Joan Chittister

Faith is reverencing precisely what we do not understand

Faith is not about understanding the ways of God. It is not about maneuvering God into a position of human subjugation, making a God who is a benign deity who exists to see life as we do. Faith, in fact, is not about understanding at all. It is about awe in the face of the God of all. And it is awe that inspires an alleluia to the human soul.

Faith is about reverencing precisely what we do not understand—the mystery of the Life Force that generates life for us all. It is about grounding ourselves in a universe so intelligent, so logical, so clearly loving that only a God in love with life could possibly account for it completely.

~ from UNCOMMON GRATITUDE by Joan Chittister

Silence is that place just before the voice of God

Silence is that place just before the voice of God. It is the void in which God and I meet in the center of my soul.

~ Joan Chittister

My work is God's work

I finally came to know that my work is God's work, unfinished by God because God meant it to be finished by me.

~ from THERE IS A SEASON by Joan Chittister

When we grow radishes we participate in creation

When we grow radishes in a small container in a city apartment, we participate in creation. We sustain the globe. When we sweep the street in front of a house in the dirtiest city in the country, we bring new order to the universe. We tidy the Garden of Eden. We make God's world new again. When we repair what has been broken or paint what is old or give away what we have earned that is above and beyond our own sustenance, we stoop down and scoop up the earth and breathe into it new life again, as God did one morning in time only to watch it unfold, unfold, and unfold through the ages.

~ from THERE IS A SEASON by Joan Chittister, thanks to Liz Stewart

A vessel of Divine Love let loose upon the world

My interior life is a walk through darkness with the God within who leads us beyond and out of ourselves to become a vessel of Divine Love let loose upon the world.

~ Joan Chittister

We love by loving

As Aldous Huxley wrote: "There isn't any formula or method. You learn by loving." But sometimes, if we're lucky, we live long enough to grow into it in such a way that because of it we come to recognize the value of life. . . . We learn enough about love to allow things to slip away and ourselves to melt into the God whose love made all of it possible. . . . Sometimes we live long enough to see the face of God in another. Then, in that case, we have loved.

~ from 40 STORIES TO STIR THE SOUL by Joan Chittister

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.

~ by Joan Chittister

Charting a new path to the future

There is a time in every life
when the very act
of looking back and taking stock
becomes essential
to going forward.

Without the light
that shines out of the darkness
of the past,
we cannot chart
a new path
to the future.
 

~ from MONASTERIES OF THE HEART by Joan Chittister

A spirituality of work

A spirituality of work is based on a heightened sense of sacramentality, of the idea that everything that is, is holy and that our hands consecrate it to the service of God. A spirituality of work puts us in touch with our own creativity ... draws us out of ourselves and, at the same time, makes us more of what we are meant to be. A spirituality of work immerses me in the search for human community. I finally come to know that my work is God's work, unfinished by God because God meant it to be finished by me.

~ from THERE IS A SEASON by Joan Chittister

Silence is the beginning of peace

May you live with love, strength, faith and wisdom ... and have enough to share with those in need. May you have songs to sing and also blessed silence and peace through every night.

Silence is the beginning of peace. It is in silence that we learn that there is more to life than life seems to offer. There is beauty and truth and vision wider than the present and deeper than the past that only silence can discover. Going into ourselves we see the whole world at war within us and begin to end the conflict. To understand ourselves, then, is to understand everyone else as well.

Noise protects us from confronting ourselves, but silence speaks the language of the heart.

~ from THERE IS A SEASON by Joan Chittister
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