Tremor Of Bliss: Contemporary Writers on the Saints

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Few stories are as cherished- and as contested-as the lives of the saints: the joyful St. Francis of Assai, the steadfast St. Joseph, the mystical St. Therese of Lisieux. In this book twenty distinguished writers explore the deep and varying responses the saints inspire in us today. Richard Bausch recalls going with Walker Percy to a church named for St. Thomas Aquinas, where they, like the saint, sought to reconcile reason and faith; Tobias Wolff ponders St. Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit missionary whose faithful ...

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Overview

Few stories are as cherished- and as contested-as the lives of the saints: the joyful St. Francis of Assai, the steadfast St. Joseph, the mystical St. Therese of Lisieux. In this book twenty distinguished writers explore the deep and varying responses the saints inspire in us today. Richard Bausch recalls going with Walker Percy to a church named for St. Thomas Aquinas, where they, like the saint, sought to reconcile reason and faith; Tobias Wolff ponders St. Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit missionary whose faithful efforts to spread the Gospel placed him in opposition to Native Americans; Francine Prose celebrates St. Teresa of Avila as a woman whose sense of irony was a virtue as saintly as her prayerfullness. In these eloquent and moving essays, the saints emerge as fascinating paradoxes: like Eliot's St. Thomas a Becket, they have had a "tremor of bliss," but they must fight all-too-mortal battles with despair, social indifference, and harness of heart. By turns historical and personal, contemplative and matter-of-fact, this provocative collection of contemporary writing poses spiritual questions with uncommon intelligence and grace.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151001019
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Saint Francis of Assisi: Il Poverello 1
Saint Catherine of Siena: Catherine Means Pure 16
Saint David, Patron Saint of Wales: A Friend to the Godless 40
Saint Perpetua: Called by Name 56
Saint Thomas Aquinas: Nuns, Prophecies, Communists, the Bomb, the Dread of Angels, Reason, Faith, and the Summa Theologica 74
Saint Robert Bellarmine: A Moderate in a Disputatious Age 92
Saint Ignatius of Loyola: The Pilgrim 111
Saint Teresa of Avila: The Ironic Doctor 147
Saint John of the Cross: Proceed in Darkness 162
Saint Jean de Brebeuf: Second Thoughts on Certainty: Saint Jean de Brebeuf among the Hurons 177
Saint Lazarus: My Left Feet 186
Saint Joseph: A Family Man 199
Saint Thomas, Apostle: Seen and Not Seen 223
The Virgin Martyrs: Between "Point Vierge" and the "Usual Spring" 245
Our Lady of Guadalupe: Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Soup 271
Dorothy Day: The Exemplar 286
Saint Lawrence: The Communion of Saints 303
Notes on Contributors 320
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