Joan of Arc, Mother Mary MacKillop, Ignatius of Loyola, and Bartolomé de Las Casas. All of these people have one thing in common—they are Catholics whose beliefs caused them to be per-secuted, but who, through the test of time, proved to be figures revered in the Church.
In fact, many of the Catholic figures who intrigue and inspire us are the men and women who found the great strength—personal, spiritual, intellectual—to challenge the Church. Some were called heretics, denounced for denying doctrine. Others were condemned for not submitting to the control of the Church. But they have much to teach us in our own efforts to live out our faith.
It is difficult to know what to do when Church doctrine is at odds with cultural developments. From gay marriage to contraception, stem-cell research to required celibacy for priests, Catholics today are struggling with the conflict between tradition and the Church's need to come to terms with modernity. In Not Less Than Everything, some of the best Catholic writers of our time, including Alice McDermott, Ron Hansen, Mary Gordon, Tobias Wolff, and Ann Patchett, share their personal accounts of people who have influenced the way they view the intersection of faith and culture. Not Less Than Everything is a riveting exploration of how to face the challenge of living our faith in the real and messy world.
Catherine Wolff is the former director of the Arrupe Center for Community-Based Learning at Santa Clara University. She is married to author Tobias Wolff. They have three grown children and live in Stanford, California.
This important book is essential reading for Catholics. It is a timely reminder that, quite often in the Church, the excluded become the embraced, the silenced become the prophets, the excommunicated become the saints, and the stones that the builders rejected become the cornerstones.
-James Martin, S.J.
What a beautiful experience I had, reading this book. It is deeply personal and engaging, and also full of what I call knowledge-bearing sentences. You will be entertained, believe me, and all the while, too. you will be learning something new, page by graceful page.
This compilation of heroines and heroes shines light in our challenging time as we search for fidelity that is deeper than blind obedience.
-Simone Campbell, S.S.S.
The Church is suffering from a crisis of dissent. Its flourishing will depend on whether it dares to live this fruitfully rather than by the fearful suppression of awkward voices. This fascinating collection shows us how brave men and women have lived these tensions through the centuries. All these voices need to be heard if we are to become a Church that is unafraid of debate.
-Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.
Pure gold! This book could move all of our lives to a much higher level 0f eolxsciousness where some have already had the courage to go.
-Richard Rohr, O.F.M.