Joan Chittister is a bestselling author and executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center of contemporary spirituality. She is profiled at Spirituality & Practice as a Living Spiritual Teacher. Chittister has written more than 40 books including Songs of the Heart: Reflections on the Psalms and Aspects of the Heart: The Many Paths to a Good Life, also available from Twenty-Third Publications.

The Art of Life: Monastic Wisdom for Every Day is a creative collection of meditations designed around twelve works of art by masters such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Millet, and more. The brief daily reflections cover subjects such as the age of innocence, the solitude of night, our unplayed melodies, to look at a thing, and of dreams and memories.

We were quite taken with Chittister's own three or four sentence glints of wisdom for each day of the month. Even more remarkable is her unending supply of thought-provoking quotations incorporated into her reflections. Here are just a few:

• "We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing."
— George Bernard Shaw

• "In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself."
— Laurence Sterne

• "Frame your mind to mirth and merriment which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life."
— William Shakespeare

• "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it."
— Margaret Fuller