Drawing on lessons learned from Catholic monks and saints as well as his own experience, Stephen Martin has crafted five unique practices to help Catholics and other seekers grapple with life’s truly important questions and discover their calling in the world.
The Messy Quest for Meaning is one of the first books to tap into the wisdom of the Catholic spiritual tradition to help readers discern a vocation that will not only provide them with a livelihood but also just might help save their lives.
Martin first tells of his own struggle to find meaning and purpose in his life and then details the five transforming practices that he learned, over time, from the Trappist monks with whom he studied, interviewed, and prayed:
1. Follow your own desires and discover what really attracts you.
2. Hone in on what matters most to you and channel your passions.
3. Let go through an act of humility and accept where your desires lead instead of where you want to steer yourself.
4. Realise that you are not likely to find or to fulfill your vocation solely by yourself but that you need to find it in community.
5. Journey into the unexplored regions of your community and, even more significantly, your own heart, mind, and soul.
Stephen Martin is a speech writer, journalist, and award-winning essayist. He directs public relations and executive communications for the nonprofit Center for Creative Leadership. Formerly a business and education reporter for several daily newspapers, Martin co-authors a regular column on social innovation and entrepreneurship for the Raleigh News & Observer. His essays have appeared in America, Commonweal, Portland, and onwashingtonpost.com. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He and his wife Dawn and their two children live in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they are members of St. Pius X Catholic Church. He has his own Messy Quest website.