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Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose, and Joy

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  220 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
This book is meant to give someone in the process of making a life decision at any age—in early adulthood, at the point of middle-age change and later, when we find ourselves at the crossroads without a name—some ideas against which to pit their own minds, their own circumstances. Its purpose, as they wrestle with the process of trying to find and follow their own special ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Image (first published January 1st 2012)
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Apr 06, 2013 Happyreader rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
As a non-Catholic, I have to thank the Catholic bishops’ scolding of the “radical feminist” nuns for introducing me to the writings of the "unofficial spokesman of the extreme feminist left" Benedictine sister Joan Chittister. In this thoughtful book on finding your calling or purpose in life, she’s less firebrand and more confident wise woman wishing to share what she’s learned in 70+ years about the basis for true happiness and contentment. Bottom line, her message is no more radical than each ...more
Jan 26, 2013 Carol rated it it was amazing
I have read more than ten books by Joan Chittister and this one belongs with my top three: Breath of the Soul, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily. This book deals with the sense of meaning or call and applies to three separate stages in life: the first call in our twenties;the mid-life call when we examine where we have arrived and the call post-retirement while we still have so much more life to live and more to contribute. This book energized me and renewed my determination to live a passionate l ...more
Denise Hoecker
Apr 10, 2012 Denise Hoecker rated it it was ok
I keep thinking these books are going to unlock the magic secret but they don't. I did think this book had a good message - your calling doesn't have to be what you do with your entire life. Your job can enable you to do something that would be your calling. That makes sense.
Jan 23, 2013 Naomi rated it really liked it
There are a few volumes I set aside on my shelf for lending out to those I meet who are seeking the courage to pursue their calling, though that calling demands risking social or financial success, or is separated from their paid labor. Chittister's will join that collection, as she sets forth teaching that gifts are what you must share, because to do otherwise is a diminishment of your whole self, and that calling is pursuing ways you can share those gifts. She is brilliantly clear about the di ...more
Sep 17, 2016 Peter rated it it was amazing
How can one turn from the advice of a master, who puts forth enough light to show that there is a path to travel, without judging what that path might be. The call is unique and the author assures us that it is worth heeding.
Kate Mayberry
Sep 11, 2012 Kate Mayberry rated it it was amazing
AMAZING, LIFE- ALTERING BOOK! This was not a book I could whip through. Every sentence made me think.I have renewed it 3 times from the library, and now that I have finally finished it, I am buying my own copy. Both a comforting and motivating force. LOVED IT!
Nov 23, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing
Much wisdom in this short book about finding and following your passion and purpose. Chittister presents this lifelong pursuit as a spiritual struggle not as merely finding a career or job--a struggle to find within your soul the light that that the world needs. This is a person's urgent quest: be your full self for your sake and the world's. She includes many fine quotes from great writers throughout the book. This one from Hermann Hesse stopped my heart: “We have to stumble through so much dir ...more
Dawn Marie
Mar 14, 2017 Dawn Marie rated it it was amazing
I first saw Sister Joan D. Chittister interviewed by Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday TV show on OWN and I was impressed and inspired by her soulful and spiritual revelations.
This is another of the books that I read for my vocation study. I am so glad that this book was included. First of all, I find Chittister to be an excellent writer. She is about twenty years older than I am and I find her work to be helpful as I explore each stage of life. She has been where I am headed.

The other reason I am grateful for this book is that it is the only book we are reading written by a woman. Given that over half of us in Vocare are women, this seems important to me. I have enou
Apr 05, 2015 Jaci rated it really liked it
A feminist, Benedictine nun, Joan Chittister is a personal favorite and this one doesn't disappoint. Her encouraging words about passionate engagement with life, regardless of age, are appreciated.

p.17: Planning for a new tomorrow in the midst of an overwhelming present overwhelms the soul.
p.49: Or even later, at another stage of life, if my professional years have, for all practical purposes, come to an end, what is stopping me now from developing the parts in me that lie untested and untried--
Sam Burns
Feb 08, 2017 Sam Burns rated it really liked it
Standing at what I feel is a major crossroads in my life, I set out reading this book hoping to gain some insight for following my path post-graduation. Sister Joan does not disappoint. Her wisdom and zeal jump off the pages, guiding you to understand your call and helping you to pursue it.
Sandra Sims
Oct 18, 2012 Sandra Sims rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
This was the first book by Sister Joan Cittister that I have read. Several friends and co-workers recommended her writing. At first I was taken by surprise that the book was low on practical applications. There are no lists, no worksheets, not even any questions to ponder/discuss at the end of the chapters. Seems like most career or even spiritual direction books are full of those. In the end, I was thankful for her gentle and insightful writing style.

What stayed with me most formed the three s
Gay Ann
Oct 16, 2012 Gay Ann rated it really liked it
What am I really meant to do? This inspirational title is about discovering and pursuing what we are called to do in this life. For anyone at a crossroads in their life where a major decision must be made, the author gives several ideas to consider. Readers are asked to reflect on a series of timely questions. There is a discussion on issues where the reader finds what it takes to discover ones passion and gifts, then to match them with the needs of the world. Chittister, a wisdom figure of our ...more
Jun 28, 2014 Gloria rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-the-spirit
Joan Chittister is a Benedictine nun who is extremely passionate about people actively developing their spirituality both from a feminist and global perspective. Here is a series of essays about seeking a life of purpose at various stages of life. This is both calming and inspiring as she assures us that we already know what brings us satisfaction; we simply need to ask, seek, pay attention and recognize the experiences that fit who we are and what we value in order to leave this world a better ...more
Apr 29, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
Joan takes the reader on journey to understand why finding our purpose in life is important to a meaningful life. She doesn't tell you step by step but rather poses questions to reflect on, shares stories, and allows the reader to spend time in self-reflection. The last chapter ties together how each of us can truly follow the path. An excellent read at any age! I am glad for the opportunity to read this from Goodreads.
May 07, 2013 Denise rated it it was ok
I like the ideas in this book about finding one's calling. However, I don't know if it's just me, but for such a respected and prolific author, she seemed to repeat herself. A lot! I think it could have been a booklet instead of a book. Nevertheless, I took away some good thoughts about finding and keeping a sense of purpose in one's life, no matter what your age.
May 14, 2015 Sally rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
A little bit of a one-note samba, though I found it helpful at this particular time. If emphasizes discovering who you are and what you have a passion to do within the context of contributing to the community on whatever scale. It has a definite spiritual emphasis, though not emphasizing any particular religion.
Nov 01, 2012 Leslie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This would make a good book for a graduate, a person who is in transition, a person who wants to make a life change. The main thesis is that your life will be a happy one if you have passion and purpose, if you work at something that is truly meaningful to you and helps out others.
Jul 03, 2013 Kay rated it really liked it
This book is filled with "food for thought" . . . I made note of many passages in my personal journal in order to be able to go back and reflect. A wonderful reminder that our lives have great meaning.
Dec 23, 2012 Linda rated it did not like it
A disappointment. I kept wondering why I wasn't getting into it and then I realized I had hoped for more stories of people who had followed their path. Maybe someone who has not yet experienced a life of passion may find this interesting but it still would have been great to have some examples.
Mar 11, 2015 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
Saw an interview with the author and was immediately inspired. She wants to challenge those of us who've reached a certain age to strive for a greater life, and not to sit back and settle into a comfortable old age. (Why else did we gain all this experience?) Just the butt-kicking I needed.
May 19, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
A thoughtful book about searching for life's passion. I loved the quotes that started and ended each chapter. One of my favorite quotes, "Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us." Great gift for anyone in transition.
Oct 19, 2013 Leisa rated it it was ok
The last 50-60 pages are pretty good, but I kept going for almost 100 pages before that where I kept wondering when it was going to progress. She repeated herself quite a lot through much of the book.
Jul 03, 2012 Pvivirito rated it really liked it
Spiritual based approach to entering second half of life. I thought there was some repetition re: insights of the author. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it helpful in my life.
Sep 12, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
A bit repetitive throughout -- but Sister Joan Chittester finds new ways to say the same thing. And what she has to say bears repeating...This book gave me a lot to think about.
Sep 18, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for finding ur path books. I think I need 2 read it again. There was a lot 2 think abt.
Jan 04, 2013 Annette rated it really liked it
Good spiritual advice in no nonsense terms. Joan Chittister is one of my favorite female writers.
May 24, 2014 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Great to keep on nightstand and go back to again and again!
Kristian Sordo
Kristian Sordo rated it really liked it
May 30, 2013
virginia m caple
virginia m caple rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2015
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“life is the vessel we have been given in order to find out what life is really meant to be about.” 1 likes
“Indeed, the big decisions in life are hardly ever clear—except for one. And that one is piercingly clear: life is a series of dilemmas, of options, of conundrums, of possibilities taken and not taken. Negotiating these moments well is of the essence of the life well lived.” 1 likes
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