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Shelf life: "Modern spiritual classics" recommended by Kathleen Norris, Martin E. Marty, Joyce Rupp, Joan Chittister, and other prominent U.S. Catholic contributors.

Spiritual seekers have long looked to free their souls in written wisdom, but those hoping to climb the heights today might find themselves buried under a pile of books at the nearest Barnes and Noble. From The Secret (Atria) to The Purpose-Driven Life (Zondervan) to the latest selection from the queen of daytime television, it can be hard to discern the diamonds from the dross.

Who is today's St. Augustine, whose fifth-century spiritual autobiography, Confessions, is still in paperback? Who can wield a pen with the likes of Julian of Norwich or St. Teresa of Avila? Will any of the current crop of gurus survive the next decade, much less the next century?

We at U.S. CATHOLIC asked some of our long-time contributors--award winners, theologians, activists, scientists, and writers of classics themselves--to choose a work that may indeed feed souls for generations. What they picked--from fiction to film, poetry to peacemaking--may surprise you. And though you won't likely find the nine works reviewed here on Oprah's next list, we hope that you may at least discover a new addition to your spiritual bookshelf.
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Publication:U.S. Catholic
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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