Joan Chittister is a Benedictine sister and author of 50 books. She is Executive Director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality, and has served as past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. A theologian, social psychologist, and communication theorist, she takes seriously her teaching ministry. She is profiled as one of S&P's Living Spiritual Teachers and a frequent teacher of our e-courses.
Chittister has always been animated by questions. In the introduction, she embraces questions that "do not call for the discovery of data; they call for the contemplation of possibility." These are the ones that "beleaguer the soul from one end of life to the other." Such deep questions inevitably bump up against paradox and compel us to constantly be learning and re-learning what it means to be human.
In this soul-stirring work, Chittister challenges us to make good use of the dark spots, the frustrations, and the tsunamis in the ocean of life. She reminds us in a series of thought-provoking chapters that as we are battered and buffeted by disappointments, security is a mirage; certainty a prison; and achievement and accumulation are transitory. Indeed, spiritual seekers through the centuries have learned about the poverty in plenty and the success in failure.
Chittister goes on to cheer for the energy that comes from exhaustion; the creativity that arises out of confusion; and the liberation in loss. Through her reframing of these obstacles to growth and a flourishing life, we are admonished to see them as spiritual teachers.
In the closing chapters Chittister makes clear the paradoxes that are at the vortex of all our experiences and adventures on earth. She draws out the fullness of separateness, the courage in cowardice, the noise within the silent self, the certitude of doubt, and the seeds of love in friendlessness.
Between the Dark and the Daylight by Joan Chittister reveals her passion as a meaning-maker who keeps on asking the right questions and sharing her grace-filled epiphanies with us. Uplifting and wise works like this one are why keep reading this extraordinary woman. Her enthusiasm shines through the pages of her books and in her many public appearances.