappist practices that can transform our lives. This memorable book speaks directly to the seeker in each of us, offering practical wisdom for moving deeper into our callings." —August Turak, Entrepreneur and Grand Prize Winner, John Templeton Foundation Power of Purpose Essay Contest

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933495323
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press
  • Publication date: 5/14/2012
  • Pages: 194
  • Sales rank: 1,449,957
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Martin is a speechwriter, journalist, and award-winning essayist. He directs public relations and executive communications for the nonprofit Center for Creative Leadership and coauthors a regular column on social innovation and entrepreneurship for the Raleigh News & Observer. His essays have appeared in America, Commonweal, Portland, and on washingtonpost.com.

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