Deep in the heart of every person there is a longing for happiness. But what is happiness, and how might we find it?
Countless books send us searching for the answer in a wide variety of different places: through personal relationships, career success, physical fitness, beauty, weight, diet and the like. Robert Ellsberg suggests that we begin somewhere else: with our selves, exactly as we are and where we are, in the midst of our everyday life.
He shows how happiness is found not through the struggle to escape from this life into another one but in the way we deal with the basic things - work, love, suffering, and death.
Ellsberg draws inspiration from the great figures in the Christian tradition, from famous saints such as Francis of Assisi and Teresa of Avila, to remarkable men and women that he has known and worked with, such as Henri Nouwen and Dorothy Day.
Robert Ellsberg is editor-in-chief of Orbis Books. His many books include All Saints, Blessed Are You Among Women and The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day.
It takes a gifted writer to engage readers in a book of insights from men and women commonly understood to have spent their lives so close to God that they were unusual in almost every way. In this eloquent, seamlessly woven and delightfully readable book, Catholic convert Ellsberg, editor-in-chief of Orbis Books, makes the spiritual struggles and triumphs of sanctified men and women accessible and relevant to believers who grapple with the tension between the desire for earthly pleasure and the call to leave all behind and follow Jesus Christ. Giving this series of life lessons a vivid immediacy is the fact that Ellsberg ranges far and wide in his choice of saintly examples, including some non-Catholics and many modern icons of holiness. In the chapter on learning to suffer, for instance, 14th-century mystic Julian of Norwich and 20th-century Catholic writer Henri Nouwen fittingly illustrate Ellsbergs point that affliction can become an instrument of grace and transfiguration. What unites all the saints, he argues, is their ability and decision to see Gods hand at work in the whole composition of their lives. Interwoven with moments of gentle homage to his mentor, Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, this volume suggests to Catholics and other Christian readers the possibility that happiness can come by using the lens of holiness to illumine their lives, both remarkable and ordinary.
- Publishers Weekly