Item description for Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today by Joan Chittister...
Overview Wise and enduring spiritual guidelines for everyday living -- as relevant today as when The Rule was originally conceived by St. Benedict in fifth century Rome.
Wise and enduring spiritual guidelines for everyday living -- as relevant today as when The Rule was originally conceived by St. Benedict in fifth century Rome.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 5.36" Height: 0.55" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Mar 17, 2009
ISBN 0060613998 ISBN13 9780060613990 UPC 099455013956
Availability 0 units.
More About Joan Chittister
Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B. (born 1936) is a Benedictine nun, author and speaker.
A member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania, where she served as prioress for 12 years, Sister Joan is an author and lecturer.
She is the author of Psalm Journal, Winds of Change, and WomanStrength: Modern Church, Modern Women.
She also writes a web column for the National Catholic Reporter, "From Where I Stand". Chittister holds a master's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in speech communication theory from Penn State University. She writes and speaks on women in the church and society, human rights, and peace and justice in the areas of war and poverty and religious life and spirituality. She is co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a UN-sponsored organization creating a worldwide network of women peacemakers. She is the founder of "Benetvision". Her public presentations are announced on the Benetvision website.
Joan Chittister currently resides in Erie, in the state of Pennsylvania.
Reviews - What do customers think about Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today?
Day by day... Dec 13, 2007
`Daily life is the stuff of which high sanctity can be made.' Near the beginning of Joan Chittister's wonderful treatment of the Rule of St. Benedict, she makes this statement, something that is agreed upon by most who are serious about the spiritual life. The old phrase 'little things mean a lot' is very true with regard to spirituality. After all, it is not the big crises that cause the most problems in life -- in fact, it is often a crisis that brings people together and deepens spiritual feeling and commitment. It is in the day-to-day struggle to maintain sanity and security that the spirit can be ignore most easily, unless paying attention to spiritual things is made intentional.
This is part of what Benedict was driving at so many centuries ago. Beyond the specific rules for his community, which are variously applicable and irrelevant toward living in today's world, is the overarching idea that some kind of rule, some kind of daily intentionality, some sort of deliberate pattern that puts us in community with each other and with the divine is very necessary for today's people.
`After years of monastic life I have discovered that unlike spiritual fads, which come and go with the teachers or cultures that spawned them, the Rule of Benedict looks at the world through interior eyes and lasts. Here, regardless of who we are or what we are, life and purpose meet.'
Spirituality of this sort is far more than ritual action. It is far more than churchiness or how often one does any particular thing, including prayer. This spirituality calls upon the individual to incorporate a way of life on top of daily life, a defining context of life that puts all things, prayer, church, family, work, play, study, sleep, indeed all parts of life, in connection and community with God.
There are interior practices and exterior reflections of these practices. Listening is described as the key virtue toward spiritual growth. Listening has to be more than a passive hearing of what is being said, but an active incorporation into life.
Prayer is a central practice, but care must be taken that this not become routine in the sense of being done mindlessly, by rote, but an active listening for the will of God should always be part of this. Also connected to prayer is the practice of lectio, a reading that inspires and feeds the soul, a reading that is different from academic study or informational and entertaining reading.
Chittister highlights many monastic practices and shows ways in which these can be incorporated into daily life for anyone. Monastic mindfulness -- the blending of the day together in harmony and balance -- can be a principle applied as easily outside the monastery as within the cloister. Certainly the ideas of obedience (to the will of God, if nothing else), stability (which means more than living in the same place), hospitality, humility, and community all are applicable beyond the monastery walls, and in many ways antithetical to prevailing Western cultural ideas. These have the potential of feeding the soul and enriching the lives of those who practice even without the support of a monastic community. Many have been surprised that their conversion of life, to use Benedictine language, can lead to subtle, and often not-so-subtle, changes in those around them.
The seeker asked, 'How does one seek union with God?'
The Wise One said, 'The harder you seek, the more distance you create between God and you.'
'So what does one do about the distance?' the seeker asked.
The elder replied simply, 'Just understand that it isn't there.'
The Rule of Benedict is not a mystical text. It is not a spiritual catalogue or occult-ic manual. It was intended, and continues to serve, as a simple guide to help make people more conscious of their already present relationship with God. It is realistic, and makes no promises of spiritual gifts accruing to those who follow it. Yet the riches that do become present can be very great to those open to receiving them. And in receiving these gifts, they become a gift themselves to the world.
Perhaps this is the meaning of the strange biblical dictum (which often seems unfair upon straight reading)
For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. - Matthew 13:12
This is a book that definitely fills a need for those seeking a more wholistic way of life.
Life changing May 6, 2007
I have read and revisited this wonderful book many times. It has changed my view of many subjects. Sr.Joan took me on an unexpected road to examine my life and my work and for that I am very grateful. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is seeking insight into their Christian spirituality.
Spirituality at its best Jun 29, 2006
A must-read for those who are interested in living a life infused with spirituality. Readable, fascinating, and sound connections between The Rule of St. Benedict and life in the 21st century.
Not that good, there are better May 1, 2006
This is not a very good book of Joan Chittister, the book feels dated and the thought patter is scattered. I thought for sure it was written in the early 1970s with the political bent and anti-traditionalist religious life feeling. The references to her young nun life in a community pre-molestation by experiments, is interesting as those are the very communities that are growing. "Sister" Joan has better books; Rule of St. Benedict Insights for the Ages is superior to this particular effort. Look for that book instead.
Every once in a while, you find a gem. Nov 30, 2005
This is one of them. Every page is filled with peace and wisdom. I found this book, of course, "by accident" (that is, by the grace of God) just at the time my extraordinarily holy Catholic parish priest and spiritual director was discerning whether or not to become a Benedictine monk. This book will deepen my life, i'm sure of it. A good companion book, at least for me, is Jean-Pierre de Caussade's "Abandonment to Divine Providence."