Saturday, March 17, 2007

Why Not Be A Saint?

"The great secret of life is how to survive struggle without succumbing to it, how to bear struggle without being defeated by it, how to come out of great struggle better than when we found ourselves in the midst of it." Joan Chittister, Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope

"This is the book I didn't want to write. It is certainly the book I did not intend to write. My original plan was that I would write a book about hope. It is, after all, a particularly unpredictable and often difficult period in human existence. It seemed to me that hope is the central virtue in life, certainly needed and so easy to explain. But it didn't work. Everywhere I looked, hope existed — but only as some kind of green shoot in the mist of struggle. It was a theological concept, not a spiritual practice. Hope, I began to realize, was not a state of life. It was at best a gift of life. . . . The more I struggled with the idea of hope, the more I began to realize that it is almost impossible to write a real book about hope without looking at the nature of struggle. Where in pain does hope lie? And how do we cultivate it? And what does it mean to the development of the spiritual life and the attainment of emotional wholeness?"

"Struggle is the gift of new life in disguise... There is beauty in the dark valleys if life. It is called hope."

"This an anatomy of struggle and an account of the way hope grows in us, despite our moments of darkness, regardless of our regular bouts of depression. It is an invitation to look again at the struggles of life in order that we might remember how to recognize new life in our souls the next time our hearts turn again to clay."


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