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Listen with the Heart: Sacred Moments in Everyday Life [Paperback]

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Item Number 115894  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   116
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.26" Width: 5.26" Height: 0.36"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2003
Publisher   Sheed and Ward
ISBN  1580511392  
EAN  9781580511391  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
There are moments in life that are either too numbing or too exhilarating, too sad or too exciting for us to absorb. Death and marriage, loss and victory can overwhelm us. There are times that are too emotionally demanding or, on the other hand, simply too common to comprehend: beauty in the midst of tragedy can leave us speechless; the most meaningful of routines can leave us untouched. Throughout the highs, lows, and in-between times we need to be carried beyond the immediacy of the moment to realize the deeper elements that underlie our lives. Listen with the Heart is a profound and personal invitation to savor the sacred in everyday life. Drawing from her formation as a Benedictine sister and her international experience as a writer, speaker, and retreat leader, Sr. Joan Chittister connects the ancient wisdom of monasticism with the modern world. In each chapter she teaches us that rituals those formal patterns of behavior that mark the crossover moments of time and make them sacred can jolt the soul and wake us up to life. Through ritual, as Chittister reveals, not only are the moments of life celebrated, mourned, and noted, but also the sacred elements in experience are made real. Meditations on and examples of blessing, light, Lent, fasting, silence, prayer, naming, community, rituals, music, table fellowship, wisdom, the mystery of death, and the power of waiting equip readers to make the most of each and every day. Listen with the Heart is an invitation to all of us to seek the sacred, appreciate the ups, learn from the downs, and make the mundane meaningful again."

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More About Joan Chittister

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B., is a Benedictine sister, best-selling author, and a well-known international speaker. A theologian, social psychologist, and communication theorist, she has written more than 20 books, taught on all education levels, received nine honorary doctorates, and is an active member of the International Peace Council. A leader in worker's justice, international peace initiatives, women's movements for equality, Sr. Joan is founder and Executive Director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality, past president of the Conference of American Women Religious, and in 2007, she was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award from The Leadership Conference of Women Religious. She lives in Erie, PA, in a Benedictine community.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
reflections on 12 themes of ordinary life  Jan 17, 2007
Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, has written over twenty books that map the terrain of the Christian life, with special attention paid to issues of feminism, international justice, the monastics, and reform in the Catholic Church. I especially enjoyed her work Scarred By Struggle, Transformed By Hope (2003). In this slender volume she organizes her thoughts around a dozen themes of everyday, ordinary life: blessing, light, fasting, prayer, naming, ordinary time, community, rituals, music, table fellowship, the mystery of death, and waiting. She introduces each of these twelve chapters with a 1-2 page overview, followed by about 30 aphoristic, pithy reflections on the given theme. One of the couple dozen notes about prayer, for example, reads: "Prayer is not an escape into spiritual narcissism. It is an attempt to put on the mind of God, to see the world as God sees the world, to respond to the needs around us as God responds to ours" (p. 38). Or on community: "It's what we owe the rest of humanity that drives us into communities large enough to deal with large questions. None of us has the right to ignore what is eating the heart out of the world and call ourselves human" (p. 67). On death: "There's a time in life when we start reading the obituaries before we read the headlines of the daily paper. That's the sign that we have finally figured out how precious life really is. If it hasn't happened to you yet, pray God it will" (p. 107).

The book's format of short introductions, followed by thirty or so separate, independent thoughts on the theme, makes for awkward reading. This is not a book to sit down and read straight through. Nor is the quality of reflection and introspection even throughout. While some of her insights shine, others feel pedantic and over written. But I can easily imagine using this book in a small group as a conversation-starter across a 12 week period (one week for each chapter and theme). Chittister's passion for a deep, authentic Christian experience, her familiarity with church history and especially monasticism, her appreciation for the daily rhythms of ordinary people and events, and her willingness to share her own personal experiences make this, like much of her writing, worth the read.

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