Brief Book Review: A Living Gospel

A Living Gospel: Reading God’s Story in Holy Lives
by Robert Ellsberg

Who should read this?  Everyone. The book has broad appeal. Preachers, catechists, teachers and spiritual directors, in particular, will find it useful for homilies, faith formation, and spiritual conversations.

What intrigued me the most:  I have read quite a bit about or by the individuals featured – Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Charles de Foucauld, and Flannery O’Connor – however, I felt as though I was reading about them for the first time. Robert Ellsberg writes out of his own experiences and with some, personal interactions with these figures. I was completely drawn into the stories.

What will most inspire you?  The reader will be captivated by the stories of the Holy Lives that are featured here. Ellsberg states in the introduction that his “hope is that, through reflection on such witnesses, we may learn to read our own story with new eyes.” The stories as told invite readers to reflect on their own lives and see where the “living gospel” has been written. 

Kudos.  An inspiring, immensely enjoyable read! 

Ellsberg, Robert. A Living Gospel: Reading God’s Story in Holy Lives. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2019. 192 pages.

REVIEWER: Anne Koester

Based at Georgetown University, Anne Koester holds degrees in Education, Law, and Theology. She currently serves on the staff of the University’s Office of Compliance and Ethics and teaches courses on Catholic worship and Christian initiation in Georgetown’s Theology Department.

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