What People Are Saying
Not a memoir, per se, but a collection of reflections and observations about Fr. Greg Boyle’s ministry with the gangs of LA and the power of love to transform lives. He founded Homeboy Industries …Read full review
Rating: A+ Outstanding read. Boyle is a great storyteller of heartfelt stories. He takes you on a roller-coaster, merry-go-round. Laughter. Gut punches. Tears. Empathy. His theology is spot on. Hope to meet him someday. He is a role model for me.Read full review
Common Terms And Phrases
A New View Of God Self And Other
As Boyle shares the stories of the “homies,” many of whom worked at Homeboy Industries, he explains how they shaped his understanding of the gospel in new and often profound ways. Boyle’s fundamental belief in how God views humanity, for example, shifted as he sensed the delight God experiences in imperfect people. This viewpoint contrasts with the traditional view of God as disapproving of and disappointed in humanity. Noting the sense of shame most gang members internalize, Boyle describes how empowered they begin to feel when they start to see the goodness within themselves as God does.
Though the homies often challenge Boyle’s ability to act toward them with compassion, the unconditional love and acceptance Boyle extends to them is “tattoo … on heart.” In time many learn to extend such compassion to otherseven to former rivals. Within this context, despite ever-present suffering, senseless deaths, and pervasive despair, thousands of gang members have found hope and a sense of kinship that is “bullet-proof.”
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About Tattoos On The Heart
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.
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 Boyles 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.
Father Gregory Boyles sparkling parables about kinship and the sacredness of life are drawn from twenty years working with gangs in LA.
Tattoos On The Heart: The Power Of Boundless Compassion
Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it. Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.
Kinship is what God presses us on to, always hopeful that its time has come.
I dont recognize Lencho when he steps into my office. Though that is the first question he asked. Member me? Truth is, I dont. He is two days fresh out of Corcoran State Prison. He has been locked up for ten years a juvenile tried as an adult. He was fourteen years old when I met him at Central Juvenile Hall. Now at twenty-four, his arms are all sleaved out every inch covered in tattoos. His neck is blackened by the name of his gang stretching from jawbone to collarbone. His head is shaved and covered with alarming tattoos. Most startling of all are two exquisitely etched devils horns planted on his forehead.
He says, You knowIm having a hard time finding a job.
I think, Well, maybe we can put our heads together on this one.
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