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Called to Question


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Table of Contents

Part 1 Prologue: The Journey From Religion to Spirituality Chapter 2 Religion: A Finger Pointing at the Moon Chapter 3 Spirituality: Beyond the Boundaries of Religion Part 4 The Inward Life: A Discovery of the Obvious Chapter 5 The God Within: Whom Shall I Say Sent Me? Chapter 6 The Presence of God: The Truth That Sets Us Free Chapter 7 Prayer: Every Time I Do Get Time Chapter 8 The Call of God: An Echo in the Heart Chapter 9 Insight: The Alchemy of Experience Chapter 10 Solitude: The Balm of the Soul Chapter 11 The Self: The Ground of our Becoming Chapter 12 Commitment: The Place of Change in the Spiritual Life Chapter 13 Balance: Going Through Life Whole and Holy Chapter 14 Darkness: A Way to Light Part 15 Immersion in Life: The Other Side of Inwardness Chapter 16 Relationships: To Know and Be Known Chapter 17 Friendship: A Gift of Independence Chapter 18 Listening: The Beginning of Wisdom Part 19 Resistance: The Gospel Imperative Chapter 20 Justice: Passion for the Reign of God Chapter 21 Power in the Powerless: The Courage to Refuse Evil Part 22 Feminist Spirituality: The Coming of a New World Chapter 23 Society and Women: The Loss of the Soul Chapter 24 Men and Women: The Discovery of the Adult Chapter 25 The Church and Women: Speaking in the Name of God Part 26 Ecology: The Other Side of the Spiritual Life Chapter 27 Nature: The Voice of God Around Us Chapter 28 Creation: The Process That Never Ends Part 29 Dailiness: The Gifts of the Mundane Chapter 30 Struggle: The Search for God in Darkness Chapter 31 Joy: The God who Loves Laughter Chapter 32 Sanctity: The Task of Growing into God Part 33 Epilogue

About the Author

Joan Chittister is a Benedictine sister, best-selling author, and a well-known national and international lecturer. In 2007 she was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award from The Leadership Conference of Women Religious.


Some leading figures (like the Pope) never say, 'I don't know;' others (like the Dalai Lama) say it surprisingly often. Joan Chittister admirably demonstrates the sparkling wisdom which springs from befriending our uncertainty. Page after page, her spirited questioning makes us feel joyfully alive. -- Brother David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B., senior member of Mount Savior Monastery, active participant in and author of several works on Buddhist-Christian dialogue
In Called to Question, Joan Chittister calls us to enter deeply into ourselves as she enters into herself in this memoir that bears the compelling marks of a spiritual classic of our time. Already one of the true voices of the post-Vatican II age, she speaks to us as Woman, as Church, as Spiritual Guide but, most of all, following the mystical poet Blake, in a voice that cleanses the doors of perception so that we may see the universe as it is, infinite. Joan understands that religion is not the work of the will but of the imagination and that the Church is the sacrament of the world, just as it is. Read this to know Joan Chittister better, to know yourself more truly, and to grasp the meaning of sacramental faith more deeply. -- Eugene Kennedy, Ph.D., award-winning author, syndicated columnist, and professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University
This candid memoir takes us immediately back to the challenging spirit of the gospels. Sister Joan reminds us that we have a religious duty to question any authority, however august, and to overturn the idols of orthodoxy. This wise, charitable, and humane book will give hope to anybody who has felt diminished by institutionalized religion. -- Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of A History of God
Chittister expertly and succinctly discusses the differences between religion, which she sees as an institution, and spirituality, which transcends dogma and creed, she says, and dwells in the heart. She reflects upon love and friendship, solitude and contemplation, power and evil, ecology and nature, and ultimately promotes a feminist spirituality to save the world from looming mass destruction. * Booklist *
The book maps Chittister's 'conscious, perilous journey from religion to spirituality.' -- Shirley Ragsdale
For Sister Joan Chittister, defiance is a form of obedience. And silence in the face of injustice is a sin. * USA Today *
Inspiring and edifying spiritual memoir. Consider this work as an example of the growth and transformation that can come from reading and savoring the spiritual words of others. * Spirituality and Health *
The powerhouse sister may come packaged like a powder puff-a powder-blue suit matching her powder-blue eyes. But her out spoken ways challenge any tired stereotypes of women religious, as catholic sisters and nuns are known. -- Cathy Grossman * Norwich Bulletin *
This spiritual memoir is not only the story of how Chittister discovered that she was 'called to question,' but a prompting for all of us to discover that vocation within ourselves as well. -- Heidi Schlumpf * U.S. Catholic *
Sister Joan's book is an inner journey of the soul. -- Owen Phelps * Messenger *

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