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2020 ILLUMINATION AWARD: Gold, Spirituality
“Robert Ellsberg has written perhaps the most essential illuminant for these darkening times. This is an indelible meditation on living, breathing holiness. . . . Ellsberg has more than met his hope of making saintliness a participatory endeavor, one open to any and all.”—Barbara Mahany, Chicago Tribune
“The Holy Spirit writes no more Gospels except in our hearts. . . . We, if we are holy, are the paper; our sufferings and our actions are the ink. The workings of the Holy Spirit are his pen, and with it he writes a living gospel.”—Jean Pierre de Caussade, SJ, 18th century
In a number of award-winning books, Robert Ellsberg has reflected on the lives of saints, prophets, and spiritual masters, drawing particular attention to models of holiness that speak to the needs of our time. The message of such figures, as he shows in this new book, is found not only in their writings but in the “text” they wrote with their lives.
Among the particular figures he examines are Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and Flannery O’Connor. He especially holds up the example of holy women, who charted their own path, and those who exemplify a “holiness of the everyday.” In learning how to read the “living gospel” in their stories, he shows how we may learn to read our own lives in the same light.
Robert Ellsberg, Publisher of Orbis Books, is the author of many award-winning books, including All Saints, The Saints’ Guide to Happiness, and Blessed Among Us (based on his daily reflections for Give Us This Day). He has edited the diaries and letters of Dorothy Day, as well as anthologies by Flannery O’Connor, Gandhi, and Pope Francis.