With the help of parishioners and the local business community in Los Angeles, Greg Boyle has worked to build Homeboy Industries into one of the largest, most comprehensive, and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry programs in the United States. In this audio clip, he discusses God’s loving mercy.

[Greg Boyle, SJ] I think this place reminds you that we need a better God than the one we have, you know? Sometimes we settle for this lesser God, this partial God, this puny God, this more realistic God, than the God we actually have. But these folks remind you of the God who we actually have.

[Interviewer] How so?

[Greg Boyle, SJ] Well, you know, because you’ve got people who are a whole lot more than the worse things they’ve ever done. And that God looks at them and says, ‘You’re kin and you belong to me.’ Now society doesn’t say that, and people who are God-fearing and claim God will kind of think that God draws lines when it comes to these folks. And that’s not true. So we’re always doing battle with the God we’ve created in our own image, the God who wants to be exalted and distant and far and praised even, when we’ve got a God who wants to be close and intimate and hold us and be tender. So, that’s kind of important to me. And I’ve learned that here in this place, a community of tenderness. This is a place that will remind you that the highest form of spiritual maturity is tenderness. And the folks who will remind you and teach you how to be tender and kind and gentle aren’t the kind and the gentle. It’s usually the people who test those things in you. And so, that’s what happens around this place, I think.

MORE STORIES

Desmond O’Grady, SJ

LoveDesmond O’Grady is a Jesuit priest who served in many prominent positions throughout Ireland. He was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He shares what living with the disease has taught him and how it has changed the way he lives life. [Interviewer] And that’s the great thing about being open about it. You know, once it’s out there and said, people can then say to you, “This is my name,” or, you know, put it into the conversation in some way so that you know. What is it like being you today in the sense of, do you remember yesterday? Or when you go now from me today, and say, by tonight, will you remember that you’ve done this interview?

VIEW THIS STORY

Ana Maria de Castro Santos

HopeOn one of these visits, we found a young woman with four children who had nothing to eat. The mother was crying and showing us the empty pots. I looked at Anna, and she looked at me. There was a lady nearby selling jackfruit, and we asked the lady for a piece. Anna shared the jackfruit with this family. The young woman was glad because the children ate, and she served the jackfruit with flour. It was a great feast!

VIEW THIS STORY

Eugenie Carmel Gazal

WorkEugenie Carmel Gazal is no stranger to work and struggle. In this brief video, she describes how her mother’s example inspired her to start a second career late in life.

VIEW THIS STORY

Martin Benton

WorkBefore I started making pottery, I had the idea that you had to make a perfect pot. Over time I have come to realize there is no such thing as a perfect pot. There is a relationship between the potter and the clay, and the clay has a mind of its own. You can shape it and bend it to a certain extent. But if you try to mold the clay in a way it doesn’t want to go, it will end up in your lap. [laughs] Pottery is a good teacher. It teaches you patience and how to get centered and not think about anything but doing pottery.

VIEW THIS STORY

Desmond O’Grady, SJ

StruggleDesmond O’Grady is a Jesuit priest who served in many prominent positions throughout Ireland. He was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He shares what living with the disease has taught him and how it has changed the way he lives life.

VIEW THIS STORY

Joe Schneider

LoveI met her on a blind date. One blind date, and we just walked in for life! They talk about love at first sight. Well I’ll tell ya—that was it! She was the girl I didn’t even know I was looking for until I saw her. It was God’s gift. A lot of people say, ‘It was luck.’ But you know, God operates in different ways. I think God sent two people he wanted to keep together because he knew we’d have the glue to stay together. It was a very, very wonderful life.

VIEW THIS STORY