Fr Boyle's Tattoos on the Heart

Tattoos on the heart is an inspirational story of how one person can make a huge positive impact in the world. Seeing all people as worthy of dingnity, respect, value, and as persons, not just the choices they have made and circumstances of their lives, Father Gregory Boyle with his compasion and desire to help others founded Homebody Industries in 1986. Today the organization serves over 8,000 gang members mostly from the Los Angeles area. Fr Boyle started the organization to provide jobs, get tattoos removed and seek higher education. The organization has helped thousands of gang members find jobs and leave their former lifestyles behind.

In his book father Boyle tells stories of his real life experiences working with rehabilitated gang members. He teaches them about God's unconditional love. Fr. Boyle believed the best way to reach the hearts and minds of homies was through love, hope and compasion, but most of all was faith.

Chapter 1 God, I Guess: The theme for this chapter is God, I Guess and this to me means that God is always reminding us to constantly have faith. We all make good decisions becuase of God's presence in all of us. My favorite story is the story of Cesar who receives some new clothes and worthy of being someones son. This showed me that a small deed can change someones life. If we all cared about one another, the world would be a much happier place.

Chapter 2 Dis-Grace: In this chapter, Fr. Boyle explains that although poverty and the lack of money and material resourcesare hardships, he explains that poverty itself is not the greatest chllenge to overcome for his homies. Father recognized this theme in people's lives and he helped them use these negative feelings and eventually see that they are not a disgrace, and tht God loves us all regardless of the bad choices we make, and that God can take those negative feelings and situations that someone has had and use them to make positive changes in life and grow in faith through those circumstances. I like the story of Speedy and how his life was changed by the stranger who showed him concern and value, and who was able to recognize that he was a good kid and how his life is important to even a stranger. This story reminds us that we all have value, and that we should treat each other with kindness and value, like Jesus taught us. Sometimes when another person recognizes something in

Chapter 3 Compassion: In this chapter, Fr Boyle shows how compasion, and treating people like Jesus taught us. He teaches us tht not shunning them is important. Showing compasion is not only a way to be helpful to others. Treating people with love of Jesus, ihelps people feel connected, valued, and impowered. Fr. Boyle helped his church members grow in compassion when he helped them overlook the unpleasant smell in the church. They focused on doing what Jesus would do, and that change in mindset, would also help them view the smell in a more compassionate way. I like the story Anthony, the homeless teen who wanted to be a mechanic. Boyle connected Anthony with the mechanic who agreed to teach Anthony about mechanics. Anthony's life changed with this commitment to this opportunity, indoor this direction and help from people who took the time to care and to get involved in his life and help connecting to his desireof being a mechanic

Chapter 4 Water ,Oil, Flame: In this chapter, Fr Boyle reflects on the many Baptisms he performed and how many changed lives he has witnessed through his experience working with gang members. He speaks of resilience and overcoming the darkness of negative childhood and life experiences, bynseeing the worth in ourselves, letting Christ's light shine through ourselves to others, and letting our lives and experiences have a positive impact on ourselves and others, and shed "light" in the World. Although this chapter has many inspiring stories, I like the story of Miguel as he shows how transformed his life became as he reached out to others with backgrounds like his own. He overcame the darkness in his life, and was able to invite former enemies into his home, show them compassion, and be a light to them as he was able to recognize the goodness inside himself. Miguel inspires us to live out our Baptis and shines Christ's light into the World.

Chapter 5 Slow Work: In this chapter, Fr. Boyle reminds us that God has a plan, and that we need to trust his slow work. Through his stories, Father shows us that following Jesus' call to follow Him, love and serve one another, and trusting that God will work things for good, takes trusts and patience. God works things in His time, not ours, and we need to stay focused on Him when life is hard. I like how Pedro interpreted his dream of the dark room, flashlight, and light switch. Someone can shownus the light, but it is up to each of us to turn on our own light and allow it to shine. Even through the difficult circumstances of his life, Pedro has this understanding that we all should live.

Chapter 6 Jurisdiction: Fr. Boyle tells the story of Junior and how we are all in each other's jurisdiction, and need to love and help each other, as Jesus calls us to serve each other. We also need to treat each other with respect and kindness because everyone has value and dignity. Father recalls several people, but the story of Clever and Travieso is inspiring to me. These men have been enemies, but were able to work together and get along despite their past. When Travieso is killed, Clever asks how he can be helpful. Somehow the men became friends in their time working together, and they were able to grow into the same "jurisdiction" of looking out for one another. This is an example of loving your enemies, and loving your neighbor, something that is hard todo without the light of Christ.

Chapter 7 Gladness: In this Chapter, Father Boyle talks about experiencing the joy of life that can be found in appreciation of our loved ones, finding interests, pleasure, or connectedness to others and the experiences we have in life and share with others. Father explains that God wants us to have joy in life and appreciate the gifts he has given us, and be reminded of God's love and presence in our lives through those joyful and eye opening experiences and relationships with love ones. The story that stands out most to me in this chapter is father Boyle's story of his own father, and his father's requestto use the pillow that smelled of his wife while he was hospitalized with a brain tumor. Father explains how the comforting smell of his wife gave joy and gladness to his father as he would often put his face into the pillow to smell his wife throughout the day. This story reminds us to appreciate the people, experiences, and gifts that God has blessed us with, and it tells us that God also finds gladness in our appreciation of his gifts.

Chapter 8 Success: In this chapter, father recall stories of homies who have been killed by Kings, and tells of their surviving love ones grief. The theme of these stories is how victims of these tragedies did not react with hatred and vengeance, but with love and forgiveness. These stories of redeeming grace and resilience, rather than retaliation and justification for hatred our success stories of how God's workis completed in people who choose to be light and darkness. There are several inspiring stories in this chapter, but the story of Soledad, a grieving mother stands out to me. Soledad lost two sons to gang violence, who are minding their own business at the times of their deaths. Rather than being angry and seeking revenge on the people responsible for her sons' deaths, Soledad instead showed mercy, compassion, and love for those "enemies" as she prayed for the recovery of one of the related gang members who had been shot himself. Her story shows how God's love can heal and shed light on the world when we let Him into our lives and follow Christ's example of love.

Chapter 9 Kinship: in this chapter, father Boyle reminds us we are all created by God and share a kinship and calling the love and respect one another. Boyle concedes that "kinship remains elusive" (212), but we are all called to compassion and forgiveness, and he reminds us that we need to listen to the needs of others and respond to them with compassion. He tells stories of lives changed and freed from hatred and gang violence, but he reminds us that many people still rush to judgment in disbelief of redemption in many of the stories. This reminds us of the need to see others through the compassionate eyes of Christ, and remember that we all share kinship as children of God. The story of Chico stands out to me.Chico had turned his life around and was working toward the American dream what his life was cut short but gangbangers. It is sad that people judge him by his past, and not by the transformation that he demonstrated.

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