The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Paul Elie. The reading was assigned by me to me to help celebrate the season of patience and waiting that is lent. Subtitled, "An American Pilgrimage," the book is a collective biography of four of the greatest 20th century American Christian writers. Elie's theme is that these four were on a great pilgrimage in life to more fully know the love of God and their fellow humans.
The four authors are the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, the founder of the Catholic Worker Dorothy Day, the southern Gothic writer Flannery O'Connor and physician and philosopher (and Mississippian) Walker Percy.
Elie's excellent book presents these important thinkers not as saints, but as humans with many weaknesses to overcome who are aspiring to make the world better through their love of God. The book is long and occasionally a little tough going, but it is well worth not just reading but studying in depth.
30 minutes ago