Archives For Robert Ellsberg

 

“Be holy, because I am holy.”
 
 
A Review of 

Blessed Among Us:
Day by Day with Saintly Witnesses

Robert Ellsberg

Hardback: Liturgical Press, 2016
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Reviewed by Danny Wright
 
 
In His book Blessed Among Us, Robert Ellsberg provides readers with an encyclopedia of introductions to a wide variety of saintsEach day offers a brief biography of two “saints” who have lived a life of example and ends with quotes to aid the reader in reflection. This particular volume can be used as an addendum for praying the hours (and can be found as such in the daily prayer app offered by Liturgical Press, Give Us This Day), as a supplement for personal inspiration and reflection, or as the subject for family devotions, or as encouragement for a church/ministry staff. There is a wealth of information shared in a succinct, accessible style that will spark your creativity and curiosity, inspire more attentive living, and may even cause you to fire up your search engine, or send you to your favorite website or bookstore in search of the actual writings that are being referenced.

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Today is the birthdate of Dorothy Day (b. 1897), and 2013 marks the the 80th anniversary of the Catholic Worker movement.
 
 
Here’s a recent video of Robert Ellsberg, publisher of Orbis Books, discussing the life and legacy of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement…
 

Robert Ellsberg is editor of the volume:

Dorothy Day: Selected Writings.

Paperback: Orbis Books, 2005.
Buy now:   [ Amazon

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A Brief Review of Modern Spiritual Masters
Edited by Robert Ellsberg

by Chris Smith

Modern Spiritual Masters is an excellent collection of portraits of those faith leaders of the twentieth century whose lives embodied both compassionate action and careful reflection. Such a balance is a rare gift, and stories of this kind of faithfulness deserve to be collected and passed on in a volume such as this one. Each person represented here is described in a brief biography and then his/her story is fleshed out through representative excerpts from his/her writings. Modern Spiritual Masters would be an excellent volume to use with high school or college students in teaching the recent history of our ancestors in the way of Christ. There is great diversity represented in this collection: a balance of males and females and a broad array of ethnicities and locales are represented. There are also many familiar figures represented (Mother Teresa, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen), as well as some that might not be so well-known (Thea Bowman, Mother Maria Skobtsova). Although I realize that the audience of Orbis Books is largely Catholic, it would have been good to see figures here from a broader range of church traditions – perhaps including people like Eberhard Arnold (Anabaptist) or Clarence Jordan (Evangelical).

To some readers this point might be negligible, but I was a little uncomfortable with the use of the term “masters” to describe these faithful ones. As I read, I wondered: how comfortable would those represented be with the use of such language? Does the use of such an exalted title assist or hinder the communication of the radical way of Christ to which we are all called? (One is reminded in this regard, of Dorothy Day’s quip “Don’t make a saint; I don’t want to be dismissed so easily”) However, regardless of the title’s language, this book is a beneficial collection for the followers of Christ, and its stories can and should be read in a way that encourages us to enter more deeply into the way of Christ that is both contemplative and compassionate.

Robert Ellsberg, ed.
Modern Spiritual Masters.
Paperback. Orbis Books. 2008.
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