Tattoos on the Heart Gregory Bole

"This day... with me... paradise." - Luke 23:43

Preface and Introduction: Gregory Boyle, a Catholic priest and founder of Homeboy Industries in LA tells us about his ministry in the "gang capital of the world." It takes him more than a decade to write this book of boundless compassion. He introduces the character Sharkey to us. He tells Sharkey that he is bettter than the "bravery" of his past and he his giant among men. Sharkey responds "Damn G... I'm gonna tatto that on my heart." I learned that if we invest our time in those who we think are lesser rather than try to get rid of them we might learn Gods love.

Chapter 1 -God I Guess: Father Boyle confesses that the whole book is about God. A new character Rascal who never takes advice finally does. He tells Father Boyle he's going to take the advice and let it marinate in his heart.I learned that God is the center of everything and is always greater. He loves without measure and without regret.

Chapter 2-Dis-Grace: The theme for this chapter is accepting humility. Simone Weil was right when he said, "Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world, but people capable of giving them their attention." This quote shows how acepting failure and understand how important you are. Lula is a ten year old boy who wins 5 dollars by answering a question correctly. He just showed Father Boyle how proud he was having 0 absences, even though he had all F's. I learned how important it is to be known and acknowledged even though you have failed in the past.

Chapter 3- Compassion. Unconditional love is a common theme. God is Love. Betito is a young precious boy who brings energy into the office. One day he is at a park when two gang members open fire, but he freezes. He lays in the ICU paralyzed for two hours before his heart gives up. I learned that everyone is the Real Deal and that we should pray for and love those who even do us wrong.

Chapter 4- Water, Oil, Flame: The theme is community. Baptism is more than pouring water on someone's head. Cisco, George's brother gets shot the night before his baptism. After Father Boyle baptized George he bears the bad news. George's grief is pure like God's heartbreak. I learned that Baptism isn't just a promise to yourself but to God and the community.

Emily Dickinson writes, "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, that sings the song without the words and never stops at all."
Chapter 5- Slow Work: I learned a common theme of hope. Pedro shares his dream to Father Boyle. In the darkness he knows he is the only one who can turn on the light. After he turns on the light we begins to weep because his brother could never find the light. Hope is the slow work of Bod, that we must trust.

Chapter 6- Jurisdiction: In this chapter the theme is belonging. Father Boyle, Cheppe, and Richie go to Coco's, a notch above Denny's. Everyone is appalled by seeing the homies and makes it clear they are outsiders. The waitress, unlike anyone else, treated them like a person with dignity. I learned that I need to open my eyes because everyone belongs,

Chapter 7- Gladness: The theme of delight best said by Leo Rock, "God created us bevause He thought we'd enjoy it." When we meet Moreno he is a very troubled teen. He eventually goes to prison. One day Father Boyle calls him and Moreno shares how excited he is to "digest a frog." I learned how there are many small delights in life I just have to be open to them.

Chapter 8- Sucess: Surrendering is a common theme. Scrappy who was mentioned in the first chapter appears again. He was killed while covering up graffiti. He left the gang and let Hod take over his actions. Taking on a task you surrender your own expectations and allow it to be God's will.

Chapter 9- Kinship: The theme of this chapter is celebrating the curse of compassion. The goal is not to just serve others but to be with them.

Created By
Kiki Wells

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