Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Mar 15, 2005 - Religion - 125 pages
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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.

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A booster of hope

User Review  - Timoteo -

Excellent book. From a non denominational perspective Joan Chittister helps to open doors which keys are only inside us. It is a powerful tool to understand the role of suffering, losses and pain in ... Read full review

Selected pages


A Paradigm of Struggle
The Loss of Certainty A Suffering of the Soul
Struggle The Process and the Challenge
The Struggle of Change
The Gift of Conversion
The Struggle of Isolation
The Gift of Independence
The Struggle of Darkness
The Struggle of Vulnerability
The Gift of Limitations
The Struggle of Exhaustion
The Gift of Endurance
The Struggle of Scarring
The Gift of Transformation
Wrestling with God
The Process of Struggle

The Gift of Faith
The Struggle with Fear
The Gift of Courage
The Struggle with Powerlessness
The Gift of Surrender
The Process of Hope
The Gift of Hope
Hope The Resurrection of the Spirit

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About the author (2005)

Joan Chittister is executive director of Benetvision: AResource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality,Erie, Pennsylvania. She is also a contributor to TheHuffington Post blog. Her many books include God'sTender Mercy, The Story of Ruth (with JohnAugust Swanson), and Scarred by Struggle, Transformedby Hope. For more information, visit her website at

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