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  1. Between the Dark and the Daylight
  2. Between the Dark and the Daylight | Joan Chittister
  3. See a Problem?

Somehow I had never heard of her before I requested this title from Blogging for Books. Between the Dark and the Daylight , which came out in February, strikes me as a work of practical spirituality with a self-help bent. Her focus on oxymorons and pairs of opposites spurs readers to re-evaluate and redefine experiences that are always envisioned as negative: It is the right we assert to be less than we are capable of being.

This book has been quite inspirational for me. If I were being critical, I might say that her prose is a little repetitive and too reliant on quotes and anecdotes from external sources. She is certainly more focused on ideas than on writing style. This is a common complaint I have about theology books: It feels like every other line is quote-worthy. Until pretty soon, we find ourselves spending our lives on taking care of everything our money has bought. When change comes unbidden and without our permission, it looks more dangerous than daring, more of an enemy than a liberator.

Aug 03, Pj rated it liked it Shelves: I did enjoy this quick read, ironically reading it before bedtime.


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First book I've read by Joan Chittister. It was more spiritual than religious. Otherwise, I'd recommend this book for anyone that is really feeling 'where do I go from here' it brought up some good subjects to ponder! I didn't do this, but after reading each chapter it would have been nice to bounce ideas in a journal Now, this isn't I did enjoy this quick read, ironically reading it before bedtime. I didn't do this, but after reading each chapter it would have been nice to bounce ideas in a journal Now, this isn't a 'how to' book, so don't read if you want advice, but it might just give you some thoughts you haven't thought of!

Sep 30, Gina rated it it was ok. They were simply just contradictions. Additionally, each chapter seemed more like her opinion then a true reflection, if that makes sense. May 05, Kate rated it it was amazing Shelves: My first but will not be the last encounter with Joan Chittister. She describes the paradoxes we all face daily and provides a means for self-reflection to help reconcile the dark and light in our lives. Nov 28, Eva rated it it was amazing.

With so many books in her catalogue, Joan Chittister still manages to bring forth new wisdom and points of contemplation. This title is, I found, perfect for individual Lectio; reading small portions and then reflecting on them during the next few days. It's organisation into small chapters also makes it perfect for reading a chapter before bed, and letting the ideas then take root.

This is destined to become a very well highlighted member of your library. Oct 15, Sara rated it it was amazing Shelves: Very accessible common sense wisdom and perspective from a well- known author. I read this at 2 or 3 am when I've had enough of my own thoughts. She reminds me I am not alone but that these moments of lonely reflection can be times when one is more connected with one's soul. Jun 17, Jtp rated it it was amazing.

Between the Dark and the Daylight

GREAT daily reflection reading Jul 18, Paul Deland rated it it was amazing. Attending to opposite truths of our being for their essential goodness. Jun 10, Sharon Thomsen rated it really liked it. I love Sister Joan and how she tackles the hard questions. She always makes me think. Sep 03, Spencer rated it it was amazing Shelves: I really like her writing style.


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  • May 29, Sue Whitt rated it it was amazing. Jun 04, Lauretta Monise rated it it was amazing. Inspirational A thoughtful look into life's possibilities. I found myself sharing passage after passage with my friends and loved ones. The book left me wishing for more. Sep 01, Mary Kenyon rated it really liked it. The others can accompany me. They can look out for me. They can offer me their support and understanding and care. But if there is something missing in my life, I'm the only one who really knows what it is.

    I am the only one who can put it there. Since the death of my husband in , I have struggled with a sense of loneliness and for all that I pour myself into my job, do public speaking, "And at that point, I am the only one who can rescue me. Since the death of my husband in , I have struggled with a sense of loneliness and for all that I pour myself into my job, do public speaking, facilitate a Bible study, and get "out there," I still remain lonely. Others have asked, "How can you be lonely with children still at home? I can be in a room full of people and still feel this aching loneliness.

    It is also a call to make other people's needs our own. What we learn in loneliness is that everybody needs someone.

    Between the Dark and the Daylight | Joan Chittister

    The question at a time like this, then, is 'Who needs something I can do for them? Which is why, perhaps, so many people who lose a loved one begin groups to support people in similar situations. Joan Chittister covers a lot of valid points in her book, but as a widow and mother of eight children, I have to say that as a member of the Benedictine Sisters, she just might not "get it" when it comes to understanding just how little "peaceful, tranquil, contemplative moments" mothers might get.

    I think that makes a difference in how we handle loneliness, rest, relaxation, friendship, loss, and the myriad of topics the author covers in her book. Loss is not loss. It is simply the invitation to find the more of ourselves that is waiting to become the rest of ourselves. It is huge, and the loss of my husband is a huge gaping wound. But yes, I am a different person than I was three years ago, and while I hate that I was "refined" by loss, I was.

    Mar 24, Faith rated it it was amazing. Between the Dark and the Daylight lies the place of uncertainty, longing, loneliness, concern, and knowledge of our finitude.

    See a Problem?

    It's not a place we want to go on a sleepless night. But Sister Joan Chittister argues that it isn't a place to ignore or run away from. Instead, it's where we can find ourselves. When paradoxes are embraced and insight is found within the tension, a soul "grows, expands, centers, and becomes its most radiant self.

    Without risk we live in a world of small dreams and lost possibilities. We are born to be fully alive, to be happy, to give our gifts to the world with the joy that comes from doing our best and having it mean something to someone else. The good ones enliven us and give life to those around us. The bad ones give nothing to anyone, least of all ourselves.

    Pithy is a good description of them- powerful thoughts expressed concisely. The ideas hit you, and force you to re-read sentences. And along the way, as she lays bare her own meditations, she quotes other minds that have wrestled with the same basic life. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. May 06, Amanda Oster rated it really liked it Shelves: The subtitle of this book is: Embracing the Contradictions of Life, and I believe this is the point of each chapter.

    For example, chapter two deals with frustration. Whereas most of us try to fix frustration in our lives through quick fixes and remedies that simply keep it at bay for a time--shopping, writing people off, changing jobs on a regular basis, moving to a different neighborhood, etc.

    Our frustrations are the means by which we can discover greater meaning and fulfillment, only if we will really come to welcome what frustration uncovers in us. Other such topics in her book include the emptiness of accumulation chapter 7 , the loneliness of love chapter 22 , and the necessary role failure plays in success chapter 9. In words as wise as they are inspiring, Between the Dark and the Daylight explores the concerns of modern life, of the overworked mind and hurting heart.

    These are the paradoxical—and often frustrating—moments when our lives feel at odds with everything around us. Only by embracing the contradictions, Chittister contends, may we live well amid stress, withstand emotional storms, and satisfy our yearnings for something transcendent and real. By delving into the chaos, this book guides us through the questions that seemed easier to avoid and enlightens what has been out of focus. With her signature elegance, wit, and spirit, the bestselling author of The Gift of Years and Following the Path opens our eyes and hearts in these times of confusion.

    With simple and poignant meditations, Between the Dark and the Daylight reveals how we can better understand ourselves, one another, and God. The book was featured in its magazine and its website with a short review of the book. Her short reflections and simple meditations are the remedy for a ravaged soul. An uplifting work about the art of reframing drawbacks and imperfections as spiritual teachers. 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. 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.

    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.