Joan Chittister

Prayer for Conscience and Courage

God of light and God of darkness,
God of conscience and God of courage
lead us through this time
of spiritual confusion and public uncertainty.

Give us the conscience it takes
to comprehend what we’re facing,
to see what we’re looking at
and to say what we see
so that others, hearing us,
may also brave the pressure that comes
with being out of public step.

Give us the courage we need
to confront those things
that compromise our consciences
or threaten our integrity.

~ Joan Chittister from Prayer for Conscience and Courage

Every small thing

Jesus came to us as a child so that we might come to understand not only that nothing we do is insignificant, but that every small thing we do has within it the power to change the world.

~ Joan Chittister, OSB in BECOMING FULLY HUMAN

Hope is what sits by a window

Hope is what sits by a window and waits for one more dawn, despite the fact that there is not one ounce of proof in tonight's black, black sky that it can possibly come.
~ Joan Chittister in SCARRED BY STRUGGLE, TRANSFORMED BY HOPE

Allow life to evolve

Mystery is what happens to us when we allow life to evolve rather than having to make it happen all the time...There is something holy-making about simply presuming that what happens to us in any given day is sent to awaken our souls to something new: another smell, a different taste, a moment when we allow ourselves to lock eyes with a stranger, to smile a bit, to nod our heads in greeting.
~ from THE GIFT OF YEARS by Joan Chittister

The Faith to Take Life One Piece at a Time

Having the faith to take life one piece at a time- to live it in the knowledge that there is something of God in this for me now, here, at this moment- is of the essence of happiness. It is not that God is a black box full of tests and trials and treats. It is that life is a step on the way to a God who goes the way with us. However far, however perilous.

~ Joan Chittister

Community calls for open mind and open heart

Community calls for open mind and open heart...to be a place where the truth of the one-ness of human community shatters all barriers, refuses all prejudice, welcomes all strangers, listens to all voices. We must ask what God wants for the world, rather than simply what we want. We need the wisdom of humility now. We need that quality of life that makes it possible for humanity to see beyond itself, to value the other, to touch the world gently and peacefully and make the whole world better as we move ahead.

~ Joan Chittister in "Spirituality and Health" -- Nov/Dec 2003

Love is not for our own sakes

Love is not for our own sakes. Love frees us to see others as God sees them.
~ Joan Chittister

A blessing of fear

A blessing of fear in these years is that it invites us to become the fullness of ourselves. It comes to us in the nighttime of the soul to tell us to rise to new selves in fresh and exciting ways—for our sake, of course, but for the sake of the rest of the world, as well.

~ Joan Chittister in THE GIFT OF YEARS

Where beauty takes us

Beauty takes us beyond the visible to the height of consciousness, past the ordinary to the mystical, away from the expedient to the endlessly true.

~ Joan Chittister

To belong to a community

To belong to a community is to begin to be about more than myself...No work is enough to satisfy the human soul. Only the satisfaction of having touched another life and been touched by one ourselves can possibly suffice. Whatever we do, however noble, however small, must be done for the sake of the other. Otherwise, we ourselves have no claim on the human race.

~ from LISTEN WITH THE HEART by Joan Chittister
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