I finished Tattoos on the Heart, The Power of Boundless Compassion over a week ago. The reason it took so long to review it is because I was trying to let it all sink in. It is an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. I was reaching for a kleenex ten pages into the introduction and laughing outloud the next page.
First a little background information on the author. Who by the way is an inspiration and a hero not only to many but after reading his book and a little internet research, to myself.
Father Gregory Boyle has spent most of his life working with gangs in Los Angeles. Here is a quick link to what he help create: http://homeboyindustries.org/. G as the homies have come to call him not only becomes a Priest but a friend, a boss, a teacher and in some cases a family member to the ones that he helps.
In Tattoos, Father Boyle shares some stories of his life, the time he spent in Bolivia but central is his work in Los Angeles with gangs and God. It is not an autobiography but more like stories that show compassion, forgiveness, fighting trough despair, kinship, love and faith. Not all of the stories have happy endings. Not at all. Since he started Homeboy Industries, Father Boyle has buried 168 of his homies.
It is not a big book but it has a big impact. My recommendation: Read it.
“Close both eyes see with the other one. Then we are no longer saddled by the burden of our persistent judgments our ceaseless withholding our constant exclusion. Our sphere has widened and we find ourselves quite unexpectedly in a new expansive location in a place of endless acceptance and infinite love.”
― Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion