49 pages 1 hour read

SJ James Martin

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

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2010

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Key Figures

James Martin, S. J.

Father James Martin, S. J. is a Jesuit priest. He has written many popular books on Catholic subjects, and he is an editor at America, a Jesuit magazine. Martin also frequently travels to give talks about Ignatian spirituality. Martin’s personal presence in the book is strong because he uses his own life experiences to illustrate the things he discusses.

After Martin graduated from college, he worked in corporate finance for several years with General Electric. Feeling unfulfilled, he ultimately decided to enter the Society of Jesus to become a Jesuit. As he explains different elements of Ignatian spirituality, he uses many examples of his own spiritual journey, ranging from his youth all the way through the present. He ends A Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by befriending the reader, saying, “[s]o together you and I are still on the way to being contemplatives in action, to finding God in all things, to seeing God incarnate in the world, and to seeking freedom and detachment” (397). Martin emphasizes at the book’s beginning and at its end that these four qualities are the essential characteristics of Ignatian spirituality.

In discussing the vow of obedience, Martin explains how he almost left the Society when he fell in love.