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4.6 out of 5 stars57
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 August 2015
As I belong to a group who follow the spiritual exercises of st Ignatius I found it helpful. As I have not being doing long. The English Jesuits have a web site called pray as you go Which is also helpful to people instead in st Ignatius.
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on 12 January 2015
Highly recommend this book. It is not just for Catholics but for people of any faith and none as it really does open up new ways of thinking. Fr James Martin is a superb author, his writing is neither a technical overload or condescending. A must read.
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on 2 November 2012
James Martin's book on Jesuit spirituality is a well written resume of the ideas and aims of the order.
Jesuits are sometimes liked , sometimes hated and sometimes feared within the Church and outside. This book gives an understanding of the manner and direction of the pattern of thought that has led to the success of the Jesuit order throughout the world. Many of the ideas stemming from Ignatian spirituality would be comfortable within the current school of cognitive psychology and the concepts of written consideration of alternatives and their analysis is widely used in current therapeutics. History shows that the Jesuits used these ideas long before the modern era.
Written from a personal perspective the book is an engaging , informative and extremely helpful guide to an education in an elite and powerful order within the Church . Thoroughly recommended.
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on 4 August 2015
Whilst it is good to feel positive self esteem about one's calling, I could not help feeling that there is a strong sense of egotistical motivation behind writing this book. Sadly there is a lack of humility which is not reflective of the genuine roots of this great Society
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on 9 December 2010
This very lucid and enjoyable book, which includes several "laugh out loud" moments, is a superb introduction to an approach to life which is at once practical and deeply contemplative. Much has been written about St Ignatius opf Loyola, the Jesuits and their approach to spirituality. However, I doubt there has ever been a clearer and more down-to-earth account, at full book length, than this volume. It quotes many of the other great works on Ignatian sprirutality anyway, so acts as a good gateway to the wider literature. I was already familiar with quite a few elements of Ignatian spirituality; this book filled in a lot of gaps and gave me a far deeper appreciation of all the major aspects. I particularly commend the exposé on "The Examen" - a daily exercise of counting your blessings and identifying where God was active in your life each day - as well as where you turned a blind eye or deaf ear to his presence. I've pasted the summary of the Examen from Fr Martin's book on my bedroom wall and using it has already greatly improved my gratitude for the here and now. I highly recommend this book to anyone remotely interested in what are, without wishing to sound morbid, truly matters of life and death - of a life well lived and well examined, and a death enfolded in hope.
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on 2 June 2011
The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

When I ordered this book I did not quite know what to expect. It was listed as a New York Times Bestseller, and sadly bestsellers on the topic of spirituality I have often found to be deadeningly superficial. However I was in for a surprise with this book, to an extent that I could hardly put it down. Just try to read the original text of Saint Ignatius Loyola's "Spiritual Exercises" and as Father Martin puts it in another context; snooze. However what Father Martin has achieved is to bring not only the Spiritual Exercises, but indeed the whole field of Ignatian Spirituality vividly to life. Further he has also managed this challenging task with both humour and deeply imbued humanity. Father Martin must be a wonderful person to know and what comes across is a very human person, with flaws very much like our own, but who through his twenty years as a Jesuit has learned to recognise God's presence and activity in every area of his life. But it must be said that this is not simply a book to be read, but rather one to be experienced and experimented with. Speaking personally, I believe that this book for me has been life-changing insofar as it has transformed my way of praying. I have no reservations in recommending this book and if you do read it, I hope that you will find it as enriching and life enhancing for you as it has been for me. This is a book to be read and re-read, and with each re-reading I suspect that deeper layers of meaning will emerge. I believe that this book will become a spiritual classic.
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I first became aware of this book when it was featured on some television talk show I had been watching. I must admit at first I was disappointed because I thought it was going to be a much lighter read perhaps even a humorous account of some religious blunders a certain religious order had been found guilty of. On the contrary, I found the book to be very thoughful in nature, deep and philosophical. At first it intrigued me intellectually. Father Martin begins by informing the reader how the Catholic religious order of the Jesuits was founded by a recuperating soldier (Inigo de Loyola) in mid-sixteenth century Spain. Inigo, whose name in Latin is Ignatius, was ordained in 1537 and founded the Society of Jesus, officially approved by Pope Paul III, in 1540. What I personally liked was that although Ignatius "counseled the Jesuits always to carve out time for prayer, they were expected to lead active lives...they were to be active people who adopted a contemplative, or meditative stance to the world. The "contemplative in action", according to St. Ignatius Loyola, "not only contemplates the active world and sees wonderful things but also sees in those wonderful things signs of God's presence and activity. The contemplative in action is deeply aware of God's presence even in the midst of a busy life. It is a stance of awareness. Awareness of God."

The more I read this book the more I liked it. My favorite chapters, for instance, Chapters Twelve "What Should I Do? The Ignatian Way of Making Decisions" and Thirteen "Be Who You Is! Work, Job, Career, Vacation...and Life." were in the second half of the book.

Father Martin has a remarkable ability to reach others through his writing in a most compassionate and understanding way. I truly believe this is a gift he received from God. He left me with much to think about in my own journey. When you find yourself over 50, with advanced education, many years of experience and still not able to find a job after three years of unemployment, you start to wonder what purpose do you have. I realize however I am not alone in this. There are many out there just like me. I do feel, however, that deep prayer and meditation, keeping our faith in God, realizing he has a purpose for each and every one of us is the key. As Father Martin pointed out we all have gifts that come from God and prayer helps us connect with him to find the best ways of using them. I am left therefore feeling truly inspired and uplifed by Father Martin's writing. I strongly recommend this book to both Catholic and non Catholic alike.
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on 30 May 2014
This is an excellent introduction to Jesuit spirituality and beautifully written by James Martin.The only thing for me is the book isn't deep enough , but it has given me the desire to find out more about the Jesuits and Catholic Philosophy in general.Well worth buying.
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on 6 May 2012
If you are looking for a genuinely instructive and thought provoking guide to your spiritual life, I believe that it would be difficult to better this book by James Martin SJ. It is not a 'get spiritually rich quick' guide but a straightforward , modern introduction to the spiritual exercises of St Ignatious of Loyolla. Although, it is based on the Christian, and specifically the Roman Catholic, tradition people of all faiths or none should find value in reading this book. It may change your life for the better in a way that will last.
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on 10 March 2013
This is an excellent introduction to Ignatius and his spirituality. The only reason it does not get five stars as I think the author is a bit muddled as to whom he is writing for. Is iot peoplewithout faith or those well into it. I belong to the latter category and enjoyed it very much indeed and have given quite a number as gifts
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