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Between the Dark and the Daylight


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From the beloved Benedictine nun, founder of Benetvision, and author of The Gift of Years comes a new inspirational guide for those trekking the messy terrain between joy and dark nights of the soul.

About the Author

JOAN CHITTISTER is an internationally known author and lecturer, and the executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality. She is past president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Her books include The Gift of Years, The Breath of the Soul, Uncommon Gratitude, and Following the Path. She is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania.


Publishers Weekly
"One of the most well-known and trusted contemporary spiritual authors has tackled a significant topic that will speak to seekers of all faiths. Benedictine nun Chittister (The Gift of Years) posits that contradictions, paradoxes, and ambiguities all play an important role in the life of the spirit, although it is not always apparent. Since the dawn of humanity people have sought peace and contentment. But the same obstacles that plagued humanity thousands of years ago are still wreaking havoc on human psyches and spirits. How to navigate the treacherous waters of the unknown and the seemingly nonsensical? It is in darkness, chaos, and insecurity, the author insists, that people find the most spiritual fruit. Risk is an important factor in any life, because security is a mirage. Personal and professional achievements are fleeting, and being certain about anything in life will only lead to disappointment. Chittister's beautifully crafted short reflections are salve for the soul and an antidote to the apathy, depression, and obsession with material goods that beset so many."

"Here, at last, is a book for those ready to make peace with the unsolvable riddles of present-day life. Why are we so lonely in a world of so little privacy? Why do we work so hard for control we can never achieve? Whether the problem that keeps you up at night is how to find safety in a world that is always changing or how to deal with guilt in a life that is far from perfect, Sister Joan has good news for you: these are the questions that make you human, and can make you more joyously human if you choose." -Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Learning to Walk in the Dark

"The great spiritual writers knew that truth can be found most often in paradoxes and contradictions. To find light you must go through darkness. To seek knowledge you must admit that you know little. To live you must die to self. Joan Chittister's new book explores the meaning of some of the most profound spiritual paradoxes and, in the process, helps the reader find her or his way to new life. Sister Joan has long been one of my favorite spiritual writers, and with this new book she has given us more of her trademark common sense, insight and wisdom." -James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage.

"As always, Joan has put her finger and her pen to the right and needed words. She well describes those liminal spaces wherein human beings best grow and become their best selves. She could never describe them so well if she had not walked through them herself." -
Richard Rohr, OFM, Founder of Center for Action and Contemplation and author of Falling Upward

"This little tome is an alarm clock for the spiritual journey. It wakes the reader up to the fact that our life journey is unique for each of us, yet we are twined together in the presence of God in every moment. Joan brings her years of faithful monasticism to open up the painful contradictions of our time: Wake up! The time is NOW!" -Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK, author of A Nun on the Bus

"Joan Chittister has written what promises to be a spiritual classic--a guide for those of us who have ever spent sleepless nights wrestling with our own frustrations, fear of the unknown and pain of loss and separation. Through the wisdom of a woman who has experienced all of these, we learn how doubt can lead to greater clarity, hopelessness to new life and solitude to deeper connection. In short, how the paradoxes that confound life can transform it. This the most poetic writing yet from a woman who is a modern prophet." -Judith Valente, author of Atchison Blue and correspondent for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on PBS-TV

"This book could be life-changing for many. Joan Chittister highlights the paradoxes and contradictions of life, things that we experience as obstacles, as life-denying, such as loss, confusion, doubt, failure, emptiness, exhaustion, and shows convincingly-the strength of the book lies here-how each one offers an opportunity for fuller growth. Turning the pages we maybe perceive how much of our life we fail to live, how many opportunities we waste. It is my hope that this book will reach a vast number of people experiencing the pain and splendour of being human. They will be enlightened and comforted." -Ruth Burrows, OCD, author of Essence of Prayer

"In a one-word nutshell, life is best defined as a conundrum. Every high flees the hot pursuit of a low; certainties emerge from the shadows of doubt; endings are invitations to new beginnings. In this beautiful book, Joan Chittister focuses her discerning eye upon these conundrums. Turning the pages is like turning a kaleidoscope of insight because it helps us to see, admire, and appreciate the infinite colors and shapes of life. At times, Between the Dark and the Daylight sparkles with ageless wisdom; at other times it glows like the quiet embers of a best friend's advice. This is a book to which you will return over and over and, each time you do, you will discover new treasures of optimism." -Maura Poston Zagrans, author of Camerado, I Give You My Hand

Chittister has earned her place as one of the illuminators of our age." -Chicago Tribune

"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." -Spirituality and Practice

"It is profound truths which Chittister explores in this book, and for the most she does so superbly." -
Carl McColman, A Contemplative Faith

"Joan Chittister's Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life is a hymn to spiritual stature." -Bruce Epperly, Living a Holy Adventure

"[This book] is a powerful, modern proclamation of the potential and possibilities for present day seekers for living a wise, good, compassionate, just, balanced life in communion with God and humanity." -Chuck Queen, Faith Forward

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