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The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

Written by James Martin

Narrated by James Martin


The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

Written by James Martin

Narrated by James Martin

ratings:
4/5 (109 ratings)
Length:
14 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 12, 2011
ISBN:
9780062109996
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description


St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Society of Jesus (aka the Jesuits), was known for his practical spirituality. The "way of Ignatius" has helped millions of people from the doubtful seeker to the devout believer find freedom, make friends, live simply, work sensibly, fall in love, experience joy, and enter into a relationship with God.




The Ignatian goal of "finding God in all things" means that every part of our lives can lead us to God. The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything shows us how this is possible, with user-friendly examples, humorous stories and anecdotes from the heroic and inspiring lives of Jesuit saints and average priests and brothers, as well as examples from Martin's twenty years as a Jesuit. The traditional wisdom that Jesuits use to help other people in their daily lives is easily applied, but not often explained well to the general public. The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything translates these insights of St. Ignatius for a modern audience and reveals how we can find God?and how God can find us?in the real world of work, love, suffering, decisions, prayer, and friendship.

Publisher:
Released:
Jul 12, 2011
ISBN:
9780062109996
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Rev. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, consultor to the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication, and author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and My Life with the Saints, which Publishers Weekly named one of the best books of 2006. Father Martin is a frequent commentator in the national and international media, having appeared on all the major networks, and in such diverse outlets as The Colbert Report, NPR's Fresh Air, the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.  Before entering the Jesuits in 1988 he graduated from the Wharton School of Business.


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4.1
109 ratings / 164 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Wonderful book, Although I personally learnt some of the things in my own and from other friends, this book helped me to connect all the methods. I think all Christian traditions have similar insights on Spirituality.
    I would thank this author for helping me to understand the quote in a more profound way, "Take God in all things in your life."
  • (2/5)
    I was drawn in at the start but it kind of fizzled put a little mid-book.
  • (3/5)
    I liked this book, but good grief, it irritated me at at times.

    It's set fifty years ago in Italy, and today mostly in Hollywood, with some side trips to points in between.

    It's 1962, and Pasquale Tursi, just twenty-one, has inherited the family inn from his father. It's a tiny, mostly empty inn, in a tiny hint of a village on the Genoa coast. He's also inherited his father's dream of making it into a resort for wealthy American tourists, and he's single-handedly trying to build a beach on the rocky coast by digging out the rocks and bringing in sand. He's chest-deep in water holding one of the rocks when a boat approaches, bringing in a beautiful, blonde, young American actress.

    Dee Moray has just started her film career, working on Cleopatra with the scandalous and exciting Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. She's just been told by a doctor that she has stomach cancer. A young publicist on the movie set, Michael Deane, has arranged for her to go to Switzerland for treatment, and in the meantime, he's send her to Porto Vergogna for rest and quiet, and to wait for the man she expects to join her there.

    In the next chapter, we are in Hollywood fifty years later, and the now legendary producer Michael Deane is not at the peak of his career, but he's making good money. His idealistic young assistant, Claire Silver, dreams of making great movies, but in fact she's working for a man who is, at this stage in his career, making crass but profitable reality tv shows. And once a month is "Wild Pitch Friday," when almost anyone might be coming into Claire's office to pitch almost any kind of idea. And on this particular Friday, at the end of the day when she just wants to leave, two men appear: Shane Wheeler, her last appointment of the day, and an elderly Italian man--Pasquale Tursi. Shane's there to pitch a movie about the Donner party, of cannibalism fame, but his Italian is better than Pasquale's English, and Shane translates for him.

    Fifty years later, Pasquale still has Michael Deane's business card, and he's here, at long last, wanting to find out what happened to Dee Moray, and if possible where she is.

    In alternating chapters, we follow the events of fifty years ago, as Dee, Pasquale, Deane, and others try to make useful decisions in a crisis. There's Dee's personal crisis, which is different than she thinks it is. There are the mafiosi from the nearby, larger, frankly more attractive resort town, who feel Pasquale has stolen a customer from them. Deane is trying to manage the unmanageable Burton and Taylor to keep the scandalous publicity the right kind of scandal to promote the movie rather than kill it.

    I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say that Deane is amazingly self-absorbed and not at all a nice guy.

    And we follow the events in the present day, as Pasquale seeks news of what happened to Dee, Claire tries to find a way to be true to her dreams while making a living, and Shane tries to prove to himself that he has a future in movies.

    We also follow the difficult, struggling career of Pat Bender, Dee's son, and his girlfriend who has realized she just can't fix him, and has to take care of herself and the others who depend on her.

    Pasquale, Dee, Pasquale's American friend Alvis, and a number of others try hard to do the right thing and to make the best decisions they can. Then there are the others, like Deane. Richard Burton has a small role, and tries not to be a total jerk, but if he weren't a scandal-ridden drunk, some of the problems would never arise.

    I've enjoyed a lot of non-linear story-telling, but the jumping around here often seems scattershot. Even allowing for that, a plot is hard to find. I do like the characters, who are well-done, and that's what kept me with the book to the end.

    My taste for literary fiction is limited, and that's part of my problem with this book. If you like literary fiction, you may find more here than I did.

    I bought this book.
  • (4/5)
    This was a perfect - sit on my wicker couch on the porch, ice tea in hand, hot and humid weather - summer read. Pure escapism. Alternating time and places (1960s Italy/present day LA) Jess Walter brings to life a cast of characters that are interconnected with one another and with the beating heartbeat of humanity: their sorrows are our sorrows, their regrets taste like our regrets, their loves as complex as our own. A story as much about the paths in life we choose to take as well as the paths we do not. I couldn't put it down.
  • (4/5)
    Beautiful Ruins begins its intoxicating tale with Pasquale Tursi, a native from Porto Vergogna, a well known town distinguished by its failure and a few upside down morals. Pasquale like his recently deceased father believes in his little village, he sees the potential of the land and its people so against popular thought he stays on his family estate and begins rebuilding and renovating an old hotel in hopes that it will attract American tourists. Attract it does, and the first is a famous Hollywood actress Dee Moray. She winds up staying at the hotel and in the process shares that shes meeting an old friend and also dying. Pasquale riveted by Dee's beauty and the slight pull he feels to help her is obliged to find her friend when he never shows up. Its in pursuit of this "friend" where the story really begins as old Hollywood and various stories collide in a beautiful disaster.Its almost impossible to write a review for this book, due to the feeling that I get for others in order to understand the book you must experience the read. The best way I can describe Beautiful Ruins is interesting magic, interesting due to its story-line and magic due to its incredible transitions and flow between various time frames. Funny, outrageous, sad and heartwarming all at the same time, a novel contemporary lovers will devour and others will appreciate for its exemplary writing and unique presentation.
  • (4/5)
    Beautiful Ruins is a love story set in the a beautiful isolated coastal town of Italy. The story is written very well and goes into the lives of each character that stems from the life of an American actress and a young Italian with big dreams. The story shifts back and forth to Hollywood - Italy and then the Pacific Northwest until finally each struggling character finds meaning and some way to enjoy the small pleasures in their lives. The book moves quickly and keeps your interest and has a certain sophistication that romance novels often lack.
  • (1/5)
    The scenarios in Italy were lovely.Did not care for the Hollywood scenes. gave up.
  • (5/5)
    Maybe the best book I've read in the past two years! This is a beautiful book, and one that is custom-written for book lovers. It's a broad, sweeping story that covers about 50 years and a whole bunch of different parts of the world. It is peopled with wonderful characters that I am sorry to leave now that I've finished the book. It was a totally unexpected read-fest for me even though it had been recommended to me. It is a book that is hard to categorize, and maybe that's a good thing. If you love to read, than read this book. You'll fall in love with all the characters like I did. We're even treated to a couple of real-people - Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and get a glimpse into their tempestuous relationship. But it's the fictional characters that stand out in this book. I will never forget Pasquale or Pat Bender. And a whole host of other characters. It is a book about life and love, and how love endures over many years even though the lovers are separated by continents and oceans. It's a book about growing up, and the hard knocks that life hands out. It's a book about friendships and failed relationships and it's all held together by the love that is between a young Italian man and his American movie star. It's amazing really how Ms. Walters holds this rambling and complex storyline together. I couldn't put it down.
  • (4/5)
    I apologize that I am not up to a lengthier review that perhaps is deserved. But I did want to say that agree with so many reviewers that this was a great audiobook. Further I enjoyed the characters - such a variety and it was fun seeing them as they aged and collided, sometimes unexpectedly, with one another. I will read more from Jess Walter.
  • (5/5)
    This is a superb piece of writing. It is a journey of people,of Dee Moray, a innocent,would be actress, the heartless Hollywood producer held together by plastic surgery and Pasquale, the simple innkeeper of "Adequate View " Inn on the unknown Cinque Terre Island of Italy. There are so many funny lines coming from Pa tand his sad life as a would be rock star / comedian. i loved how Michael Deanne describes himself and then how he is described , the aged baby face megomaniac, don't look too closely everyone is warned. It is a novel rich is humor, pathos, irony and at its heart, still a love story. Loved this book.
  • (4/5)
    "This is what happens when you live in dreams, he thought: you dream this and you dream that and you sleep right through your life."- Jess Walter, "Beautiful Ruins"Jess Walter says "Beautiful Ruins," his break-through novel, was nearly finished before he knew what to call it, or perhaps even what it was all about. Then he came across a magazine article in which actor Richard Burton, then 54, was described as "already a beautiful ruin." And so, after 15 years of struggle, he had his novel, a gem that deserves all the attention it has received since its publication in 2012.Burton was already a minor, yet important, character in the story. He is the reason Dee Moray, a beautiful young American actress with a small part in "Cleopatra," shows up in a tiny Italian coastal village in 1962. She thinks she is dying of cancer. In truth she is pregnant with Burton's baby. Sent by a studio doctor to Switzerland for treatment, actually an abortion, she instead goes to Porto Vergogna. There Pasquale Tursi strives to turn his small hotel into a resort, complete with a cliff-side tennis court, that will appeal to American tourists. When this lovely actress shows up, he is smitten.The novel spans decades, and Walter goes back and forth in time, constantly tossing in seemingly unrelated narratives like a chapter of another novel and a pitch for a screenplay about the Donner party. Somehow it all works, and a reader's patience will be rewarded.Burton is not the novel's only "beautiful ruin." Most of the characters, Dee and Pasquale among them, live lives that fail to equal their dreams. When in the final chapters an aging Pasquale comes to America in search of an aging Dee Moray, by now truly dying of cancer, the ruins of their dreams become quite beautiful.
  • (1/5)
    Trite. Awesome women wait around for their lonely men to be redeemed. The women suffer, labor, are lied to, and commit suicide in hopes it will improve their men. The more I think about it the less I can recommend it.
  • (4/5)
    very fun read. Hollywood meets small Italian fishing village on Cinque Terra. Elizabeth Taylor
  • (2/5)
    I really wanted to like this book. I was disappointed.
  • (5/5)
    This may be the most beautifully written book I've had the pleasure of reading all year! I don't have words enough to describe the wonderful way the author intertwines the lives of all of his characters.

    My favorite passage: "Stories are people. I'm a story, you're a story... your father is a story. Our stories go in every direction, but sometimes, if we're lucky, our stories join into one, an for awhile, we're less alone."
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed the writing and the story of this book. I'm glad I persevered because the chapters switched not only persons but to the past and then present and involved a lot of characters and I would normally quit. But it was for my book group and well worth the effort. The book was about there are screen actors, a novelist, and Pasquale, an innkeeper, who keeps his patrons fed and watered on homemade wine and dreams. Among all the shimmer and hope are the lost souls who long to create something, anything. And just as Jess Walter introduces us to these characters, he follows them for fifty years. The journey will delight and captivate you.
  • (4/5)
    This is a fine book. Multiple stories from multiple people over time converging to tell a coherent story. Not pretentious. it just seems to work. recommend. Listened on Audible.
  • (5/5)
    When I read something like "A literary miracle" on the front cover of a book, I'm both intrigued and wary. Like, what does that even mean? Literary miracle. Well, after having read Beautiful Ruins, I understand.It seems something of a miracle that the Jess Walter was able to create such depth in his stories and his characters in a single book and even in single chapters. The book starts in a tiny village in Italy in 1962, from the perspective of a young hotelier who inherited the hotel when his father passed away. Pasquale, the young hotelier, is excited when his friend Orenzio brings a beautiful young American actress, Dee Moray, to his hotel, for whom Pasquale quickly falls. It was well written and believable.However, after reading the chapter, I was worried that I was not going to really enjoy this one because I was not really in the mood to read another foreign literary masterpiece that is dry and boring and too dense to really care. Not that the first chapter was those things -- I was just concerned that it was going to be given the high praise and where the book started.After another day or two, I picked up the book again and started reading the second chapter. The second chapter is in Hollywood, "recently" (say, around 2010), from the perspective of a young girl (late-20s) who is disillusioned about life, hollywood, and her future. It was fresh and modern and believable. It was not dry, boring, or too dense to really care. Claire is trying to find herself in Hollywood, after landing her dream job as assistnat to the legendary but somewhat washed up Michael Deane, and after landing her dream boyfriend - the gorgeous but stripper-obsessed idiot in her bed, she's realized that the glitter and the glamour are not all they're cracked up to be. With a new job prospect from a small new museum, Clair is considering whether it's time to throw in the towel on film production and cut her losses. When the new museum happens to be primarily funded by the church of scientology, it gives Clair just enough pause to give herself an ultimatum: Either she finds the one film she's been dreaming she would make on Wild Pitch Friday (where the pitches are unlikely to be for glorious masterpieces), or she quits both her job and her boyfriend and takes up the job building the new museum.And then I lost track of the chapters and time as I tore through the rest of the book.The various chapters are told interchangeably from the perspectives of Claire, Pasquale, Michael Deane (even through the memoir his agent told him they could never publish, but which Deane gives to Claire to read), Dee Moray and her son Pat Bender. Each perspective is believable -- the view from a 1962 Italian Pasquale's eyes is just as convincing as the view from a 2010-ish Hollywood Claire's eyes, is just as convincing as the memoir written from Michael Deane explaining the whole "mess." Walter even incorporates famous people and movies -- Liz Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatria -- to add to the realism of the tale, without ever crossing lines into the impossibility (i.e., he did not change any known facts, he just added in details into the pockets and unknowns that could be... who knows... feasible). The perspectives are all over the place, the times are all over the place, the stories are all over the place, -- front to back and back to front, and yet it is a cohesive, believable, perfectly timed story. A miracle. Even more.... he managed to actually tie together all of the characters from the 1940s to 2010, from all over the world, without it being "too convenient." I was so impressed with Walter. It felt like just a series of life events that ultimately brought all of the characters together within one story. But it did not feel forced or contrived. It just felt... natural. Like yeah, that's what happened.And then you find yourself nearing the end of the book. But, oh no, there are too many strings to tie up!! He's going to leave me hanging, I just know it.... ahhh, i hope he at least wraps up ____, and ____. And ___. But how can he! Too few pages.... You keep reading.And he does it. and it feels a little bit like a miracle. Not everything is neat and bowtied, but it's all done just enough to leave the reader at peace. With all of the stories, and all of the different lines, and all of the different characters, resolved just enough to close the book and go to sleep. All is well.A literary miracle. Now I understand...(this and other reviews at AllBookReviewer.blogspot.com)
  • (4/5)
    One of the best novels I've read in a long time. Engaging characters, a plot that moves back and forth across time and space, dazzling good writing.
  • (4/5)
    A really remarkable book. I don't know that I have ever read a novel that included real people, so recently dead, as characters. Every character was fully developed and each had an interesting and wonderful story to tell!
  • (5/5)
    This is a gorgeous book. I LOVE it.
  • (5/5)
    The cover photo led me to believe this was going to be another summer romance set on the beautiful coast of Italy. Instead, Jess Walter gives us two very complex interwoven stories: one set in 1962, at the time the movie Cleopatra was being filmed in Rome, and the other 50 years later. It begins"The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly -- in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier."The central character, Pasquale Tursi is the owner of the Hotel Adequate View in Porto Vergogna Italy. One day, as he is trying to build a tennis court on the cliffs of his small town, he sees a glamorous woman alighting from a small boat and making her way to his villa. Fifty years later, on the other side of the world in Hollywood, Claire Silver, executive assistant to big time, has-been, botox-bloated producer Michael Deane, is considering whether she will ever fulfill her own dream of being a producer when an aging Italian gentleman arrives in her office looking for a long lost movie star.The story moves back and forth between the time periods, and is told from several points of view. There are almost too many characters to track in this broad and sweeping overview of the Cinque Terre region of Italy's Liguorian coast and of Hollywood's impact on each one's life.Each member of this cast of flawed characters is a Beautiful Ruin: from real-life Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (the fictitious adventures here are eminently believable), to Shane Wheeler, a screen-writer wannabe whose rudimentary knowledge of Italian lands him an unexpected role in the adventures. There is a shell-shocked veteran of WW II, Alvis Bender, who wants the simple life- to write a book and spend every summer as the only regular customer of Hotel Adequate View, befriending Pasquale and his lady friend along the way; there are delightful Italian villagers and fisherman; there's an Italian mother and maiden Italian aunt, all living with Pasquo and helping? impeding? his feelings for the beautiful lady.There's Dee Moray, the dying actress herself and her ongoing story of a personality where naivete and spunk combine. There's her son Pat Bender (is Alvis the father?) whose failing musical/poet career gives us a glimpse of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and it's boozy, drug filled underground.The book cover proclaims this as a roller coaster of a novel, and that is exactly the term I would use. Each chapter, going back and forth around the globe and through the years, yields a surprise, adds a layer of complexity (and often another character). It is a book that constantly surprises, delights, dismays, and in the end leaves the rider (reader?) as breathless as one just stepping off a long and dizzying roller coaster ride.It's as spectacular as the scenery that is so well portrayed. The characters are as tragically lush as the scenery is beautiful. The story is complex, well-developed, and written to keep the pages turning. It's much more than a beach read, and one of 2012's best books. If you missed it last year, as I did, be sure to put it in your vacation pile for this year. If you're an audio fan, this is well done by Edoardo Ballerini for Harper Audio. You can close your eyes and imagine yourself on the Riviera.Beautiful Ruins was one of 10 books on the Short List for the Maine Readers Choice Awards for 2012 books. It's definitely one for me to read again.
  • (4/5)
    I was surprised by this book. Beautiful ruins is packaged like a "beach read" and I was expecting something on the light side, but the story really took hold and I was hooked. This story is both simple and complex, a story of what happened in Italy in the 1960s while Cleopatra was filming, and many stories that are connected to that. The plot weaves back and forth from the past to present, from Italy to America, and from the various characters who are all connected in some way. Highly enjoyable read.
  • (4/5)
    When you stop to consider all the topics and story threads thrown into this book, it's a wonder it works at all, but it does.
  • (4/5)
    Dee Moray, a starlet from the Cleopatra filming, arrives Porto Vergogna being hidden away by the studio because of an unanticipated pregnancy resulting from a fling with the film's star. The hotel's owner, a starry-eyed young man, befriends Dee and tries to help her.The story splits into a chronicle of Pasquale's troubles - his mother's death, his romance and finally his search for Dee - and the life that Dee finally made for herself and her son. I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed because I had heard so many good things about this book and it didn't live up to my expectations. It was okay, but not great.
  • (5/5)
    Simply wonderful and probably the best book of 2012.

    Proper review forthcoming.
  • (5/5)
    This is a book I had heard a lot about in terms of its positive reviews and I may have gotten around to it eventually. However, it was available at the library so I took it out and was very glad that I did. It was that wonderful thing that I love best about books, entertaining, well written, and a good story. The characters were good and it was the type of book that makes me want to read more books by the author. I really recommend it although I would not label this a very complex book or deep literature. Just a funny entertaining story that covers 50 years and bounces between Italy and the US. A good read
  • (5/5)


    I love a book that makes me laugh out loud!
  • (4/5)
    The character we meet first in the book is not a major character--which may throw some readers. The character just sets a certain tone and gives us an overall point of view about how the main characters fit together. There are many, many stories wrapped up in this novel. Most of them are beautiful, and some of them are very funny. It's a very creative piece of writing, and helps to see your own life as a story and parts of others stories. Beautiful Ruins is a very satisfying novel, with intriguing themes. Don't wait for a trip to the beach to read it.
  • (3/5)
    I must be missing something here because I've seen this book touted as one of the best books of 2012. For me it was ok, but not earth shattering. It had the elements of an enjoyable read - interesting characters, humor, interesting setting - but somehow it didn't seem to all tie together for me. 3.5 stars, but no huge life changing moments for me.