Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Joan D. Chittister.

Joan D. Chittister Joan D. Chittister > Quotes


Joan D. Chittister quotes Showing 1-30 of 81

“Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.”
Joan Chittister
“Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.”
Joan Chittister, In a High Spiritual Season
“Beware the religion that turns you against another one. It's unlikely that it's really religion at all.”
Joan D. Chittister, God Speaks in Many Tongues: Meditate with Joan Chittister
“I celebrate myself," the poet Walt Whitman wrote. The thought is so delicious it is almost obscene. Imagine the joy that would come with celebrating the self — our achievements, our experiences, our existence. Imagine what it would be like to look into the mirror and say, as God taught us, "That's good.”
Joan Chittister, Light in the Darkness: New Reflections on the Psalms for Every Day of the Year
“Our role in life is to bring the light of our own souls to the dim places around us.”
Joan Chittister
“We have made money our god and called it the good life. We have trained our children to go for jobs hat bring the quickest corporate advancements at the highest financial levels. We have taught them careerism but not ministry and wonder why ministers are going out of fashion. We fear coddling the poor with food stamps while we call tax breaks for the rich business incentives. We make human community the responsibility of government institutions while homelessness, hunger, and drugs seep from the centers of our cities like poison from open sores for which we do not seek either the cause or the cure. We have created a bare and sterile world of strangers where exploitation is a necessary virtue. We have reduced life to the lowest of values so that the people who have much will not face the prospect of having less.
Underlying all of it, we have made women the litter bearers of a society where disadvantage clings to the bottom of the institutional ladder and men funnel to the top, where men are privileged and women are conscripted for the comfort of the human race. We define women as essential to the development of the home but unnecessary to the development of society. We make them poor and render them powerless and shuttle them from man to man. We sell their bodies and question the value of their souls. We call them unique and say they have special natures, which we then ignore in their specialness. We decide that what is true of men is true of women and then say that women are not as smart as men, as strong as men, or as capable as men. We render half the human race invisible and call it natural. We tolerate war and massacre, mayhem and holocaust to right the wrongs that men say need righting and then tell women to bear up and accept their fate in silence when the crime is against them.
What’s worse, we have applauded it all—the militarism, the profiteering, and the sexisms—in the name of patriotism, capitalism, and even religion. We consider it a social problem, not a spiritual one. We think it has something to do with modern society and fail to imagine that it may be something wrong with the modern soul. We treat it as a state of mind rather than a state of heart. Clearly, there is something we are failing to see.”
Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
“It is precisely women’s experience of God that this world lacks. A world that does not nurture its weakest, does not know God the birthing mother. A world that does not preserve the planet, does not know God the creator. A world that does not honor the spirit of compassion, does not know God the spirit. God the lawgiver, God the judge, God the omnipotent being have consumed Western spirituality and, in the end, shriveled its heart.”
Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
“Acceptance is the universal currency of real friendship. . . .It does not warp or shape or wrench a person to be anything other than what they are.”
Joan Chittister
“We don't change as we get older - we just get to be more of what we've always been.”
Joan D. Chittister, The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully
“What happens to the spiritual life of a young girl who is made to understand, consciously or subconsciously, that she has no place in the spiritual domain except as a consumer of someone else’s God?”
Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
“Everywhere I looked, hope existed - but only as some kind of green shoot in the midst of struggle. It was a theological concept, not a spiritual practice. Hope, I began to realize, was not a state of life. It was at best a gift of life.”
Joan Chittister
“Feminism without spirituality runs the risk of becoming what it rejects: an elitist ideology, arrogant, superficial and separatist, closed to everything but itself. Without a spiritual base that obligates it beyond itself, calls it out of itself for the sake of others, a pedagogical feminism turned in on itself can become just one more intellectual ghetto that the world doesn’t notice and doesn’t need.”
Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
“The symbolic evidence of women’s invisibility in the human race is most clear perhaps in her suppression, her camouflage, her negation even in language. Women are subsumed, excised, erased by male pronouns, by male terminology, by male prayers about brotherhood and brethren, even and always by exclusively male images of God. The tradition that will call God spirit, rock, key door, wind, and bird will never ever call God mother. So much for the creative womb of God; so much for “I am who am.” So much for “Let us make human beings in our own image, male and female, let us make them.” What kind of spirituality is that? To take the position that using two pronouns for the human race is not important in a culture that has thirty words for car, multiple words for flowers, and dozens of words for dog breeds is to say that women are not important.”
Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
“The spiritual life, in other words, is not achieved by denying one part of life for the sake of another. The spiritual life is achieved only by listening to all of life and learning to respond to each of its dimensions wholly and with integrity.”
Joan D. Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today
“Blind obedience is itself an abuse of human morality. It is a misuse of the human soul in the name of religious commitment. It is a sin against individual conscience. It makes moral children of the adults from whom moral agency is required. It makes a vow, which is meant to require religious figures to listen always to the law of God, beholden first to the laws of very human organizations in the person of very human authorities. It is a law that isn't even working in the military and can never substitute for personal morality.”
Joan Chittister
“I began to trust the questions themselves to lead me beyond answers to understanding, beyond practice to faith”
Joan Chittister
“The spiritual response is too often a simplistic one: we abandon God or we blame God for abandoning us.”
Joan Chittister
“Silence is a frightening thing. Silences leaves us at the mercy of the noise within us. We hear the fears that need to be faced. We hear, then, the angers that need to be cooled. We hear the emptiness that needs to be filled. We hear the cries for humility and reconciliation and centeredness. We hear ambition and arrogance and attitudes of uncaring awash in the shallows of the soul. Silence demands answers. Silence invites us to depth. Silence heals what hoarding and running will not touch.”
Joan D. Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today
“We struggle to maintain a dead past in the name of peace and refuse the new life that running water brings to everything. We confuse “stagnant” with “calm” and call it holiness. We miss the power of the paradox that peace is not passivity and that a living death is neither death nor life.”
Joan D. Chittister, Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life
“We have watched our educational system begin to fray because we have taken weapons for granted and preferred a strong military to an educated population.”
Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: A Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
“We don't change as we get older - we just get to be ore of what we've always been.”
Joan D. Chittister, The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully
“Prayer that is regular confounds both self-importance and the wiles of the world. It is so easy for good people to confuse their own work with the work of creation. It is so easy to come to believe that what we do is so much more important than what we are. It is so easy to simply get too busy to grow. It is so easy to commit ourselves to this century’s demand for product and action until the product consumes us and the actions exhaust us and we can no longer even remember why we set out to do them in the first place.”
Joan D. Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today
“Humble people walk comfortably in every group. No one is either too beneath them or too above them for their own sense of well-being. They are who they are, people with as much to give as to get, and they know it. And because they're at ease with themselves, they can afford to be open with others... Having discovered who we are and having opened ourselves to life and having learned to be comfortable with it, we know that God is working in us. We know, most of all, that whatever happens we have nothing to fear... we are free of the false hopes and false faces and false needs that once held us down. We can fly now. Let all the others scratch and grapple for the plastic copy of life. We have found the real thing.”
Joan Chittister OSB
“Feminists are asking women and men not to buy into patriarchal systems that destroy them both. Feminism comes to bring both men and women to the fullness of life, the wholeness of soul, for which we were all made in the image and likeness of God.”
Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: A Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
“It is one thing to speak kindly to an irritating stranger on Monday. It is quite another thing to go on speaking kindly to the same irritating relative, or irritating employee, or irritating child day after day, week after week, year after year and come to see in that what God is asking of me, what God is teaching me about myself in this weary, weary moment.”
Joan D. Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today
“Life with someone else, in other words, doesn't show me nearly as much about his or her shortcomings as it does about my own.... That's how relationships sanctify me. They show me where holiness is for me. That's how relationships develop me. They show me where growth is for me. If I'm the passive-victim type, then assertiveness may have something to do with coming to wholeness. If I'm the domineering character in every group, then a willingness to listen and to be led may be my call to life. Alone, I am what I am, but in community I have the chance to become everything I can be.”
Joan Chittister
“These questions do not call for the discovery of data; they call for the contemplation of possibility.”
Joan D. Chittister, Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life
“When God has become a business, though, it is very hard for people to get the confidence to realize that God is really a personal God, a God who touches us as individuals, a God who is as close to us as we choose to see. We have learned well the remoteness of a God who lived for so long behind communion rails and altar steps and seminary doors and chancery desks that the experience of God, however strong, has always been more private secret than public expectation.”
Joan D. Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today
“Where will Christian feminists go for spiritual nourishment if the church itself fails to reflect the feminism of Jesus? If tradition becomes a reason for churches, for synagogues, for mosques to refuse to change in the light of new insights and understandings, on what grounds can we expect change from other institutions?”
Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
“Women learn in such a system that, though they are usually tolerated in life and often loved, they are seldom respected for themselves, for their opinions, for their talents, for their perspectives. The life of a woman shrivels under the weight of an unnatural deference and lost development. Women live knowing that inside themselves is a capped well, a fount of untapped treasure, a person gone to waste. The spiritual life of a woman never knows total maturation in an environment that never seeks her opinions, her interpretations, her insights, and her experience of God. Whatever ministry she was born to perform never comes to light, is lost to the church, dies on the vines that were never cultivated.”
Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men

« previous 1 3

All Quotes | Add A Quote
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game

Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today Wisdom Distilled from the Daily
653 ratings
Open Preview
The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully The Gift of Years
871 ratings
The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages The Rule of Benedict
504 ratings
Open Preview
Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope
299 ratings
Open Preview