A Journey with Jonah
By Paul Murray OP

The book of the prophet Jonah is only two pages long—and Jonah’s prophesying is limited to one short sentence. And yet, around this small book, as if it were around Jonah’s own troubled ship, high waves of controversy and mystery have swirled for centuries. 

In A Journey with Jonah: The Spirituality of Bewilderment, the Irish Dominican scholar Fr. Paul Murray strives to uncover the great lesson of this story of bewilderment. Featuring a 2003 lectio divina on Jonah by then-Cardinal Ratzinger—published here in English for the first time—A Journey with Jonah, like the book of Jonah itself, is a brief but compelling journey into the heart of the spiritual life.
Author: Paul Murray OP
ISBN: 978-1-943243-85-3
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 104
Publisher: Word on Fire Institute
Dimensions: 5 x 7 x .25
Language: English
Release Date: 2021-09-08



Chapter 1 - Obedience to the Word: The Lessons of the Wild Storm

Chapter 2 - In the Belly of Paradox: The Lesson the Great Whale

Chapter 3 - Compassion without Limit: The Lesson of the Wondrous Plant

AFTERWORD - God Took Pity by Joseph Ratzinger

The Book of Jonah

Like the book of Jonah itself, Fr. Paul Murray’s A Journey with Jonah is both terse and profound. In three short chapters Murray masterfully shows his reader—with colorful commentary from Augustine, Buber, Mankowitz, Melville, Merton, and Teresa of Avila—that the conversion of Jonah precedes the conversion of the Gentiles of Nineveh to whom he was preaching, an absolutely essential reminder to anyone working on the frontlines of evangelization that you can’t give what you haven’t first received. A Journey with Jonah is the perfect book for a post-COVID Church, as Fr. Murray inspires us to get out and get moving again in the work of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ

—Fr. Damian J. Ference

Vicar for Evangelization in the Diocese of Cleveland, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Borromeo Seminary

Can you write a lucid guide to bewilderment? Fr. Paul Murray has done so, explaining Jonah with a wide range of references, psychological and spiritual insight, and clarity.

—Rabbi David Wolpe

Max Webb Senior Rabbi

We are so familiar with Jonah’s story that we forget how much truth is there to learn. Paul Murray reacquaints us with this wayward prophet by drawing on literature, art, and commentators from across the Church and from the Jewish tradition. Reading this ‘parable of mercy’ with these myriad lenses, Murray highlights the reader’s participation in this story—that we might become both more merciful toward others and more aware of our vast need of mercy ourselves.

—Jessica Hooten Wilson

Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence, University of Dallas

Fr. Paul Murray’s compelling meditations on the book of Jonah bring to life the depth, beauty, and humor of this extraordinary and brief sacred text. Drawing on an amazing diversity of sources, Murray opens to the reader a stunning array of theological, psychological, and spiritual insights that Jonah has provoked throughout the centuries in authors and artists from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. Far more than a biblical commentary, A Journey with Jonah is a spiritually colorful and visceral exploration of the human flight from God’s severe mercy—a mercy that ultimately triumphs in Jesus Christ.

—Tom Neal

Professor of Spiritual Theology, Notre Dame Seminary