Ms. Harrison, the author of the Times piece, suggests maybe the devil talked Norris into taking the side of the practice of virtue, but I really don't think Harrison wants to go there. It's far more believable to think that she is doing Wormwood's bidding than Norris. The therapy culture, after all, has led to so much less sin hasn't it? Wasn't the priest abuse scandal partially caused by the view that they they needed only therapy?
Then too it might've been counterproductive for her to mention all the lights cited by Norris:
Dante. Pascal. St. Ignatius of Loyola. John Donne. Chaucer. Seneca. Coleridge. Kierkegaard. Baudelaire. Chekhov. Joyce. Albee. Joseph Brodsky. F. Scott Fitzgerald. John Berryman. Flannery O’Connor. Graham Greene. W. H. Auden. Kafka. Evelyn Waugh. Aldous Huxley. Karl Menninger. Thomas Merton. William Styron.Oy! That's sort of like a prosecuting attorney mentioning that Mother Teresa proclaimed the defendant's innocence.
If Kathleen Norris used to be the darling of the Eastern elite intellectual set, both for being a poet and her non-dogmatic stance concerning religious doctrines, it seems she's risking her appeal with this book. Wormwood would not approve.