An Outside-the-Box Memoir of Personal Spiritual Transformation
Juan-Lorenzo Hinojosa is today a well-respected Catholic lay leader in the United States, but as a young man he was morally lost until he had a personal mystical experience of God. In fact, Hinojosa still uses the term “Holy Mystery” to reference, in one term, the limits of human concepts, our own reverence, and the real-ness of the holy. At its core, this is a story about vocation, what Frederick Buechner aptly described as “the place where one’s deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger.” Hinojosa’s family and work life did not come to fruition without struggle, wrong turns, and false starts. This is the story of how he learned to discern the call to his true mission in life. He says, “We can experience our call in the form of intuition, synchronicity, circumstances, and felt knowledge. These often are connected to and shaped by our individual religious/spiritual traditions. If we are responsive to the guidance we receive and engage the actual realities of our lives in our response, we will fulfill the potential of our lives.”
This book is co-written with Hinojosa’s adult daughter Raven, who provides the biographical vignettes she has heard from her father over the years to help him tell his story. Father and daughter share a deep appreciation for the spiritual dimension of reality. The structure of the book is somewhat unusual. It has first-person expositions and essays written by Juan-Lorenzo and third-person biographical vignettes about his life recounted here by Raven — the two complementing each other to tell the story of Juan-Lorenzo’s “quest for transformation.”
About the authors
Juan-Lorenzo Hinojosa, a first-generation immigrant from Bolivia, has dedicated his life to service through the worlds of business, education, and ministry. With a Ph.D. in theology focused on Christian spirituality, he has taught at the Oblate School of Theology, St. Edward’s University, the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and Notre Dame University. His entrepreneurial gift has expressed itself in the founding of his own business, a number of ministry training centers and programs, and an international not-for-profit mission organization. Juan-Lorenzo is married, has five children and nine grandchildren, and lives in Evanston, Illinois.
Raven Hinojosa is a healer and a writer with a B.A. in Religious Studies from Tulane University who for a time was an aerialist. She has published numerous articles on Neo-Pagan spiritual practice, metaphysics, and divination. She is co-founder of the wellness company Body Beauty Mojo. This is her first book.
Simple and Deep
Posted by Julie Drew on May 15th 2021
Full Circle, by Juan-Lorenzo Hinojosa and Raven Hinojosa
I read Full Circle in one sitting last night, woke up thinking about it, and then had three conversations about it before lunch: the first with the Director of a mission program that is considering some changes in its formation procedures; the second with my prayer group about what Juan-Lorenzo has to say about privilege and powerlessness; and the third with a friend contemplating a career change. As you might guess, there’s a lot going on in this deceptively simple book.
The author is inspired by the parables in Matthew, and this book reminds me of a parable—simple and deep. Unlike many similar books, it didn’t send me to the dictionary even once. And although Juan-Lorenzo’s personal story is perhaps more extreme in its outlines than average, his insights are very accessible, applicable to anyone who feels called to a spiritual journey,
Interestingly, and I speak as a Catholic woman who is often bitter and angry about hierarchical missteps and blindnesses, Hinojosa doesn’t acknowledge any lines in the sand. He talks about Catholicism “on the margins” as a simple fact of life, and finds fellow travelers who complement and enhance his journey.
Such a book! I recommend it to anyone interested in wisdom from an author who has been able to position his sail so that he can go forward, undeterred by the winds of the distractions and anti-witness that surround us.