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Extended Audio Sample Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, by Gregory Boyle Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,010 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gregory Boyle Narrator: Gregory Boyle Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory Boyle created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people could work together and learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration. Tattoos on the Heart is a breathtaking series of parables distilled from his twenty years in the barrio. Arranged by theme and filled with sparkling humor and glowing generosity, these essays offer a stirring look at how full our lives could be if we practiced compassion.

Erudite, down-to-earth, and utterly heartening, these essays about universal kinship and redemption are moving examples of the power of unconditional love in difficult times and the importance of fighting despair. With Gregory Boyle’s guidance, we can recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables and learn to find joy in all of the people around us. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Father Boyle reminds us all that every single child and youth is a part of God’s ‘jurisdiction’—and when they know that we are seeing them as God does, they are capable of great things. Father Boyle is a national treasure.”

    Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund

  • “An astonishing book…about suffering and dignity, death and resurrection, one of my favorite books in years. It is lovely and tough and tender beyond my ability to describe and left me in tears of both sorrow and laughter.”

    Anne Lamott, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A spiritual masterpiece touching the innermost sanctum of the human soul. Boyle approaches each person as a child of God and fully deserving of love and compassion. His capacity to reach the heart of the most hardened, and to see the best in everyone, inspires. I laughed, wept, and underlined on virtually every page.”

    Kerry Kennedy, founder of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights

  • “[An] artful, disquieting, yet surprisingly jubilant memoir…From moving vignettes about gangsters breaking into tears or finding themselves worthy of love and affirmation, to moments of spiritual reflection and sidesplittingly funny banter between him and the homies, Boyle creates a convincing and even joyful treatise on the sacredness of every life.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dewayne Stark | 2/16/2014

    " Having been born in Los Angeles there have always been places to avoid. I left and headed east. Now many decades later I return. Barrio and vatos are around the corner. This book needs to read for a greater understanding. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joanne | 2/3/2014

    " This man is my hero. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ken | 1/19/2014

    " Father Boyle has spent the last 20 years working with youths who wished to leave gangs and build lives. He has spent his time in Boyle Heights in the most gang infested part of Los Angeles which is considered the "gang capital" of the United States. The book has you either in tears or laughing. It is a terrific book with fabulous stories of the lives of the young men and women involved with gangs. There is a gloss of liberal Catholic/Jesuit theology that interweaves these stories that can be a little off-putting for those not religiously inclined, but the overall story drown all of that out. A genuinely great read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Anika | 1/12/2014

    " Trying to get through this book but it jumps around a lot, has a parable or other relation back to the Bible in every chapter, and would be much better if Father Boyle did tell in depth stories about the people, which is what he said he didn't want to do with this book. Couldn't finish it. I really respect his work but the book was just not great. "

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About the Author

Father Gregory Boyle was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1982. He received his Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology and a Sacred Theology Master’s degree from the Jesuit School of Theology. In 1988, he began what would become Homeboy Industries, now located in downtown Los Angeles. He received the California Peace Prize; the “Humanitarian of the Year” Award from Bon Appétit; the Caring Institute’s 2007 Most Caring People Award; and received the 2008 Civic Medal of Honor from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.