A Life in the Spirit chronicles beloved author and speaker Ralph Martin’s journey from the early days of the Catholic charismatic renewal to become one of the most courageous voices defending the truth of the Gospel during an age of dissension and disbelief.

In this memoir, Ralph Martin shares how he was initially drawn to make a radical commitment to Jesus Christ and, as that commitment deepened, how he entered more fully into the spiritual tradition of the Church and advanced theological studies that grounded his work of fundamental Catholic renewal within the solid tradition of Catholic teaching.

Martin’s writing, speaking, and evangelization efforts—particularly through the international apostolate he founded, Renewal Ministries, and his teaching at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit—are detailed in Life in the Spirit and offer to all readers a remarkable witness to the relevance and urgency of the Gospel.

A Life in the Spirit recounts not only Martin’s struggle to remain faithful to his commitment to Christ through obstacles and opposition, but also includes beautiful reflections on family life and remarkable experiences with the likes of Pope St. John Paul II, Mother Angelica, and many others.

Movingly personal yet highly engaging, A Life in the Spirit presents a unique snapshot of ​some of the most critical moments in recent Church history—and a glimpse into the soul of one man whose life and mission have been surrendered to God through them all.


Ralph Martin is the president of Renewal Ministries. He serves as the Director of Graduate Theology Programs in Evangelization and a professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Angelicum in Rome. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Martin as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and a peritus for the Synod on the New Evangelization which was held in Rome in 2012. Martin is the author of the bestselling The Fulfillment of All Desire, A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, and many other books. He and his wife Anne reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan and are the parents of six and grandparents of nineteen.​


“Ralph Martin’s teachings have had a profound impact on my life and my thought. The Church has a lot to be grateful for in the way that Martin has consistently and passionately presented the Faith for so many years. Not only has his teaching been intellectually powerful, but the moral authority with which he teaches is born of a life of integrity and transformation by the Spirit. It is a gift to read more about his life and ministry. A Life in the Spirit provides an insight into Martin’s life, but even more into the way God can work in the life of someone so fully surrendered to the will of God.”

Fr. Mike Schmitz, Host of The Bible in a Year podcast


“A remarkable account of an ordinary life that became extraordinary by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a radical, ongoing personal yes to the Spirit’s leadings. Ralph Martin is known worldwide for his many decades of deep commitment to the truth of the Gospel. Like Augustine’s Confessions, this memoir gives us a glimpse into his inner life in a spirit of humble amazement at the grace and mercy of God.”

Mary Healy, Biblical scholar and professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary


“Few have had the unique vantage point of Ralph Martin. He has witnessed crisis, upheaval, and radical renewal in the life of the Church over the last eighty years. He has worked beside some of the Church’s brightest lights. To understand his story is to understand the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit in these times.”

Scott Hahn, Founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Studies


“Ralph Martin’s Life in the Spirit stretches far beyond a memoir in its fascinating appeal. He captures so very well in his fast-paced account the turbulence of the post-Vatican period, the spiritual excitement of a deeper discovery of God in the charismatic movement, and the riches of a contemplative spirituality influenced by the great Carmelite saints. He is a master teacher for our time and this book is a wonderful entry into a greater knowledge of this prayerful man of God and his contribution to the Church in our day.”

Fr. Donald Haggerty, Author of Conversion: Spiritual Insights Into an Essential Encounter with God


““Ralph Martin has lived a life guided by the Spirit and has done much to draw people into Christ’s redeeming love. I recommend this memorable and encouraging memoir!””

Curtis Martin, Founder and president of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS)


A Life in the Spirit is an engaging read spanning decades and traversing continents, but even more so it brings the reader through the familiar yet foreign terrain of the interior life of another’s soul. This is a love story of simple but profound proportions, presented with the humility that comes with a long life, lived seeking to fulfill the Lord’s will. It is practical, edifying, and quietly moving—a deep and eminently worthwhile read.”

Noelle Mering, Author of Awake, Not Woke and the Theology of Home book series


“This sincere and humble memoir reads like an omnibus on the unwavering manner in which a man infused by the Spirit does his best to serve God for the entirety of his life. As you read, you might see Martin emerge as I did: as one on fire to serve God and willing to suffer, endure persecution, and lonely nights to travel the world to proclaim Christ—not unlike St Paul. When Martin was flooded by the furnace of God’s love and light in the 1960s, he could not have known that that same love and light would move into numberless millions of souls because of his holy, apostolic, and prophetic work.”

Kevin Wells, Speaker and author of The Priests We Need to Save the Church


“This fascinating memoir moved me to tears several times as Ralph witnessed to the miraculous and divine power of the Holy Spirit at work in his life and the life of the Church. His personal stories not only model faithfulness to Jesus and the proclamation of truth but are an inspiration to open one’s own heart to the power of the Holy Spirit and abandonment to Divine Providence.”

Heather Khym, Cohost of the Abiding Together podcast

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