Book review: My Life With the Saints

Book review by The Movie Snob

My Life With the Saints, by James Martin, S.J. (2006). No, this is not a first-person account by a member of the NFL team from New Orleans. Martin is a Jesuit priest who has written a series of vignettes about various saints and what they have meant to him on his own spiritual journey. I started this book while traveling in Italy and finished it after I got back, but that was a couple of weeks ago, and I just haven’t been inclined to review it. On the plus side, it has some interesting stories about the 16 “saints” it covers. And yet . . . I just didn’t care for it. For one, I am pretty sure that not all of the people Martin talks about are actually Catholic saints. Like Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, and Pedro Arrupe. Maybe I’m wrong about that. For another, Martin’s stories about how these saints were relevant to him kind of bug me. And for yet another, it bugs me that his stories bug me, because he has undeniably done some incredible stuff — washing the poor with Mother Teresa’s nuns in Jamaica, working with gang members in Chicago, working with refugees in Kenya. So I feel bad that I don’t particularly like his writing about himself. But I just don’t. The book has won some awards, though, so maybe it will reach you in a way that it did not reach me.

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