Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope
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Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  152 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Building on the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with God and on the story of her own battle with life-changing disappointment, Sister Joan explores the landscape of suffering and hope. Meant to help readers cope with their own suffering and disappointment, this book is, in Chittister's words, "an anatomy of struggle and an account of the way hope grows in us, despite our...more
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Published September 27th 2005 by St. Anthony Messenger Press (first published 2003)
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An amazing book to give encouragement during the struggles we face in life. No simple answers, and no rushing to forgive/closure/being pain free. Acknowledges the process involved in struggling with our losses, but looks at how these difficult situations can actually become a source of changing us to become stronger, more sensitive people. Should be everyone's list when the tough times hit us.
Sep 29, 2007 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has struggled and dealt with depression, loss, anger...
This is a terrific book -- it was a slow read for me, because it took awhile to absorb and think about the ideas as I went along, so I purposely read it slowly. I really connected with Joan Chittester on a lot of things, especially my own experiences with loss, grief, and hitting major obstacles on my life-journey. She eloquently describes the transformation that happens when these kinds of struggles, in all aspects of our lives, are confronted rather than denied, when we work through the diffic...more
Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, writes about the process of suffering and how spiritual struggle can, eventually, produce qualities leading to hope. As Thomas Moore writes on the back cover of the book, "Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope is not really about hope. It is about the conditions that give rise to hope". Jacob's struggle with God at Peniel is the story/metaphor that ties the various elements of the book together. Chittister finds within Jacob's struggle change, isolation, da...more
Nov 14, 2011 Kristin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kristin by: Kathy from Called & Gifted
Shelves: spiritual-growth
Well, I just wish this book had been better written, because the subject matter was fascinating and useful. The author examines human struggle through the story of Jacob wrestling the angel in Genesis, pointing out how hope surfaces in the process. However, her writing style was far too non-linear, and apparently non-edited, for my taste.
Jeanne Gehret
My first book by Chittister, but not my last. I read this on Kindle, which I don't recommend, since a paper copy would've made it easier to refer back and forth in the book. At times it was a bit ponderous, but suffering is, after all, a weighty topic, and I felt a kindred spirit.
I really needed this book when I read it. It does seem to jump from struggle to transformation without really telling you how to go about doing that. However, it is a very hopeful book in a time a crisis.
Bev Moss
This book was a collection of essays that seemed somewhat repetitive to me. I think I was hoping for something more linear which would have progressed. Instead, I felt like I was lost in the forest and kept getting on the same trail again and again. That being said, there were indeed many pearls of wisdom and deep insight into how all of us feel when life turns upside down.
De Vandiver
A gift for every perfectionist, especially:

"It is trust in the limits of the self that makes us open and it is trust in the gift of others that makes us secure. We come to realize tht we don't have to do everything, that what I can't do is someone else's gift and responsibility. I am a small piece of the cosmic clock, a necessary piece but not the only piece. My limitations make space for the gifts of other people. Without teh grace of our limitations, we would be isolated, dry, insufferable cre...more
Thomas Moore says it best on the back of the book: "[This book] is not really about hope. It is about the conditions that give rise to hope--the honest emotions, the trusting vision, the steadfast struggle. I appreciate the way this powerful book offers a way toward hope without any cheating. No sentimentality. No false assurances. No spiritual illusions. It has the strong voice of personal experience plus a rare religious intelligence. Like the human character in its central story of Jacob and...more
Martin Goldberg
I'd heard about this book; was told it was very good. Not so. It's unbelievably amazing. Absolutely beautiful writing.
Just Wow. I really, really loved this book. Maybe it's just where I'm at.

If you are uncomfortable with the religious aspect, you can take out the God stuff, it still (is "profoundly" too much?) resonates. She talks about how to deal with that bottoming out feeling when struggling with anything. Please read! I want to talk with someone!
Olive Chan
Using Jacob's experience of wrestling with God as a guide, Chittister takes us on a journey exploring the anatomy of our struggles and the redemptive opportunity that lies within them. I found some very insightful observations in this book. It gave me hope that although struggles are inevitable, good can still come out of it.
There are true words of inspiration in those pages! This book helped clarify what I've been feeling for years, that which I could not put into words myself. I praised God all by myself when her words reflected what I deal with right now!! Excellent read...
this was a very inspiring book by Joasn Chissiter, we all have various struggles to over come in life, this book is great for anyone who is struggling with finding hope in the face of these srtuggles.
Heather Mayer
Wonderful wonderful book. This spoke to me in a profound way when I read it- I was at the perfect place in my life to really receive what Chittister has to offer.
This book was great! If you've ever been through any kind of tough time, especially an illness of some kind, I would recommend reading this book!
Good book, not so much about hope more about the gifts rendered through struggle. Really liked it. I will be rereading this book.
Beth/Sr. Elizabeth
Wow! Did I ever need to read this book at this very moment of my life. Fabulous for anyone struggling.
re-reading - fantastic book for anyone going through those dark times. I love Joan 's writing.
Kathy Mercier
I ordered extra copies from Amazon and gave to people, that is how powerful this book was to me.
A very real, yet hopeful perspective on the purpose of struggle in our lives.
Extraordinary book on the wrestling of faith through loss.
Inspiring words for tough times.
Ashley Moy-Wooten
Ashley Moy-Wooten is currently reading it
Aug 16, 2014
Seton Droppers
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Aug 07, 2014
Linda Hobkirk
Linda Hobkirk marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
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