Letters from Saints to Sinners

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This inspiring, moving, and often amusing volume contains two hundred letters from, for the most part, canonized or beatified saints of the Roman Catholic Church, but also from men and women whose lives are less officially recognized as exemplary. The Introduction describes the principles governing choice and the main varieties of saintliness - which does not exclude humor, severity, testiness, anecdotal ability.... All the letters are revealing or instructional works in their own right, offering matter for ...
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Overview

This inspiring, moving, and often amusing volume contains two hundred letters from, for the most part, canonized or beatified saints of the Roman Catholic Church, but also from men and women whose lives are less officially recognized as exemplary. The Introduction describes the principles governing choice and the main varieties of saintliness - which does not exclude humor, severity, testiness, anecdotal ability.... All the letters are revealing or instructional works in their own right, offering matter for meditation, healing reflection and sheer enjoyment. They are grouped thematically, with short prefatory and biographical notes referring to their historical context. The book can be read from beginning to end, or selectively according to topic, or by reference to individual letter-writers. The "sinners" of the title are such in the sense that until one has become a saint, one may be taken to be a sinner. They may be close members of the saint's family, religious superiors or inferiors, monarchs, politicians and even popes. Some of the letters are fiercely corrective, sometimes they are full of the joys - or trials - of holiness. They analyze the age, great historical events, or private matters of the heart. The book thus provides a source for exploring the nature of saintliness across the centuries. It is also a manual of comfort, advice, and entertainment. The courage, compassion, hope, determination, faith, love, and apostolic spirit of the writers speak to us now in ordinary circumstances and at the moral crossroads of our lives. The saints chosen include such pre-eminent letter-writers as Bernard of Clairvaux, Teresa of Avila, and Thomas More, and a host of others as diverse as Maximilian Kolbe, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Charles de Foucauld, John Donne, Charles Wesley, Simone Weil, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824515607
  • Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Pages: 287
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.27 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 9
1 Childhood and Youth 19
2 Prayer and the Spiritual Life 33
3 Self-Examination and Good Conduct 57
4 Comfort and Encouragement 81
5 Enthusiasm, Zeal and Scruples 93
6 Charity, Mercy and Compassion 107
7 Loyalty, Honour and Justice 121
8 Love, Marriage and Family 147
9 Religious Life and Church Behaviour 167
10 True Belief and True Religion 205
11 Persecution, Torture and Imprisonment 227
12 Suffering, Death and Beyond 247
Biographical Notes 261
Sources and Further Reading 279
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