Joan D. Chittister quotes

  • I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Children #Believe #Thinking

  • A bifurcation of loyalties that requires religious to put canon law above civil law and moral law puts us in a situation where the keepers of religion may themselves become one of the greatest dangers to the credibility - and the morality - of the church itself.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Loyalty #Religious #Law

  • The spiritual task of life is to feed hope. Hope is not something to be found outside of us. It lies in the spiritual life we cultivate within. The whole purpose of wrestling with life is to be transformed into the self we are meant to become, to step out of the confines of our false securities and allow our creating God to go on creating. In us.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Spiritual #Lying #Wrestling

  • Hope is not a matter of waiting for things outside of us to get better. It is about getting better inside about what is going on outside.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Hopeful #Waiting #Get Better

  • Contemplation is a very dangerous activity. It not only brings us face to face with God. It brings us, as well, face to face with the world, face to face with the self. And then, of course, something must be done. Nothing stays the same once we have found the God within…. We carry the world in our hearts: the oppression of all peoples, the suffering of our friends, the burdens of our enemies, the raping of the Earth, the hunger of the starving, the joy of every laughing child.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Children #Heart #Self

  • We have learned that the things we amassed to prove to ourselves how valuable, how important, how successful we were, didn't prove it at all. In fact, they have very little to do with it. It's what's inside of us, not what's outside of us that counts.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Successful #Important #Littles

  • We may well be the ones Proverbs warns when it reminds us: "Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks the truth." The point is clear: If the people speak and the king doesn't listen, there is something wrong with the king. If the king acts precipitously and the people say nothing, something is wrong with the people.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Kings #Honesty #People

  • It is precisely women’s experience of God that this world lacks. A world that does not nurture its weakest, does not know God the birthing mother. A world that does not preserve the planet, does not know God the creator. A world that does not honor the spirit of compassion, does not know God the spirit. God the lawgiver, God the judge, God the omnipotent being have consumed Western spirituality and, in the end, shriveled its heart.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Mother #Heart #Compassion

  • Only ideas keep ideas flowing. When we close our minds to what is new, simply because we decide not to bother with it, we close our minds to our responsibility to ourselves - and to others - to keep on growing.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Responsibility #Ideas #Growth

  • It is in community that we come to see God in the other. It is in community that we see our own emptiness filled up. It is community that calls me beyond the pinched horizons of my own life, my own country, my own race, and gives me the gifts I do not have within me.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Country #Race #Giving

  • I celebrate myself," the poet Walt Whitman wrote. The thought is so delicious it is almost obscene. Imagine the joy that would come with celebrating the self — our achievements, our experiences, our existence. Imagine what it would be like to look into the mirror and say, as God taught us, "That's good.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Self #Mirrors #Achievement

  • Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Inspirational #Life #Gratitude

  • Beware the religion that turns you against another one. It's unlikely that it's really religion at all.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Unlikely #Turns

  • The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence, an artist of her life, a sculptor of her universe, a person with rights and responsibilities who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Women #Home #Responsibility

  • Just when summer gets perfect-fresh nights, soft sun, casual breezes, crushingly full and quietly cooling trees, empty beaches, and free weekends- it ends. Life is like that too. Just when we get it right, it starts to change. The job gets easy and we know just how to do it, and they tell us we're retired. The children grow up and get reasonable and they leave home, just when it's nice to have them around. . . . That's life on the edge of autumn. And that's beautiful-if we have the humility for it.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Life #Beautiful #Summer

  • Compassion for the other comes out of our ability to accept ourselves. Until we realize both our own weaknesses and our own privileges, we can never tolerate lack of status and depth of weakness in the other.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Compassion #Weakness #Depth

  • But we are here to depart from this world as finished as we can possibly become.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #World #Aging #This World

  • We talk religion in a world that worships the bread but does not distribute it, that practices ritual rather than righteousness, that confesses but does not repent.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Practice #Religion #Doe

  • Longing is a compass that guides us through life. We may never get what we really want, that's true, but every step along the way will be determined by it.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Life #May #Want

  • Freedom, in childhood, may be the right to be totally self-centered. Â… But freedom in old age is the ability to be the best of the self I have developed during all those years.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Freedom #Self #Years

  • Work is not slavery, then. Work is creativity. It is the expression of ourselves that no one else can duplicate.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Work #Creativity #Expression

  • To be enlightened is to know that heaven is not "coming." Heaven is here.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Heaven #Awareness #Enlightened

  • If anything diminishes a person, it is the cancer of constant complaining.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Cancer #Complaining #Constant

  • Precisely because of the greatness of God, we don't have to be great at all. Just in awe.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Greatness #Awe #Greatness Of God

  • Memory is not about what went on in the past, it is about what is going on inside us right this moment. Â… It is made up of the stuff of life in the process of becoming the grist of the soul.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Memories #Past #Soul

  • Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Prayer #Self #Grace

  • Our role in life is to bring the light of our own souls to the dim places around us.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Light #Soul #Roles

  • Acceptance is the universal currency of real friendship. . . .It does not warp or shape or wrench a person to be anything other than what they are.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Real #Acceptance #Doe

  • Today we live in a world that judges its achievements by speed and busyness. Â… We are so busy making things happen that we have little time left to think about the value of what is happening. We urgently need people who concentrate on the meaning of life rather than simply the speed.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Thinking #People #Judging

  • Find the thing that stirs your heart and make room for it
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Heart #Rooms

  • Life is not meant to be a burden. Life is not a problem to be solved. It is a blessing to be celebrated.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Blessing #Problem #Life Is

  • Fear is not the opposite of courage. Fear is the catalyst of courage.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Inspirational #Opposites #Catalyst

  • The message we have internalized is clear - we are what we do and what we own, not what we are inside ourselves. Where it counts!
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Messages #Clear

  • No one finds time for prayer. You either take time for it or you don't get it.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Time #Prayer #Take Time

  • Beauty scatters the seeds of hope in us.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

  • Prophets are those who take life as it is and expand it. They refuse to shrink a vision of tomorrow to the boundaries of yesterday.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Yesterday #Vision #Tomorrow

  • Life is an exercise in the development of feeling. When we repress feelings, we become sour and judgmental. When we live awash in great feeling over small things, we become jaded long before we have even begun to enjoy. When feelings are in balance they sweeten long days and great distances with gratitude and hope.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Gratitude #Distance #Exercise

  • The vision of a culture lies in what becomes its major institutions, in what it remembers as its most impacting events, in who it sees as its heroes.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Lying #Hero #Vision

  • A seeker searched for years to know the secret of achievement and success in human life. One night in a dream a sage appeared bearing the answer to the secret. The sage said simply: "Stretch out your hand and reach what you can." "No, it can't be that simple," the seeker said. And the sage said softly, "You are right, it is something harder. It is this: Stretch out your hand and reach what you cannot." Now that's vision.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Dream #Simple #Night

  • Temptations are part of life, part of growing up. We grapple with them often - in some instances for our lifetime - before we come to realize that it is not so much the victory as it is the struggle that is holy.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Growing Up #Struggle #Temptation

  • Learning to celebrate joy is one of the great practices of the spiritual life.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Spiritual #Practice #Joy

  • Getting to know ourselves and learning to control ourselves are the two great tasks of life. Don't make up strange and exotic 'penances.' Simply say no to yourself once a day, and you will be on the road to sanctity for the rest of your life.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Two #Tasks #Exotic

  • Real failure comes when we consider ourselves good enough at something to be able to repeat it rather than to develop it. "Success is dangerous," the painter Pablo Picasso said. "One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility."
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Real #Failure #Able

  • Try saying this silently to everyone and everything you see for thirty days and see what happens to your own soul: I wish you happiness now and whatever will bring happiness to you in the future.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Soul #Wish #Trying

  • Imagine how happy, how holy, life would be if we ever really learn to see beauty.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Would Be #Imagine #Holy

  • Two ideas militate against our consciously contributing to a better world. The idea that we can do everything or the conclusion that we can do nothing to make this globe a better place to live are both temptations of the most insidious form. One leads to arrogance; the other to despair.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Ideas #Two #Temptation

  • Every dimension of life, its gains and its losses, are reason for celebration because each of them brings us closer to wisdom and fullness of understanding.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Wisdom #Loss #Understanding

  • Too many times we insist on loving people the way we want to love them instead of the way they need to be loved.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #People #Needs #Want

  • Life is a thing of many stages and moving parts. What we do with ease at one time of life we can hardly manage at another. What we could not fathom doing when we were young, we find great joy in when we are old. Like the seasons through which we move, life itself is a never-ending series of harvests, a different fruit for every time.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Moving #Joy #Different

  • A life of value is not a series of great things well done; it is a series of small things consciously done.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Done #Great Things #Wells

  • Prophets are so dangerous because they cry in season and out of season, politely and impolitely, loud and long.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Long #Cry #Prophet

  • Old age tells us that we ourselves have failed often, have never really done anything completely right, have never truly been perfect - anad that is completely all right. We are who we are - and so is everyone else.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Perfect #Age #Done

  • The secret of life is to let every segment of it produce its own yield at its own pace. Every period has something new to teach us. The harvest of youth is achievement; the harvest of middle-age is perspective; the harvest of age is wisdom; the harvest of life is serenity.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Yield #Perspective #Achievement

  • If life is really for the living, then the trick to living well is to learn to live it fully, to soak it up, to revel in it.
    -- Joan D. Chittister

    #Life Is #Tricks #Live Well