Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia for All That Isby Joan Chittister, Rowan Williams
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"To deal with the meaning of 'alleluia' in life means to deal with moments that do not feel like 'alleluia moments' at all." In this series of reflections it becomes clear that singing "alleluia" is not a way to escape reality but receptivity to another kind of reality beyond the immediate and the delusional, of helping us understand what is now and what is to come.
Often I found myself reading sentences and paragraphs over againand aloudfor the sheer pleasure of the flow of thought and the sound of the words . Chittister and Williams give ample cause, motivation, and desire to sing out ‘Alleluia,’ encouraging us to lift up our minds, hearts, and spirits at every turn of life’s journey.
James A. Wallace, CSsR, New Theology Review
Christians always need to ponder the whole of life, ‘all that is.’ While the book offers a collection of spiritual remarks toward that goal rather than an overarching Christian philosophy, the individual chapters, especially those by Williams, give valuable insights to Christians as they attempt to face the most profound challenges with gratitude.
Anglican and Episcopal History
The prolific Benedictine nun Chittister (The Liturgical Year) joins the erudite archbishop of Canterbury in a series of reflections on finding the hidden face of God in a variety of circumstances and offering praise. Alleluia is a hail to God, a call offered not nearly as frequently as complaint is in these times. But Chittister explains that alleluia is a call to reflection. . . the final Amen to all that is. The varied subjects of the 23 essaysfaith, doubt, Genesis, saintsare very loosely grouped, and Williams contributes only five, a shortcoming of the book given the provocative originality with which the Anglican primate thinks. He writes of good sinnersthose with a degree of awareness of something much larger or of divine fullness preparing to create its own echo in the world. Chittister is pre-eminently practical: the purpose of wealth is generosity, doubt gives birth to faith. The two authors are nicely complementary in the ways they anchor their insights in real life conditio
The book is a walk through the Paschal Mystery. It takes everyday life experiences and weaves together death and disappointment, insight and growth, sin and liberation. It is a book of Alleluias for the marvelous richness of life.
The Living Church
Uncommon Gratitude: Allelluia for All That Is comes from the Archbishop of Canterbury who maintains the proper stance in the Christian world is one of gratitude. This surveys things to be grateful for--and reflects on how singing ‘alleluia’ opens the door to other realities and truths. A fine inspirational reflection any Christian collection will welcome.
The Midwest Book Review
In her examination of darkness, death, the future, and God, Chittister keeps her heart open and her eyes on the prize of gratitude which enables us to bear all things and still lift our souls in praise of the Creator.
Spirituality & Practice
In Uncommon Gratitude two fascinating story-tellers tackle head-on the question, ‘What is life all about?’ From the 2004 Tsunami to the Seven Deadly Sins, and from world-shaking events to daily haps and mishaps. When, how, and why can we shout ‘Alleluia!’become Alleluiain the midst of it all, in spite of it all? Before I put this page-turner down, I had wept and smiled and shouted ‘Alleluia!’ in my heart in deep gratitude for this uncommon book. Book circles and study groups will find it particularly useful.
Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB
Author, lecturer, co-founder of www.gratefulness.org
A soul stretching book by two contemporary prophets. Alleluia for Joan Chittister and Rowan Williams for this inspiring and timely message of hope in the midst of so much fear and violence. A faith filled and prophetic perspective on the dark and hurting spaces in our world and lives. We are both invited and challenged to pick up our pieces, dry our tears, shake ourselves down, and continue the journey with renewed hope and joy. Alleluia indeed.
Poet, writer, international speaker, and women’s advocate
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Meet the Author
Joan Chittister, OSB, is a Benedictine sister and international lecturer who has been a leading voice in spirituality for more than thirty years. She has authored over forty books, most recently Uncommon Gratitude and The Monastery of the Heart, part of a program she is helping to develop to enable lay groups to live Benedictine spirituality in a contemporary way.
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