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Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir

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Learning to Love with the Saints is the inspiring personal witness of how Jean M. Heimann was wooed by Jesus to return to the Church after being raised Catholic and then leaving her faith for fifteen years. In this riveting memoir, Jean tells the story of growing up in the Midwest in a French-Catholic family during the tumultuous times of the sexual revolution, the Vietnam Learning to Love with the Saints is the inspiring personal witness of how Jean M. Heimann was wooed by Jesus to return to the Church after being raised Catholic and then leaving her faith for fifteen years. In this riveting memoir, Jean tells the story of growing up in the Midwest in a French-Catholic family during the tumultuous times of the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War and mass misinterpretation of Vatican II in the Church in the '60s. Jean grew up in a stable home environment with devout, hardworking Catholic parents. As a young adult, she deeply desired adventure and romance and yearned for love; however, she searched for it with unsuitable partners. Her life took some treacherous turns as she entered into marriage with a drug-addicted, abusive man, which was soon followed by divorce, causing her to leave her Catholic faith. Throughout her life, Jean faced numerous sufferings and trials: unemployment, loss, divorce, chronic illness, financial difficulties, and emotional heartaches. In spite of personal and professional accomplishments and successes, she describes feeling empty inside. In this intimate account, Jean shares her fears, her pain and the graces she received from God to rise above her circumstances. She reveals how she came to see her own value in the eyes of God, to surrender to Him and to embrace His tender love and mercy. Jean expertly weaves Pope St. John Paul II’s theology of the body, Scripture passages, brief biographies of the saints, and poignant quotes from the saints into her story to illustrate how the saints served as spiritual guides who interceded for her, resulting in some astonishing miracles. Through all these trials, it was the saints who restored her faith, kept it alive and helped her discover the meaning of true love.


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Learning to Love with the Saints is the inspiring personal witness of how Jean M. Heimann was wooed by Jesus to return to the Church after being raised Catholic and then leaving her faith for fifteen years. In this riveting memoir, Jean tells the story of growing up in the Midwest in a French-Catholic family during the tumultuous times of the sexual revolution, the Vietnam Learning to Love with the Saints is the inspiring personal witness of how Jean M. Heimann was wooed by Jesus to return to the Church after being raised Catholic and then leaving her faith for fifteen years. In this riveting memoir, Jean tells the story of growing up in the Midwest in a French-Catholic family during the tumultuous times of the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War and mass misinterpretation of Vatican II in the Church in the '60s. Jean grew up in a stable home environment with devout, hardworking Catholic parents. As a young adult, she deeply desired adventure and romance and yearned for love; however, she searched for it with unsuitable partners. Her life took some treacherous turns as she entered into marriage with a drug-addicted, abusive man, which was soon followed by divorce, causing her to leave her Catholic faith. Throughout her life, Jean faced numerous sufferings and trials: unemployment, loss, divorce, chronic illness, financial difficulties, and emotional heartaches. In spite of personal and professional accomplishments and successes, she describes feeling empty inside. In this intimate account, Jean shares her fears, her pain and the graces she received from God to rise above her circumstances. She reveals how she came to see her own value in the eyes of God, to surrender to Him and to embrace His tender love and mercy. Jean expertly weaves Pope St. John Paul II’s theology of the body, Scripture passages, brief biographies of the saints, and poignant quotes from the saints into her story to illustrate how the saints served as spiritual guides who interceded for her, resulting in some astonishing miracles. Through all these trials, it was the saints who restored her faith, kept it alive and helped her discover the meaning of true love.

35 review for Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    It's always hard to rate a memoir, especially one about the author's faith, as it is such a personal story and it takes great courage to share those thoughts. I found myself engaged with the story the whole time, I really liked the way that Heimann interwove the stories of several Catholic saints into her narrative, and I thought that she acknowledged and handled well the topic of the fact that sometimes we feel that rules outweigh God's Grace and Love, when in fact the church allows us to recei It's always hard to rate a memoir, especially one about the author's faith, as it is such a personal story and it takes great courage to share those thoughts. I found myself engaged with the story the whole time, I really liked the way that Heimann interwove the stories of several Catholic saints into her narrative, and I thought that she acknowledged and handled well the topic of the fact that sometimes we feel that rules outweigh God's Grace and Love, when in fact the church allows us to receive those gifts through their application. Thinking back on the book makes me smile, and I will be sharing with friends. FDA disclaimer - I won this lovely book through a Blog giveaway, and my copy came from, and is signed by, the author.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Learning to Love with the Saints beautifully illustrates the role of the saints in all of life's joys and challenges. In sharing her life story, Jean Heimann uses the saints' lived example, wisdom, and intercession to shed light on their role in comforting, instructing, and achieving sanctity. Prominent among the saints mentioned are the ever-popular St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) and Pope St. John Paul II, whose long pontificate and Theology of the Body have given the world a beautif Learning to Love with the Saints beautifully illustrates the role of the saints in all of life's joys and challenges. In sharing her life story, Jean Heimann uses the saints' lived example, wisdom, and intercession to shed light on their role in comforting, instructing, and achieving sanctity. Prominent among the saints mentioned are the ever-popular St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) and Pope St. John Paul II, whose long pontificate and Theology of the Body have given the world a beautiful, holistic vision of the meaning of our bodies and sexuality. Because he is among my favorite saints, I greatly appreciated how his wisdom was interwoven with the author's story. Jean Heimann's story alone makes interesting reading. She recounts failed romantic relationships, estrangement from the church, and physical and financial crises, each of which provided yet another opportunity to grow closer to Jesus. Of particular interest to me was the all-too-common misconceptions about divorce that kept her away from the sacraments, her encounter with infamous abortionist "Tiller the Killer," and the grace with which she has endured suffering. I recommend this relatively quick read to anyone interested in learning how we can be strengthened and grow in virtue with the help of our brothers and sisters in heaven, the saints. (The author is a fellow member of the Catholic Writers Guild. I received an advance copy of the book for my honest review.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alice Seidel

    What a most beautiful book on saints making a real difference in our everyday lives. Jean brings this to light in so many ways. "Learning to Love With The Saints" is like nothing I've encountered and you will feel the same way. I love the way the author weaves these precious saints into her life's journey. We as Catholics have these wonderful remembrances of their lives, too, so that we can imitate them in our own hours and days. The Communion of Saints is one of the treasures of the Catholic Ch What a most beautiful book on saints making a real difference in our everyday lives. Jean brings this to light in so many ways. "Learning to Love With The Saints" is like nothing I've encountered and you will feel the same way. I love the way the author weaves these precious saints into her life's journey. We as Catholics have these wonderful remembrances of their lives, too, so that we can imitate them in our own hours and days. The Communion of Saints is one of the treasures of the Catholic Church. I highly recommend "Learning to Love With The Saints" for everyone; especially fallen-away and fervent Catholics, for non-believers and those struggling to make sense of a merciless world. For just about everyone. Jean talks about St. Therese of Lisieux, one of my favorite saints, too. And Pope Saint John Paul II, St. Teresa of Avila, Blessed John Henry Newman, St. Sharbel, Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, and St. John the Evangelist; you will come to know all of them. And you will come to understand that suffering and sacrifice, two notions so little talked of these days, are our ways of walking with God. Written by a woman who has lived her faith, not merely given it lip-service. Someone who has placed her complete trust in Our Lord and has watched the miracles unfold before her. Because it is in the little events made smooth for us, in seemingly unpredictable ways, that are our miracles. And they happen every day. The poignancy which Jean writes about her mother and father will break your heart. You'll laugh at what happens when you read how Jean's father jumps into the air while watching a baseball game, and you'll love the way Jean speaks of her mom as a holy woman. How even in a comatose state she could feel her mom's grasp relax when hearing the Hail Mary's recited by the author. People always ask why if there is a God is there suffering in this world. When you read "Learning to Love With The Saints", you'll get a closer glimpse at redemptive suffering and why and how it is actually beneficial to all our existences. As Jean points out, “we look to the saints who show us how to love through the virtuous lives they have lived and who continue to act as spiritual guides and as intercessors for us on our spiritual journey in this life.” Life is difficult, but with God and the saints on our side we are already winners. And so is this love story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Juneau

    In Learning to Love with the Saints, Jean Heimann's voice is authentic and her words ring true without artifice, enticing the reader to seek intimacy with God for themselves. This book is not an autobiography nor is it a religious essay but rather a unique synthesis of both. Jean Heimann does not simply quote the saints, scripture and the Theology of the Body because the lives of the saints and Catholic spirituality have formed her, becoming part of her inner spirit. As a result, she seamlessly In Learning to Love with the Saints, Jean Heimann's voice is authentic and her words ring true without artifice, enticing the reader to seek intimacy with God for themselves. This book is not an autobiography nor is it a religious essay but rather a unique synthesis of both. Jean Heimann does not simply quote the saints, scripture and the Theology of the Body because the lives of the saints and Catholic spirituality have formed her, becoming part of her inner spirit. As a result, she seamlessly integrates her own life story with quotes as well as personal insights into suffering and the Love of God. It is a gripping read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    After reading descriptions of the book, I expected the book to focus more on the Saints and how they helped the author overcome various obstacles in her life. She does accomplish this towards the end of the book, but reading the beginning left me frustrated and annoyed. I would have liked to have seen the author tie in the quotes at the beginning of the chapters with what was going on in her life at any given time, and how we can ask for the intercession of Saints in those instances.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marge Fenelon

    Starkly honest and soulful. Absolutely a must read for anyone wanting to grow in their faith.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jean

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meggie Daly

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Miller

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Gable

  11. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  12. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kimberley Coover

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Obrien

  17. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Morris

  19. 4 out of 5

    Juliette

  20. 4 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diana Skvorak

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chelene

  24. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joy Yerkie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Krok

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  29. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  31. 5 out of 5

    Lizbeth Hartz

  32. 5 out of 5

    SUVENDRINI HELENA CAMILLE

  33. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  34. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Wright

  35. 4 out of 5

    Pam

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