Brennan Manning who has been called "a vagabond evangelist" spent forty years of his life affirming the glorious bounties and beauty of grace, the unconditional love of God. He is the author of 15 books. In this wide-ranging memoir, Manning begins with his unhappy Irish-Catholic childhood in a lower-class family in Brooklyn. His unloving mother shamed him regularly and his alcoholic father wasn't there for him either. The only one who offered any encouragement was his grandmother.
At Catholic school Manning discovered a gift for writing but he became a Marine before going to the University of Missouri where he intended to major in journalism. But a mystical experience led him to a Franciscan seminary. Afterwards, Manning joined the Little Brothers of Jesus in Spain where he worked with the poor; he learned that walking the faith day-by-day was far more fulfilling than talking about the faith.
Manning returned home to work in campus ministry but spent a lot of time in and out of rehab due to alcoholism. He left the priesthood in 1981 to marry. His writing, many speaking engagements, and drinking eventually put an end to his marriage. The author salutes the camaraderie he found in male friends, mostly evangelicals, who were called the "Notorious Sinners."
Through all his spiritual adventures Manning has been cognizant of God's presence:
"I have written about experiences with the straight-no-chaser grace of God, battered by wave upon wave of His tender fury. I have also experienced just as many, if not more, moments where Abba's love was mediated, grace via the cloud of witnesses who have cast shadows on my bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out life. I have tried to honor those lives in this book. But either way all is well, grace is grace."