About the Author
Colleen Carroll Campbell is an award-winning author, print and
broadcast journalist, and former presidential speechwriter. Her
books include her critically acclaimed journalistic study, The New
Faithful, and spiritual memoir, My Sisters the Saints, which won
two national awards and has been published in five languages.
Colleen has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post,
Christianity Today, America, and National Review, and she has
appeared on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, ABC News, PBS, NPR, and EWTN,
where she hosted her own television and radio shows for eight
years. A former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and
editorial writer and op-ed columnist for the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch, Colleen is the recipient of two honorary doctorates
and numerous other awards for her work. She speaks to audiences
across North America and Europe and lives in St. Louis with her
husband and their four children, whom she homeschools. Visit her
online at Colleen-Campbell.com.
This is a well-written book for any--and this is no small number
today--whose lives feel too pressured, who feel that, no matter how
hard they try, they can never measure up to what God expects.
Colleen Carroll Campbell, with a rich blend of personal experience
and the witness of the saints, real saints, with real lives and
struggles like our own, points the way to freedom from a burden
that God never wanted us to carry. If you feel that you work hard .
. . but always come up short in God's eyes, this is the book for
--Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV, author of The Discernment of
Spirits: An Ignatian Guide to Everyday Living
"Whenever you find yourself comparing, competing, and trying to
earn a gold star in life... read The Heart of Perfection
Colleen Carroll Campbell's writing is grace-filled and life-giving.
I loved this book! "
--Sarah Mackenzie, author of The Read-Aloud Family and Teaching
"The Heart of Perfection
is a reflective, engaging work that
offers a comforting yet challenging message. Colleen Carroll
Campbell writes with the confidence and spark of an experienced
writer as well as with the contagious, personal passion of a
spiritual seeker. ... Her message is compelling, suggesting
remedies and challenging the reader to address the perfectionism
that is force-fed to most of us from our earliest years by
misguided representatives of both the social and religious cultures
of our time."
--Br. Joseph F. Schmidt, FSC, author of Everything Is Grace: the
Life and Way of Therese of Lisieux and Walking the Little Way of
Therese of Lisieux.
"Catholics and Protestants have much to learn from the 'saints' and
from this self-revealing book by Colleen Carroll Campbell. Colleen
unveils the reality discovered by many who have gone before us that
true satisfaction, peace, and joy are not the results of our
efforts to live a perfect life, but come as a gift of God's love.
To all who are burdened with shame and guilt in their efforts to do
life right, the message of this book is liberating."
--Gary D. Chapman, Ph.D. New York Times bestselling author of
The Five Love Languages
"In The Heart of Perfection,
Colleen Carroll Campbell
explores the real lives of saints with the scrutiny of an
investigative journalist and highlights their quest for the perfect
love of God. ... Like so many women (and men) today who are caught
in the endless hamster wheel of trying to be perfect, Campbell
spent her life striving for her ideal self, and surpassed her own
goals. ... In this deep and thoughtful reflection on herself, the
generations of perfectionist women she came from, and with a
broad-daylight expose of the lives of the not-so perfect saints,
Campbell realizes that setting the bar so high is detrimental;
trying to be perfect only results in beating yourself up for not
being perfect. The Heart of Perfection
is a must-read for
those of us whose pursuit of perfection is just creating the
--Jeannie Gaffigan, writer and executive producer of "The Jim
Gaffigan Show" and four Grammy-nominated comedy albums
"With lyrical prose and candid storytelling, Colleen Carroll
Campbell unpacks the perfectionism that keeps many of us striving
to impress God and others, often to exhaustion. Yet instead of
offering the quick fix of self-help platitudes, Campbell draws us
into the rich and complex lives of the saints. Separated by
centuries and culture, the saints nonetheless become like friends
in Campbell's telling, revealed to us as wonderfully human yet
transformed by grace. May this book be a conduit of grace for many
--Katelyn Beaty, author of A Woman's Place and former managing
editor of Christianity Today
Perfectionists already know many of the truths that can set us
free. For instance, we know that God loves us, that he's
trustworthy, and that we don't have to earn his love. But knowing
is not enough. We also need such truths to penetrate our hardened
hearts and calm our frazzled nerves. This book is here to help.
Through engaging personal testimony and the masterful re-telling of
lives of relatable saints, it effectively heals wounds that keep us
from the joyful freedom of the children of God.
--Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC Author, 33 Days to Morning Glory and
33 Days to Merciful Love
"Today's culture preaches salvation through perfectionism, and many
of us have ended up stressed out and miserable from trying to do
everything the 'right' way. The Heart of Perfection
permission to step out of the straitjackets we've forced ourselves
into, and walk in the freedom of God's unconditional love."
--Jennifer Fulwiler, SiriusXM radio host and author of One
"This book is absolutely excellent and meets a very present need of
many people. I wish it to be read by everyone! Not always
consciously, we are marked by a certain perfectionism, the feeling
that to deserve God's love and the love of others we must be
perfect beings and follow a faultless journey to God. This
perfectionism may seem generous and express the commitment to be
good Christians, but it is actually disastrous. It prevents us from
achieving true perfection, not the one we imagine, but the one God
wants for us... From her personal experience, from the example of
the saints, from her meditation on Scripture, Colleen shows us with
great spiritual truth and psychological sharpness how this
perfectionism manifests itself, its consequences, and how to get
rid of it to enter into the true freedom of the children of God.
One thing that gives me great joy in this book is to see how a
woman, wife, and mother, engaged in a very active professional
life, living in the complicated context of our society, can reach
such an authentic experience of God and deep, spiritual wisdom -
something that may have been thought to be reserved for some
particular vocations, such as religious life. This is an immense
encouragement to lay people today who sometimes think that
struggling with the problems of everyday family life may be an
impediment to progress in the spiritual life. Colleen shows us that
it's the opposite, and we should be very grateful to her."
--Fr. Jacques Philippe, internationally bestselling author of nine
books published in 24 languages, including Searching for and
Maintaining Peace, Interior Freedom, and Time for God.