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

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  197 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Every age has answered the questions and challenges of spiritual living in its own particular ways through its languages, arts, and lifestyles, giving seekers various concepts for guidance. 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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 241 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by BlueBridge (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jun 01, 2011 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I Can Tell You: I have never heard of Joan Chittister and this is one of the most wonderful things about being a book reviewer. Sometimes things cross my desk that would have never been on my radar.

I am one of those people who go by the motto "everything happens for a reason" and I do believe there is a reason this book came my way.

Being more spiritual than religious I was worried that I would come away thinking I was preached to, feeling that this book was way beyond what I believe or kn
Nov 04, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sep 20, 2011 Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
Joan Chittister puts the Rule of St Benedict in lyrical, easily accessible language.
Kevin Orth
Oct 23, 2016 Kevin Orth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was initially both attracted to and hesitant about reading this book. I wanted to ensure the author was sufficiently broad minded to encompass spirituality to include a diverse audience. In looking over the associated web site ( one of the membership requirements include "Do you bow before the dignity of each human being regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or religious tradition?" I knew the author has something I want to pursue.

I feel all the m
Dec 30, 2011 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not always agreed with Joan Chittister, OSB, but have persevered with her because she has often highlighted significant points, or people in whom we recognise something that calls us on. In this book she takes the basis of the Benedictine Rule and puts it in more contemporary language. She then offers it to people not only in monasteries but wherever we are: online, at work, in homes. It has many passages worthy of pondering in hearts and minds. But it rewards one who reads the entire boo ...more
Jean Marie Angelo
I knew nothing about Joan Chittister. Several friends recommended her to me, and this was my first introduction. I came to this not knowing that Joan is a Benedictine, that she has been inclusive of everyone, and that her acceptance and humility have brought her under investigation of the Roman Catholic Church. The prose here is simple, straightforward, and beautiful. I learned about the Rule of Benedict and how it can apply to our modern lives. The basic tenents of prayer, meaningful work, and ...more
Jun 17, 2014 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! It will seem like a quick read, but try to read only a chapter a week, reading that same chapter every day. Or at least give a couple days to each chapter. Each paragraph deserves thought. "To pursue the path of Benedictine spirituality means that we will leave whatever part of the world we inhabit-- its neighborhoods and nations, its oceans and preserves, its forests and its soil--in better condition than they were before we came."
Catherine Casey
May 07, 2015 Catherine Casey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Monasteries of the Heart a very good read which brought a number of things into perspective for someone wishing to or committed too living a Form of Monastic life. I look forward to renewing some resolve, as well as reading more of Joan Chittister's work. I wouls highly recommend reading it.
Nov 03, 2011 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
This book is the companion to the Erie Benedictines' new Monasteries of the Heart program. Rather than prose, the book is written in a poetic, meditational style seemingly so as to be inspirational rather than instructional. I personally don't find the book very inspirational nor do I find it a very good introduction to Benedictine spirituality.
Pam I.
Feb 10, 2013 Pam I. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This very elegant, almost poetic, presentation of basic Benedictine principles invites one to embrace and live monastically yet engaged in routine daily life in the real world. The poetic style makes this a beautiful reading experience.
Sep 15, 2011 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This is a set of reflections in verse format on the Benedictine Rule. I am quite taken with the Benedictine Rule and generally enjoy books about it. I seemed to get bored with this one, perhaps because of the verse style which should have been great, but I found it distracting.
Candace Simar
Oct 08, 2013 Candace Simar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully written book about Benedictine spirituality is one that I will read again. It's practical, loving, encouraging and uplifting. I'd recommend it to anyone who seeks a closer walk with God.
Patti Clement
Easy read but I can't seem to finish it! I love to hear her speak, but am having difficulty reading her book. I think because she is so dynamic as a speaker and the words don't come to life for me.
Charles Roberts
Sep 11, 2011 Charles Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A grand example of how words intended to inform can also be chosen and written in such combination that they create a work of art.
Sep 19, 2014 Marti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to know about the Benedictine way of life, this is a book that will help you see your way into the "Rule of Benedict."
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Share This Book

“Benedictine spirituality, after all,
is life lived to the hilt.
It is a life of concentration
on life's ordinary dimensions.
It is an attempt to do
the ordinary things of life
extraordinarily well.”
“Stability of heart— commitment to the life of the soul, faithfulness to the community, perseverance in the search for God— is the mooring that holds us fast when the night of the soul is at its deepest dark, and the noontime sun sears the spirit. When” 1 likes
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