Book Review: “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion” by Gregory Boyle

by Carolyn Bircher, Secretary of Program Resources

No matter where people live or what their circumstances may be, everyone needs boundless, restorative love.  Tattoos on the Heart amply demonstrates the impact unconditional love can have on a life.  As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory Boyle created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people could work together and learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration.

Tattoos on the Heart includes stories distilled from Boyle’s 20 years of ministry.  In each chapter, we benefit from Boyle’s wonderful, hard-earned wisdom. Inspired by faith, these personal, unflinching stories are full of surprising revelations and observations of the community in which Boyle works and of the many lives he has helped save.  With Gregory Boyle’s guidance, we can recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables and learn to find joy in all of the people around us.

This book is included in the “Nurturing for Community” category in the recently-expanded 2021-22 UMW Reading Program list.  It is available from most public libraries.