Tattoos on the Heart offers a window into the lives of gang members—people most of us likely believe we have little in common with. In the preface, Rev. Boyle says:
“Though this book does not concern itself with solving the gang problem, it does aspire to broaden the parameter of our kinship. It hopes not only to put a human face on the gang member, but to recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables.”
- As you are reading, have you found a story of a particular “homeboy” or “homegirl” that you can relate to or a story that particularly affected you while reading? Why?
- Rev. Boyle quotes a Buddhist tenet that says “we can begin to change the world by first changing how we look at the world.” How has Tattoos on the Heart influenced or changed your views on gangs and gang members?
“Catholic social teaching believes that human beings, created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27), have by their very existence an inherent value, worth, and distinction. This means that God is present in every person, regardless of his or her race, nation, sex, origin, orientation, culture, or economic standing. Catholic Social Teaching asserts that all human beings must see within every person both a reflection of God and a mirror of themselves, and must honor and respect this dignity as a divine gift.’ ~ Daniel Groody, Globalization, Spirituality and Justice
Do we really see ourselves and others as a ‘divine gift’? What difference would this make to our families, relationships, parishes, schools, workplaces and local community?