Awakenings: Prophetic Reflections
By: Joan Chittister and Edited by Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, and Mary Hembrow Snyder
"Sr. Joan Chittister embodies the triumph of hope over discouragement. A brave act of witness by a modern Doctor of the Church, this eloquent record of a long and faithful life is more needed now than ever."--James Carroll, author, The Truth at the Heart of the Lie
"Awakenings is a story of integration, that of a prophetic woman ever seeking liberating justice for her church and her world, animated by the empowering wisdom of the Benedictine monastic tradition. This book interweaves three musical chords--the presence of God, the call to spiritual insight, and the rejection of sexism--that have sustained Joan through her long and inspiring life. No doubt, they will also sustain and empower all who draw on this rich legacy."--Diarmuid O'Murchu, author, Doing Theology in an Evolutionary Way "Like Hildegard of Bingen
Joan Chittister dissents by 'daring to be herself.' Her 'awakenings' depict a devoted advocate for the Divine Feminine, who urges us to move beyond compliance and conformity, listening to the voice of God within us, awake to everything and everyone around us, to forge our own nonviolent spiritual paths transforming the fruits of our contemplation into hospitable action."--Patrick Henry, professor emeritus Whitman College
"To Love This Earthly Life, leads us through Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth). The title may seem strange because of the many negative viewpoints that dot the book. But in fact, however, Ecclesiastes is a positive book that asks its readers to make the most of life: “because it is the only one you will ever have; don’t waste your energies on what does not matter....be mindful of the present moment and its potential” (p. xx). “Carpe diem...Make haste to seize the day and pick the fruit now because tomorrow is uncertain” (p. 128). We need to be present to the present while it is still present. To live fully each moment with undivided attention and mindfulness is the challenge; tomorrow may never come because everything is fleeting. Casey in six short chapters of this book steers us along the pathway he traces for us in lectio divina to negotiate the turns and twists in the text of Ecclesiastes and in our lives, so as to seize the blessings of the present moment (Chap. 7) and make the most of our lives. "-- Peter B. Lobo, OP., Dominican Ashram
Joan Chittister is one of the most popular and influential spiritual writers today. Apart from her scores of bestselling books and articles, she has contributed essays to dozens of other books. Collected here are two dozen of her best and most representative pieces, covering three essential themes: Women in the Church, Seeds of a New Spirituality, and the Monastic Vision. Together they provide a guide to her essential, and prophetic, wisdom.
Mary Lou Kownacki is a Benedictine nun in Erie, PA (Chittister’s community). She is the former executive director of the Alliance for International Monasticism, USA. In 2006 she was honored by Pax Christi USA as their Pope Paul VI Teacher of Peace.
Mary Hembrow Snyder is professor emerita of Catholic Theology & Religious Studies who taught at Mercyhurst University for over three decades. She edited Spiritual Questions for the Twenty-First Century: Essays in Honor of Joan D. Chittister and co-edited Joan Chittister: Essential Writings with Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB. Dr. Snyder is also Erie Benedictine Oblate.