Everyone goes through times of pain and sorrow, depression and darkness, stress and suffering. It is in the necessary struggles of life, however, that we stretch our souls and gain new insights enabling us to go on.
Building on the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with God and on the story of her own battle with life-changing disappointment, Sister Joan Chittister deftly explores the landscape of suffering and hope, considering along the way such wide-ranging topics as consumerism, technology, grief, the role of women in the Catholic Church, and the events of September 11, 2001. We struggle, she says, against change, isolation, darkness, fear, powerlessness, vulnerability, exhaustion, and scarring; and while these struggles sometimes seem insurmountable, we can emerge from them with the gifts of conversion, detachment, faith, courage, surrender, limitations, endurance, transformation, and (perhaps most important) hope. Each of these struggles and gifts is discussed in a chapter of its own.
Meant to help readers cope with their own suffering and disappointment, Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope
is, in Chittister's words, "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."
Neither a self-help manual nor a book offering pat answers, but supremely practical and relevant, Chittister's Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope
will richly reward those readers seeking solace in the empathic, wise, and accessible meditations of a fellow struggler.
AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS
Association of Theological Booksellers, Theologos Award for Book of the Year (2003)
Catholic Press Association, Third Place, Spirituality (2004)
"As ever, Joan Chittister's voice rises up from the struggle to offer a powerful and transforming source of hope!"
"Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope is not really about hope. It is about the conditions that give rise to hope ? the honest emotions, the trusting vision, the steadfast struggle. I appreciate the way this powerful book offers a way toward hope without any cheating. No sentimentality. No false assurances. No spiritual illusions. It has the strong voice of personal experience plus a rare religious intelligence. Like the human character in its central story of Jacob and the angel, this book clings to life's complexity until it finds a blessing. It will help you get through, not around, the challenges that define you."
Rabbi Harold Kushner
"I was deeply moved by Joan Chittister's courage and insight and by her insistence that we are all capable of them as well."
Anne M. Luther
"Using the story of Jacob wrestling with God as backdrop, Joan Chittister reflects on her experience of disappointment and loss as the birthplace of hope. Touching on issues familiar to most of us, she explores the many dimensions of suffering in a movement toward transformation. This is a book you will revisit many times for the encouragement, challenge, and inspiration it provides."
Miriam Therese Winter
"At a time when the vision and values that define us as a nation seem under siege from all directions, Joan Chittister ? mystic and prophet ? has given us yet another perspective on holding fast to hope. Hope is rooted in the past, she says, but it believes in the future, for God's world is in God's hands. Hope is in the struggle. What a comfort it is to hear these words as we struggle to make our way in a world that keeps moving away from us."