"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Daily Holiness and Ordinary Saints

The newly released exhortation from Pope Francis, Gaudete et exsultate, almost from its opening lines put me immediately in mind of the themes that my friend, the Orthodox scholar Michael Plekon, has so often pursued in many of his recent books. He recently retired after teaching for more than forty years at the City University of New York; but he never told me he was going to use his spare time to take up ghost writing for the pope! The parallels are, as our father among the saints Sigmund of Vienna might say, uncanny.

See, in particular, Plekon's Saints as They Really Are, about which I interviewed him here.

And Hidden Holiness also anticipates in striking ways many of these new papal themes.

Michael's most recent book, The World as Sacrament: an Ecumenical Path toward a Worldly Spirituality, was released just over a year ago, and I interviewed him about that book here.

In the fall of 2016 he published Uncommon Prayer: Prayer in Everyday Experience. My interview with him about this book is here.

He is also the author and editor of other books, any one of which will be worth your time and repay re-reading over the years. And he has been feted in this Festschrift, noted here

I may post further thoughts on this new papal document next week. I see (e.g. paragraph 96: "Holiness, then, is not about swooning in mystic rapture") already some other striking parallels to Maggie Ross, whom I discussed at length here and here. I'm sure there will be others.

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