• The Whole Language

  • The Power of Extravagant Tenderness
  • By: Gregory Boyle
  • Narrated by: Gregory Boyle
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (491 ratings)

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The Whole Language

By: Gregory Boyle
Narrated by: Gregory Boyle
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Publisher's Summary

Gregory Boyle, the beloved Jesuit priest and author of the inspirational bestsellers Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir, returns with a call to witness the transformative power of tenderness, rooted in his lifetime of experience counseling gang members in Los Angeles.

Over the past thirty years, Gregory Boyle has transformed thousands of lives through his work as the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest and most successful gang-intervention program in the world. Boyle’s new book, The Whole Language, follows the acclaimed bestsellers Tattoos on the Heart, hailed as an “astounding literary and spiritual feat” (Publishers Weekly) that is “destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality” (Los Angeles Times), and Barking to the Choir, deemed “a beautiful and important and soul-transporting book” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and declared by Ann Patchett to be “a book that shows what the platitudes of faith look like when they’re put into action.”

In a community struggling to overcome systemic poverty and violence, The Whole Language shows how those at Homeboy Industries fight despair and remain generous, hopeful, and tender. When Saul was thirteen years old, he killed his abusive stepfather in self-defense; after spending twenty-three years in juvenile and adult jail, he enters the Homeboy Industries training and healing programs and embraces their mission. Declaring, “I’ve decided to grow up to be somebody I always needed as a child,” Saul shows tenderness toward the young men in his former shoes, treating them all like his sons and helping them to find their way. Before coming to Homeboy Industries, a young man named Abel was shot thirty-three times, landing him in a coma for six months followed by a year and a half recuperating in the hospital. He now travels on speaking tours with Boyle and gives guided tours around the Homeboy offices. One day a new trainee joins Abel as a shadow, and Abel recognizes him as the young man who had put him in a coma. “You give good tours,” the trainee tells Abel. They both have embarked on a path to wholeness.

Boyle’s moving stories challenge our ideas about God and about people, providing a window into a world filled with fellowship, compassion, and fewer barriers. Bursting with encouragement, humor, and hope, The Whole Language invites us to treat others—and ourselves—with acceptance and tenderness.

©2021 Gregory Boyle. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Whole Language

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Best Book on Loving Others that I've Ever Read

Until maybe a couple months ago, I’d never read anything by Gregory Boyle. It only took a few pages of his story to get me completely hooked. I’ve never read anything that resonated so deeply or called me forward in faith and in love for others.

While this is a book anchored in Christian faith, the author is a mystic, so you’ll find quotes from the Bible, other Christian teachers, as well as Muslim poets and Buddhist teachers to illustrate a point. The theology is sometimes different than what I grew up with (I was raised in what would probably be described as an Evangelical/Fundamental Christian church), so that gave me some things to think about. On some things I immediately agreed with Fr. Boyle’s assessment, and on others, I’m kind of still letting those ideas percolate.

The book is truly about how to love others in a way that means forging a connection with them. Meeting them where they are and opening yourself up to learning from them rather than standing on a high perch thinking you’re there to simply help out or hand out.

It’s been really good reading all three of his books. (My review of his second book, BARKING TO THE CHOIR won’t post until later due to my overbooked calendar). I feel like this is or these are messages that I can’t possibly get enough of. I’m in a situation right now where my family is trying to support another family that’s going through something really rough. And I know how I would have acted in the past. Now, though, I’m acting with the lessons and values in TATTOOS ON THE HEART and THE WHOLE LANGUAGE bouncing around in my head and my heart. It doesn’t mean having no boundaries, but it has changed what I’m hoping to achieve (connection, relationship).

I have all three books as e-books and audio books. I suspect that I’ll be listening through them again going into the holidays. In case it’s not obvious, I absolutely recommend all three books (you don’t have to read them in order) to anyone who’s either a Christian figuring out how to have relationships and craft meaningful community, or anyone interested in the intersection between faith and social justice. If you’re interested in gang recovery programs, you don’t want to miss these books. Homeboy Industries is the largest and most successful gang intervention program in the world.

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Beautiful!

I’m convinced Father Greg is a living saint. Having read his other 2 books, this one was equally, if not more so, amazing. Thank you to all the homies who shared their stories. Thank you Father Greg for this awesome book. The world needs more tenderness. I highly recommend this book, it is definitely uplifting -a restore your faith in humanity kind of book. (The Father Greg audio version is especially great!)

4 people found this helpful

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Boyle's always amazing

I laughed out loud. And my heart was touched. I replayed sections for my friends. I went back and listened again. I wrote down quotes. I've thought about it for days. IMHO, can't get much better than that.

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a life changing and love affirming gospel.

Thank you G and the Homies for the Gospel according to Homeboy. Amazing. Filled with love, jot, wisdom and plenty of concrete takeaways.

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Say it again…and again…I want to live it.

I have hot the 30seconds back button on this book so many, many times. I want to hold each tender thought with full-armed understanding. And then Ive looped back to the start of the chapter — I listen, then listen again, and then again. Not because I don’t “get it”. I do! I just want to live it. There is so much (as G says:) religious malpractice, but I want the whole language of kinship. Thanks G.

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Sad when it ended

I've never laughed and cried quite as much as listening to Gregory Boyle's stories of boundless compassion and the triumph of love and grace over pain and adversity.

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Beautiful book

If you’re having a bad day- listen to this book. Uplifting and heartfelt. Room for all.

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Thankful

Full of amazing, tangible insights about God and our co-humans...inspred, down-to-earth, wonderful , helpful, and beautiful

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love and tenderness

love and tenderness. amazing book, changed my life. wish I understood this unconditional love as a child.

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Wonderful, powerful and entertaining

you will laugh, cry and feel the enlightenment of the amazing
Father G. and the narration just brings it all together. You feel good and empowered to be good after listening. all 3 books are amazing. read them all!!

1 person found this helpful