Posts Tagged: "Father Gregory Boyle"

And Awe Came Upon Everyone

It’s happening again.

I’m finding myself underlining everything in Father G’s newest book (Barking to the Choir).

The first few pages of chapter 3, “And Awe Came Upon Everyone,” goes like this…

Lately, I’ve been taking a leisurely stroll through the Acts of the Apostles. This section of the New Testament is not only a quaint snapshot of life in the earliest Christian community but also a lesson in how to measure the health in any community at all. When you read Acts through this lens, things start leaping off the page. “See how they love one another.” Not a bad gauge of health. “There was no needy person among them.” A better metric would be hard to find.

There is one line that stopped me in my tracks: “And awe came upon everyone.”

It would seem that, quite possibly, the ultimate measure of health in any community might well reside in our ability to stand in awe at what folks have to carry rather than in judgment at how they carry it.

Homies often say, “I was raised on the streets,” but Monica truly was. Homeless, a gang member, and a survivor, her behavior at Homeboy can often be alarming. She once kicked in our glass front door. On another particularly wild rampage, she went into our kitchen and began to gulp down a purple all-purpose cleaner called Fabuloso. (“Fabulosa” later became her nickname among the homies).

Despite these outbursts, I still hope she’ll get caught… Read More

The Enriques

If you’ve read Father Greg Boyle’s book Tattoos on the Heart, you know he typically travels with some “homies” (guys who are in the program at Homeboy Industries – leaving the life of gangs, drugs, and violence behind in order to build a new life and career). When Father G came to speak at our annual Together Nights in 2015, he brought two homies with him: Enrique and Enrique. The Enriques – as I like to call them.

That’s right. Both guys are named Enrique.

This trip to the Northwest was the first time either man had flown in an airplane. It was the first time either Enrique had been out of Los Angeles. Father G took them out for a day of exploring Seattle.

Father G said the Enriques were… Read More

Lent Day 26… Dirty Laundry

A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. The next morning while eating breakfast, the wife noticed her neighbor hanging out her laundry. She commented:

Those clothes don’t look very clean; maybe she needs better soap.

Her husband looked, but remained silent. For three weeks, every Monday he would hear some version of these same comments. But the following wash day, his wife was surprised to see a nice white wash on the line next door. She commented: “Look, she finally learned how to wash clothes. I wonder who taught her?”

Her husband responded quietly… Read More

Seeing What They Carry

At church the other night, I noticed something happen during our 5pm service…

a family came in late, just after the ushers had finished passing around communion. This family found seats in the back.

I watched as two ushers hustled over to them with communion trays – they wanted to make sure everyone had been served, that everyone had the opportunity to receive the bread and cup.

This pleased me immensely. I was proud of their reaction.

And it struck me: the cup and the bread are tangible. Easily observable. Either people got them or they didn’t.

Of course our ushers want to make sure everyone has at least been given the opportunity to receive them. This is only reasonable. One could scan the room and see who is holding the bread and cup and who is not…

By looking, we can see what they carry—whether their hands contain communion or whether they are empty.

There are also (many) other things we carry that are not so visible, not so obvious, not so easily detectable.

How many people come through our doors – or into our lives – and are carrying… Read More

Jesus as Compañero by Father G

*the painting is “Christ and His Disciples” by Georges Rouault, 1937

Here’s a 90 second video clip of Father G talking about Jesus as compañero.

In it, he explains, “It’s part of our culture as Jesuits to see Jesus as companion, that we’re walking together.”

And this part is so beautiful…

He enters the place where I’m most terrified and He says, “I will be fearless for you.” And He never co-signs on our fear. He never says, “You have every reason to be frightened.” He says, “I’ll be fearless for you. Let’s go.”

That’s why I stay… Read More

About That Book

This past weekend my friends threw a book release party for me. It was fun and full of surprises. I was interviewed about the book, my mom read a selection, and so did I. Everything was perfect – the music, the food, and the decorations. Such a great night!

And the people there were amazing.

I wanted to share just a little bit of the behind the scenes on the… Read More

Things I Dislike About Ministry Pt. 3

“Work it, make it, do it—makes us harder, better, faster, stronger.”            —Kanye West, Stronger

I really do wish ministry was always “Work it, make it, do it—makes us harder, better, faster, stronger,” but the truth is, sometimes it’s also, “Work it, make it, do it—and we still end up with little or no progress at all.”

What I mean is this: the smallness of our actual impact is a discouraging reality.

It’s not always bigger, better, breakthroughs, and bomb-diggityness. Despite our hard work and urgency, we haven’t healed the world (or ourselves, or the individuals in our churches). The actual impact of our efforts is smaller than we’d like. And slower too… Read More