Item description for The Saints' Guide To Happiness: Everyday Wisdom From The Lives Of The Saints by Robert Ellsberg & Paul Smith...
Overview This book offers a series of "lessons" in the life of the spirit: the struggle to feel fully alive in a frenzied society; the search for meaningful work, real friendship, and enduring love; the encounter with suffering and death; the yearning to grasp the ultimate significance of our lives. In these "lessons," our guides are the saints: historical figures like Augustine, Francis of Assisi, and Teresa of Avila, and moderns such as Dorothy Day, Flannery O'Connoy, and Henri J. Nouwen. In the course of the book, figures familiar from stained-glass windows become exemplars not just of holy piety but of "life in abundance," the quality in which happiness and holiness converge.
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Studio: Saint Anthony Messenger Press
Running Time: 360.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.5" Height: 5.5" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Sep 30, 2004
Publisher Saint Anthony Messenger Press
ISBN 0867166487 ISBN13 9780867166484
Availability 0 units.
More About Robert Ellsberg & Paul Smith
Robert Ellsberg, a native of Los Angeles, became a Catholic in 1980 while a member of the Catholic Worker community in lower Manhattan. After studying theology at Harvard Divinity School he became Editor in Chief of Orbis Books, the publishing arm of Maryknoll. Married with three children, he lives in Ossining, New York. His other books include All Saints and Blessed Among All Women.
Robert Ellsberg currently resides in Ossining, in the state of New York. Robert Ellsberg was born in 1955.
Robert Ellsberg has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Saints' Guide To Happiness: Everyday Wisdom From The Lives Of The Saints?
Joy Exemplified Jan 4, 2005
It is not so much the great amount of interesting information about some very special (but also very normal) people that makes this book worthwhile, but rather the slow and patient vision of true happiness that it weaves. The chapters of the book are structured as lessons to be learned not in order to reach some eventual place of happiness but to lay hold of it now: Learning to Be Still; Learning to Relinquish; Learning to Work; Learning to Suffer; Learning to Die... What is so life affirming about this book is the overwhelming assent to happiness and to its pursuit embodied in persons whom we usually take to be super human in their efforts at self-renunciation. Yes, these were disciplined men and women, but they were also driven by and in pursuit of a Joy that they discovered as the true essence of their human lot. I like the way the book slowly and engagingly transforms our usual, narrow, paltry, notion of a happiness dependent on comfort to one founded on that inner certitude (which can exist even amidst suffering) that we are traveling, slowly but surely, on the path we were meant to travel. And along the way we meet some pretty inspiring fellow travelers not as different from you or me as you would first think.
Absolutely inspiring book Aug 19, 2004
Robert Ellsberg deserves sainthood himself, for putting this wonderful material within easy reach of the lay public -- without losing the depth and nobility of his subject. This is GOOD reading -- inspiring as well as educational. What a delightful surprise to find a book that gives us a new spin on some very old names, and a fresh look at what it means to live a life of depth, devotion, and reverence. I really could NOT put it down until finished it.
Happiness Where We Are Mar 11, 2004
When Robert Ellsberg's All Saints was reviewed on the campus of Adrian Dominican Sisters, book orders flowed from our well-seasoned readers in the spiritual life. Now with The Saints' Guide to Happiness our community was ready for more substance from Ellsberg, and we have it.
This latest work translates the lives of the saints in ways that are helpful, and most importantly, believable to our everyday experience. The eight 'Learning to' chapters offer something for everyone whether we are content with our lives, or living with boredom, or even find ourselves suffering and burdened by doubt.
Half the book is taken up with two chapters-Learning to Suffer and Learning to Die- addressing some of the most urgent questions of today in how to put together happiness with suffering and death. After reading those two chapters, one of our members whose illness once took her to the edge of death said, "After coping with a life-threatening illness ...you get a clarity of vision and you don't waste time on small things.... The Chapters on suffering and dying in The Saints' Guide to Happiness speaks much to me... I love this book and will keep it with me and read it from time to time so that I get some more encouragement in the 'hard parts' of life."
The Saints' Guide heightens our sensitivity "to the way God is present in our lives.... The path to happiness is rooted in the place where we are, and not just some holy place somewhere else." Ellsberg's words have found a warm home here in Adrian as he has preached to the preachers a good word!
A Book Destined To Become A Spiritual Classic Jan 14, 2004
Robert Ellsberg's ALL SAINTS was well received by many Catholic readers and deservedly so. The biographies found in the first book are well researched and his selection of famous and not so famous Christians (and in a few cases non-Christians) is interesting. Ellsberg once again turns to the well known figures in Christian history in his newest work THE SAINTS' GUIDE TO HAPPINESS.
In Billy Joel's song "Only the Good Die Young" he has the famous line `I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints; the sinners have much more fun.' Joel's assessment is a somewhat popular misconception of the saints. In many cases we view saints as long suffering men and women who hardly see the joy in life. Ellsberg would not agree with this misconception. Using the writings of many of the traditional saints of Christian history, as well as leading religious figures who are not officially recognized as saints, Ellsberg shows that many of the saints strove to love full and vital lives while on earth and were not simply concerned with enduring life on earth to merit the joys of everlasting life. Ellsberg uses Aristotle's definition of happiness as a springboard, that happiness is not merely a feeling of joy, but rather the fullness of life. Saints lived lives to the full, whether it was through their ministry, their interactions with others, the ways in which they endured hardship and suffering, or the way that they died. Throughout the book the reader sees that Ellsberg has great admiration for his subjects and sees their lives as examples of how we can live our lives.
The book appears to be a self help book, but it is not a book that gives the reader answers. Rather, it presents the significant aspects of our lives: being alive, work, loving others, suffering, and death, and presents the saints as guides who can assist us as we navigate our own lives.
The book is a rather easy read. Ellsberg's writing has a nice flow to it and the book is well organized. Readers can easily sit and read an entire chapter, or read the book slowly in a reflective manner. The hardcover edition of the book has a ribbon which serves as a bookmark, which makes it easy to use as a devotional tool.
Robert Ellsberg Does It Again Dec 6, 2003
I couldn't wait for this one because Robert Ellsberg's "All Saints" has been my favorite daily reading ever since it came out. "The Saints Guide to Happiness" is even better than I expected. It helps that Robert Ellsberg was personal friends with at least two of the stars in this book, Henri Nouwen and Dorothy Day. For those mourning the loss of the great Catholic spiritual writers in these harsh days, they can look to Robert Ellsberg. I want many more books from him. He keeps getting better and better. The positive editorial reviews above have it right. This book will make an incomparable Christmas gift. I am right now rereading it from the beginning. There aren't many books I own which I can read over and over and this is one of them.