Thursday, April 29, 2010

Catholic Writers: Their Life and Faith

Are you looking for a good book to get you thinking about your life and faith? Try this one.

The Life You Save May Be Your Own By Paul Elie

This book is a biography of four Catholic writers in mid-century America.

The four Catholic writers are:

Mary Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) was from Georgia. A Catholic by birth, Mary used her writings to explore the spirituality of the people around her.

Thomas Merton, (1915-1968) was a convert to Catholicism and a Trappist Monk who wrote “The Seven Storey Mountain”.

Walker Percy, (1916-1990) was a convert to Catholicism, a southerner, and a doctor who gave it up to become a writer.

Dorothy Day, (1897-1980) was also a convert and the founder of Catholic Worker.

What did Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Walker Percy, Mary Flannery O’Connor have in common? All these writers struggled not only with identity but religious faith as well.

The conversion stories for Day, Merton and Percy are interesting. It is a journey in which life and faith come together. It was in literature books that they found religious experience. Inspired by books they read, they set out to have the experiences they read about. Day with the Catholic Worker strove to embody the Gospel story on the streets of the lower east side. Merton left the modern world and joined a Trappist monastery in Kentucky. Percy left medicine and saw himself as a searcher after life’s meaning. O’Connor who was raised a Catholic among Protestants used her writings to explore the spirituality of the lives of the people around her.

I enjoyed this book very much. What I really like is that Paul Elie shows all four writers from a human point of view.

Perhaps the words might inspire you to start thinking and reflecting in a new and different way.

Sr. Nancy Arroyo, OSU

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