Item description for Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints (Christian Classics) by James Martin...
Overview This engaging book will help readers along to the path to discovering who they are meant to be - what Trappist writer and spiritual master Thomas Merton called "your true self." By meditating on person examples from the author's life, as well as reflecting on Merton's inspirational life and writings, as well as stories from the Gospels, and the lives of other holy men and women the reader will see how becoming who you are is a simple path to happiness, peace of mind, and even sanctity.
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Studio: Paulist Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2006
Publisher Paulist Press
Series Hidden Spring
ISBN 158768036X ISBN13 9781587680366
Availability 0 units.
More About James Martin
Martin is Lecturer in Politics at the Queen's University in Belfast.
Reviews - What do customers think about Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints (Christian Classics)?
Life Changing Nov 25, 2008
I feel it was like looking in the refrigerator for the ketchup and yelling "It's not there!" Only when you take a step back, do you really see that it was really in front of you and only when you gave some room, did you see it clearly. This book is exactly that! lol. It was life changing for me, and I wish everyone would read it. I highly recommend it. I really feel this book gave a twist. It helps one to realize and to explore on ones own who they really are, instead of telling you how. It made me think for myself, instead of telling me what to do.
Not one of Martin's best Dec 20, 2007
I'm afraid I have to agree with the reviewer who concludes that this little book isn't one of Martin's better works. I'm a great admirer of his My Life with the Saints (2007), and thought his coming-out memoir, In Good Company: The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience (2000), one of the best spiritual autobiographies of the last quarter century. But Becoming Who You Are is, alas, a bit of fluff.
The Mertonian (actually, it's quite ancient, but Merton made it famous in our day and time) distinction between "true" and "false" self is pretty well known and has been formulated and reformulated time and again. The false self is the persona we present to the world; the true self is who we are before God. We can be just as deceived about our true identity as others around us are deceived. The spiritual journey is to grow into an awareness of true self, because this necessarily means growing into an awareness of God as well.
In exploring the true self/false self distinction, Martin basically culls some quotes from Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and Mother Theresa and intersperses among them autobiographical reflections (these latter are actually what make the book interesting). But nothing new is said.
To be fair, perhaps the book is intended as an absolute primer for absolute beginners (after all, it grew, Martin tells us, from a popular lecture he gave in a NYC church), and so is bound to disappoint readers who have even a passing acquaintance with Merton or Nouwen. But I suspect that it also might be an example of yet one more book the world could've done without, but which the rising reputation of the author made marketable. Whichever the case, the book's back cover enthusiastic endorsements (all by people I immensely admire) seem---well, rather overdone.
Am I somebody--Not Just an old lady with Parkinson's? Nov 16, 2007
Almost 80! When you get to be my age, you need some ideas to get started on your inner journey and Thomas Merton has done that for me for 30 some years. Merton's concept of "the false self" proved to be the starting block for me; the mask I wore was not the physical one of Parkinson's Disease but one I had put on as a young girl who had to be "perfect" in everything. Admitting my sins and mistakes showed me "the false self" and turned out to be a life-giving grace as i shepherded 9 children through their teen years.
The author, James Martin, SJ took Merton's ability to write about his spirituality and, with vignettes from his own life, sent me on the right way. Martin has done a fine job.
Great for discussion Aug 27, 2007
Our scripture group is setting aside a half hour each week before our meetings to discuss each chapter of this book. Several members have already read it once and are eager to read it again so that we can talk about how it applies to each of us. I just can't say enough for Father James Martin--what a great, somewhat new, voice from the Jesuits to the "people in the pews."
great book Jun 12, 2007
great book, author was very honest and revealing about Thomas Merton and others. Only wished the book was longer.