Who hasn’t experienced a struggle that seemed insurmountable? A brokenness of soul that seemed crushing? Each of us has stories of pain and grief, depression and despair, hopelessness and sorrow. Some of them we survived well. Some of them we didn’t.

Joan Chittister will provide tools to help you analyze your own stories of struggle. She will suggest the gifts that each struggle can give as you move toward hope and transformation. "Most of us live everyday between struggle and hope," she writes, "and the way we deal with struggle has something to do with the very measure of the self, with the whole issue of what it is to be a spiritual person."

Joan Chittister is a Benedictine sister with an ecumenical outreach and vision who has written more than 50 books. Her muscular Christianity is grounded in the spiritual practices of the Rule of Saint Benedict, such as listening, hospitality, humility, and peace. You can learn more about her in her Living Spiritual Teachers Project profile. This will be her seventh e-course with Spirituality & Practice (see "Also Recommended").

For this one-month online e-course, you will receive an e-mail on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. Sister Joan will share personal struggles that she has experienced, how she dealt with them, and the gifts that resulted from these experiences. You will be asked to respond to the aspects and gifts of struggle that she articulates by reflecting on your own life’s struggles with the aid of a writing prompt.

Also included in this course will be four 15-minute videos by Sister Joan that will explore the following questions:

- What is struggle? How do we survive it? What happens to us spiritually as a result of struggle?
- What is the Judeo-Christian narrative of struggle?
- What is the spiritual challenge of struggle? What gifts flow from these challenges?
- How does struggle transform us?

In our online Practice Circle, a forum open 24/7, you will be invited to share your questions and insights as well as short reflections from your own work.

(4 CEHs for Chaplains available.)

Monday, July 3 - Friday, July 28


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