"The secret to living a full and happy life lies in learning to sing new songs," says Benedictine sister, writer, and speaker Joan Chittister in this short but salutary collection of reflections on 25 psalms. She is profiled on this website as a Living Spiritual Teacher. The author sees the psalmist as poet, wisdom figure, balladeer, and historian of the struggle for God. Chittister's intention is to have us make these psalms our own and to let them animate our ethical actions and spiritual lives. Interspersed throughout the book are wisdom stories from oral tradition, soul points, and activities to do growing out of the psalms.
Here you will find commentary on psalms dealing with leadership, enlightenment, hospitality, maturity, stress, time, laughter, forgiveness, commitment, gratitude, humility, and thanking God. We especially liked these thought-piece quotations in the book:
• "May you live all the days of your life."
— Jonathan Swift
• "Life is full of internal dramas, instantaneous and sensational, played to an audience of one."
— Anthony Powell
Here is an example of a wisdom story from Theophane the Monk:
• "I walked up to an old, old monk and asked him, 'What is the audacity of humility?' This man had never met me before, but do you know what his answer was? 'To be the first to say, "I love you." ' "