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On April 27, 1934, a little boy was born who grew up to become a vagabond evangelist in patchwork pants fiercely daring us to believe a line too good to be true—God loves you as you are and not as you should be. His name was Brennan Manning. He boldly preached of the love of Jesus vast, unmeasured, boundless, and free. And he always faithfully pointed to a tender, elemental fury that blows where it wills; in a word, grace.
But before the fame of his ragamuffin gospel, Brennan Manning was a son, brother, soldier, journalist, priest, husband, father, and friend. This is that part of the story, a necessary piece of the larger puzzle of grace. These pages tell the story of a man whose name was not always Brennan.
Brennan Manning spent over forty years helping others experience the reality of God’s love and grace. This message was at the heart of everything he did. A recovering alcoholic and former Franciscan priest, his spiritual journey took him down a variety of paths. He taught seminarians, spoke to packed arenas, lived in a cave and labored with the poor in Spain, and ministered to shrimpers in Alabama. Brennan was best known as the author of the contemporary classics, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Abba’s Child, Ruthless Trust, The Importance of Being Foolish, Patched Together, and The Furious Longing of God.