Elizabeth Scalia on the essays of Sigrid Undset :
Nearly a century has passed since Sigrid Undset wrote the biographical essays about holy men and women, and the letters, which eventually would be collected and published under the heading, Stages on the Road . It is a title evocative of the life of faith, wholly explored and lived-outunpacked depot by depot, as it werefrom the spiritual nursery, to precarious venturing forth, to stepping back in wonder or doubt, to the nearly inevitable and deepening darkness that, for all its pain, accesses an interior cave of Oneness, solitary yet completed in the companionship of the Christ. This last is something akin to what Saint Catherine of Siena referred to as the inner cell or the cell of true self-knowledge. Undset, like Catherine a Third Order Dominican, shared with that clear-eyed Doctor an impatience with the sort of illusions bred by social conventions and encouraged by trends.