In Good Company

PDF EBook by James Martin

EBook Description

I was assigned this book to read for an Intro to World Religions class at my college, so I didn't pick it up voluntarily. In Good Company PDF EBook One could certainly say that I had my doubts at first about reading this novel. Though I don't consider myself a particularly- PDFreligious person, I was raised Catholic and therefore had to attend many years of religious education as a child. My experiences there (and political differences with the church) led me to believe that if I asked curious, intellectual questions, or raised doubts about belief in God, I would be yelled at.Thus, knowing that "In Good Company" was going to be a "Christian" book, I couldn't help but groan inwardly. My professor assigned us part of the novel to read, not the entire text, but before I knew it, I had read extra chapters and suddenly wanted to finish the whole thing! For me, James Martin's novel addressed many of my own doubts and concerns, as well as answering many questions about the lives of religious devotees that many of us would be afraid to ask in person. I think this is a testament to not only Martin's skill as a writer, but also his open-mindedness.

"In Good Company" is Martin's memoir of how he, having started a career as a businessman, decided instead to become a Jesuit priest. But Martin's novel is much more than simply a story of religious belief. Instead, he is able to connect his experiences to much more universal ideas. I think the scene that won me over was Martin's story of meeting, as a young business student, with his college advisor. He mentions his interest in taking an American Poetry course because it sounds like a pleasant diversion from his many economics classes, and his advisor replies that, "when the interviewing time comes, no one will give a shit about how you did in a poetry course" (14). A college student myself, I had a remarkably similar experience last year when my (now former!) advisor asked me "what the hell are you ever going to do with a Russian Literature major?" It is ideas such as these that elevate Martin's novel for me.

Throughout his time in college, and, later, working for GE, Martin questions America's "system". He writes that, "I realized I had achieved most of [my] goals. But those things simply didn’t bring me much satisfaction… what was the point of the work itself? Is this life?” (60). And herein is the universality of Martin's memoir, for I think that everyone has felt this way at some point in his or her life. Martin's answer to the feelings of uselessness in a corporate job is to enter the Jesuits, but he by no means believes that religious experiences like his are the answer for everyone. Instead, he comes to the realization that monetary and spiritual fulfillment are not equivalent. For Martin, the remedy to this problem is to do charitable work— in hospitals in Jamaica and impoverished schools in New York— but for others it could be something entirely different. And throughout the course of his memoir, Martin learns not to judge the corporate world so harshly as he initially did (139). The Jesuits teach him that above all else, we are human beings sharing one world. In Martin's words from the Introduction, "I hope that [this book] helps you... to discover your own path... to learn that you, too, are called to do something special in life, to a unique vocation that God has fashioned for you" (xii). Like this book? Read online this: A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Laura Berman 4 Audio CD Set #2 Good Sex Good Relationships.

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