Father James Martin, author of the wonderful new spiritual memoir My Life With the Saints (Loyola Press, March 2006, hardcover, 411 pages) has great news for those of us who may feel that we fall short of the devout role models provided by the saints. By sharing his own spiritual journey, Martin offers the reader an intimate insight into the holy men and women he looks to as inspirational companions. What is refreshing about Martin's book, however, is its "down to earth" look at these revered individuals. Far from portraying them in airbrushed holy card fashion, Martin shows them as individuals with struggles, foibles, and difficulties just like the ones each of us face in our own day to day trials to live as God would have us live.
As a wife and mother, I find myself dually concerned with leading a holy and meaningful life and with setting a good example for my children. Sometimes, in the midst of the eighth load of laundry or the fourth toilet cleaned, it can feel difficult to make the connection between domestic duties and a life of meaningful service.
In my own mind, I frequently encourage myself with thoughts of St. Therese, the Little Flower, and her Little Way.
When I read Fr. Martin's book for the first time, I felt like I was listening to the voice of a friend - here was someone, like me, who found friendship, consolation and encouragement in relating to the lives of the saints.
Martin's saintly compatriots are shared chronologically in the book, in relation to his encounters with them along his own spiritual path. This book is readable, inspirational, and informative. A wonderful compliment to any spiritual library!