Review: The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin, S.J.

Title: The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything
Author: James Martin, S.J.
Publisher: HarperOne
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Paperback, 420 Pages
Published March 2010

Summary: The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by the Revered James Martin, SJ (My Life with the Saints) is a practical spiritual guidebook based on the life and teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Centered around the Ignatian goal of “finding God in all things,” The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything shows us how to manage relationships, money, work, prayer, and decision-making, all while keeping a sense of humor.  Filled with user-friendly examples, humorous stories, and anecdotes from the heroic and inspiring lives of Jesuit saints and average priests and brothers, The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything is sure to appeal to fans of Kathleen Norris, Richard Rohr, Anne Lamott, and other Christian Spiritual writers.

I had to read this book for my summer reading assignment before starting college in the fall, and at first I was definitely weary, because it didn't seem like the kind of book that I would be interested in. (Granted, I'm going to a Jesuit university, so reading a book on how to be a good Jesuit is a pretty good place to start my college career off right.)

I'm going to be attending a seminar given by the author, Father James Martin, once I get to school, so it was pretty interesting to read this book with that thought in the back of my mind, knowing that I'd have the chance to talk to him personally and ask him questions about whatever when I met him. It definitely made me pay attention to the material more, because I wanted to be sure that I'd be able to know what I'm talking about if we happen to have a conversation.

One thing that I really enjoyed with this book was how humorous the author was. Most people see the book's cover and think that it's going to be a boring, dry lecture on how to follow your faith. I found that it was the complete opposite. Father Martin used tons of helpful analogies and [lots of corny] jokes to get his points and ideas across, and aside from giving me a good laugh, I realized that they also did help me relate to and understand what he was trying to say about a particular topic. The use of plenty of humor and lighthearted banter (and no shortage of jokes at a Jesuit's expense) made the book both more enjoyable and much more understandable. 

All in all, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything was a humorous book about using the Jesuit principles for spirituality, friendship and love to just be an all-around better person. I'd definitely recommend it to anybody looking to revamp their lifetstyle and become more of an open, accepting person. Even though I had originally just read this book as part of my summer assignment, I'm walking away from it with tips and skills on how to better myself in regards to my religion, my friendships, my relationships, and just being an overall good student, daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, and citizen. I learned a lot more than I thought I was going to! 

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