The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life

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Overview

In this original manifesto, bestselling author Joan Chittister delivers a roadmap based on the ancient Rule of Benedict that stands as a practical model upon which to build a satisfying life, despite the seemingly limitless—and at times meaningless—supply of options in the modern world. By giving spiritual seekers—individuals, couples, families, and small groups—a new opportunity to live a better life from the very center of their world without ever having to withdraw from it, Chittister’s new approach redefines ...

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The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life

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Overview

In this original manifesto, bestselling author Joan Chittister delivers a roadmap based on the ancient Rule of Benedict that stands as a practical model upon which to build a satisfying life, despite the seemingly limitless—and at times meaningless—supply of options in the modern world. By giving spiritual seekers—individuals, couples, families, and small groups—a new opportunity to live a better life from the very center of their world without ever having to withdraw from it, Chittister’s new approach redefines Benedictine living for modern-day seekers while remaining firmly rooted in its values.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This marvel of a book sings in the heart and makes the mind quiet with reverence, even as it instructs both of them with a holy gladness. The Monastery of the Heart is a gift to all seekers everywhere.”  —Phyllis Tickle, compiler, The Divine Hours

“Joan Chittister has emerged as a wisdom figure for our time. Here she takes her wise monastic tradition and takes it on the road for all to love and enjoy.”  —Richard Rohr, author, The Naked Now

“Lyrical in its prose, The Monastery of the Heart reads like a holy distillation of all that Joan Chittister has written to date.”  —Ephrem Hollermann, author, The Reshaping of a Tradition

“The monastic archetype is embedded in every soul . . . Joan Chittister understands and communicates this to her contemporaries with rare insight and power. Her book will help more people discover this personally.”  —Laurence Freeman, author, The Selfless Self

Library Journal
Chittister (executive director, Benetvision; The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully), prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA, is one of the most cherished Catholic writers now living. Her latest work is an invitation to spiritual reflection drawn from her own long experience and emphasizes topics important to her—lectio divina, prayer, service, and sacred art, among others. Her ideas are arrayed in a kind of loose free verse, and while they are indifferent as poetry, the slightly unusual disposition of words on the page slows the reader down, prompting a deeper engagement with the material. This book also provides an introduction to a growing alliance of spiritual seekers (www.monasteriesoftheheart.org) united by an interest in Benedictine life and spirituality. VERDICT Chittister's new work reflects the creation of a new kind of quasi-monastic spirituality suited for the age of liberalization—and technology; her writing should find readers among individual seekers, academics, and churches.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933346571
  • Publisher: BlueBridge
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 283,580
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Chittister is an internationally known author and lecturer, and the executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality. She is former president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Her books include The Friendship of Women, The Gift of Years, In the Heart of the Temple, and The Rule of Benedict. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Our Search

1 A Gentle Invitation 3

2 A Seeker's Path 13

3 A Single Vision 23

Our Interior Life

4 Prayer 33

5 Silence 41

6 Prayerful Reading 49

7 Retreat and Reflection 57

Our Community

8 Mutuality 67

9 Equality 73

10 Direction and Counsel 81

11 Sufficiency and Sharing 89

12 Nourishment 95

Our Service

13 Good Work 105

14 Co-Creation 115

15 Loving Care 121

16 Responsibility 127

17 Hospitality 135

Our Promise

18 A Listening Heart 145

19 Conversion of Heart 151

20 Stability of Heart 159

Our Spiritual Growth

21 Humility 169

22 Spiritual Tools 187

23 Sacred Art 195

24 Good Zeal 201

25 Peace 207

Epilogue 215

Appendix A Reader's Version of the Rule of Saint Benedict in Inclusive Language: The Chapters 221

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