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In his new book, Saints As They Really Are, priest and scholar Michael Plekon traces the spiritual journeys of several American Christians, using their memoirs and other writings. These “saints-in-the-making” show all their doubts and imperfections as they reflect on their search for God and their efforts to lead holy lives. They are gifted yet ordinary women and men trying to follow Christ within their flawed and broken humanity—“saints as they really are,” as Dorothy Day put it. Saints As They Really Are is the third book in Plekon’s critically acclaimed series on saints and holiness in our time. He draws on the autobiographical work of Dorothy Day, Peter Berger, Thomas Merton, Kathleen Norris, and Barbara Brown Taylor, among others, as well as from his own experiences as a Carmelite seminarian and brother. Plekon shares the power of these individuals’ stories as they unfold. The book offers a strong argument that our failings and weaknesses are not disqualifications to holiness. Plekon further confronts the institutional church and its relationship to individuals seeking God, focusing on some of the challenges to this search—the destructive potential of religion and religious institutions, as well as our personal tendencies to extremism, overwork, pious obsessions, and legalism. But he also underscores the healing qualities of faith and the spiritual life. Plekon's insights will help readers better understand their own spiritual pilgrimages as they learn how others have dealt with the trials and joys of their path to everyday holiness.
|Publisher:||University of Notre Dame Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||4 MB|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction: Real Live Saints 1
1 Bringing Saints down from the Walls and Pedestals 15
2 Messy Lives, Imperfect People 41
3 Dangerous Faith: Religion as Toxic, Destructive, Pathological 65
4 Holiness and the Search for Joy 91
5 "You want to be happy?" My Carmelite Years 105
6 Conversion and Community: Searching for Love in All the Wrong Places and Finding It Nonetheless 151
7 God Is Everywhere 171
8 Transformation in Faith and Work, Liturgy and Life, the Church and the World 195
9 "The Church has left the building": Belonging to the Christian Community in the Twenty-first Century 221