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I almost deleted this book after the first 20 minutes. I had just listened to a purely factual book and expected 'My Life with the Saints' to be similar: a condensed biography of a selection of saints. It seemed too slow and conversational. But then I understood that this was his "life" with the Saints, not a book about the "lives of the Saints". Well it isn't. It interweaves the life of James Martin with lessons and some history of the Saints he selects. To use a cliche, he "makes the Saints come alive". Through the book you see the relevance of these Saints in a modern world, to the poor in Africa, to the homeless, to the student and office workers. There are some who are not canonized Saints - Pedro Arupe for example and Thomas Merton. But what "saintly" lives they led. And then there is the very last chapter. It brings perspective to "sainthood" that I hardly imaged. That was the great tour de force. I listened to the book over about a month to and from work and was excited to see who the next Saint was. I miss Father Martin's conversational style and the people - both Saints and the "ordinary" people he met in his travels. This is a great start if any one wants to visit with the Saints prior to jumping headlong into biographies of individual ones. I hope he writes / records volume 2. By the way, I am not Catholic - but my life was inspired by these men and women through the book.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful
I loved this book because not only do you learn a lot about many saints, the author weaves them into his own autobiographical sketch. He highlights the saints meaning to him during a partcular time in his life. His story is also a testament to the energetic and interesting life a Jesuit leads. This book would be great for everyone, but especially good for someone considering the priesthood or religious life.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I love the way James Martin tells his tale personally. He has a pleasant tone of voice and his delivery is convincing.
His book is both entertaining, spiritually helpful and his journey is fascinating.
Now I want to get a paper copy to be able to ponder a bit more easily. There is material for meditation here.
What did you like best about this story?
The manner in which Saints were shown to be human, with human failings, albeit the difference between them and I is, I don't even have the word!
Which scene did you most enjoy?
The introduction to new saints and more information on saints I was already aware of but whose special grace I did not fully understand.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It invoked positive emotions overall. Some parts did make me laugh, some gave cause for reflection.
Any additional comments?
Having read a number of other books by James Martin S.J., because he is providing his own thought there is a quantity of repetition. Overall this does not detract from the presentation, it still totals 12 and a half hours in the audible format some a little bit of repetition is to be expected. I found the Chapter on Our Lady interesting for the time allowed to it. Considering 120 hours would still not do this area of study or devotion justice, overall a very good job.
As a Catholic I found this book enlightening and every chapter opened up some thing new to help grow my understanding of my faith. Also a glimpse into religious life .