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Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and… (edition 2006)

by James Martin

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853141,824 (4.45)2
Member:JDHomrighausen
Title:Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints (Christian Classics)
Authors:James Martin
Info:Paulist Press (2006), Paperback, 112 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:finished, finished 2012

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Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton And Other Saints (Christian Classics) by James Martin

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I picked up this book after reading Fr. Martin’s brilliant book, My Life With the Saints. Having taken a seminar on vocation in college, I thought that this book would serve as an inspirational reminder of the importance of listening to the voice of vocation and following the path that one is meant to tread on. Having been exposed to a Jesuit education from high school through graduate school, I knew instantly that this book would be a meditation on becoming who one is meant to be. “Who am I? What do I want to be? Where to I want to go? Where and how am I true to myself?”

This book inspired and disappointed me. I appreciate Fr. Martin’s style of writing–I have long been a fan of his books and his essays in America Magazine and its blog, In All Things. This book is inspiring. Using Merton and Nouwen, Martin shares examples of how both men struggled to find their true selves–who God meant for them to be and what eventually brought them joy, peace, and calm to a restless soul. Martin has a great way of using his own life’s example to demonstrate how Merton and Nouwen helped him on his spiritual/vocational journey. There are a number of sentences and passages in this book that make you stop, think, and reflect on your life.

This book is a book on vocation–not necessarily of the religious kind. But, it is also a book about recognizing God’s love and how that love is manifest in the living of one’s true self. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good and short read on vocation.

No review is complete, however, without expressing what was disappointing about the book. First of all, an not necessarily important, is the fact that the cover is misleading. Mother Teresa is on the cover and she is only mentioned as Merton and Nouwen are the centerpiece of the book. Second, as one reviewer critiqued, there is a little too much biography of and not enough life principles that one can use. It’s understandable that a bio on Merton and Nouwen be provided, but it may have been too much for such a short book.

Taken from my original blog post: http://throughaglassonion.com/2009/11/04/book-review-becoming-who-you-are-insigh... ( )
1 vote angelq82 | Nov 16, 2010 |
Another pure delight by Fr. Martin. Inspiring, thoughful and helpful. ( )
  nsestak | Jul 5, 2010 |
First, I want to thank my mother for "loaning" me the money to buy this book.

For years I have been struggling about becoming a monastic. I take one step forward only to take 2 or sometimes 10 steps backward. I just did not think a zendo or a monastery would take such a "messy" person like me. Then I picked up this book and it affirmed to me that I was not alone. I have made mistakes like Merton and Theresa. It was humbling to know that I am not alone. I recommitted me to pursue a religious life. I want to literally kiss the author for giving me hope once again. ( )
  seki | Aug 28, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 158768036X, Paperback)

By meditating on personal examples from the author's life, as well as reflecting on the inspirational life and writings of Thomas Merton, stories from the Gospels, as well as the lives of other holy men and women (among them, Henri Nouwen, Therese of Lisieux and Pope John XXIII) the reader will see how becoming who you are, and becoming the person that God created, is a simple path to happiness, peace of mind and even sanctity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:42 -0400)

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