Kerry Walters, an award-winning writer and speaker, is William, Bittinger Chair of Philosophy at Gettysburg College. In The Art of Dying and Living: Lessons from Saints of Our Time, he focused on seven exemplary individuals including Joseph Bernardin, Thea Bowman, Etty Hillesum, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
In Profiles in Christian Courage, Walters stays with the biographical perspective, only this time he focuses on 18 men and women who have demonstrated Christian physical, moral, and spiritual courage. The author sets the stage by looking at our popular culture and its guts and grace models of courage. Among those profiled are some of our spiritual heroes such as Dorothy Stang, a Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who was shot to death in Brazil for taking the side of the peasant farmers of the rain forest. She wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan: "The death of the forest is the death of us all."
Father Alexander Men, a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church, tutors us in the high cost of Christian discipleship; he was murdered in the Soviet Union for preaching ecumenical dialogue. Sister Dianna Ortiz, who went to Guatemala to serve Mayan children, was tortured and raped by military authorities and has spoken up for other torture victims around the world. Walters also includes profiles of C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, and Mother Teresa who all had their own special code of courage in service of God and humanity.
What has enabled these 18 men and women to carry on in the face of danger, death, and humiliation? Walters sums it all up in a short but startling sentence: "The secret to being good is habituating oneself to acting good."