THE SAINTS' GUIDE TO HAPPINESS: Everyday Wisdom from the Lives and Lore of the Saints

Robert Ellsberg, Author . FSG/North Point $23 (221p) ISBN 978-0-374-25353-0

It takes a gifted writer to engage readers in a book of insights from men and women commonly understood to have spent their lives so close to God that they were unusual in almost every way. In this eloquent, seamlessly woven and delightfully readable book, Catholic convert Ellsberg, editor-in-chief of Orbis Books, makes the spiritual struggles and triumphs of sanctified men and women accessible and relevant to believers who grapple with the tension between the desire for earthly pleasure and the call to leave all behind and follow Jesus Christ. Giving this series of life lessons a vivid immediacy is the fact that Ellsberg ranges far and wide in his choice of saintly examples, including some non-Catholics and many modern icons of holiness. In the chapter on learning to suffer, for instance, 14th-century mystic Julian of Norwich and 20th-century Catholic writer Henri Nouwen fittingly illustrate Ellsberg's point that affliction can become an instrument of grace and transfiguration. What unites all the saints, he argues, is their ability and decision to see God's hand at work in the whole composition of their lives. Interwoven with moments of gentle homage to his mentor, Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, this volume suggests to Catholics and other Christian readers the possibility that happiness can come by using the lens of holiness to illumine their lives, both remarkable and ordinary. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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FORMATS
Ebook - 248 pages - 978-1-4299-2424-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-86716-648-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-86716-647-7
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-232-52543-4
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