We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Activist, nun and spiritual guide Joan Chittister invites us to create a monastery within ourselves: to cultivate wisdom and resilience, so we can live more easily and give of ourselves more fully, no matter our circumstances.

‘In every beating heart is a silent undercurrent that calls each of us to a place unknown, to the vision of a wiser life, to become what we feel we must be – but cannot name.’ So begins Sister Joan Chittister’s words on monasticism, offering a way of living and seeing life that brings deep human satisfaction. Amid the recent global disruptions, Sister Joan calls readers to cultivate the spiritual seeker within all of us, however that may look across our diverse journeys.

The Monastic Heart carries the weight and wisdom of the Benedictine spiritual tradition into the twenty-first century. Sister Joan draws deeply from Saint Benedict, a young man who sought moral integrity in the face of an empire in the sixth century, not by conquering or overpowering the empire, but by simply living an ordinary life extraordinarily well. This same monastic mindset can help us grow in wisdom, equanimity and strength of soul as we seek restoration and renewal both at home and in the world.

At a time when people around the world are bearing witness to human frailty – and, simultaneously, the endurance of the human spirit – The Monastic Heart invites readers to embrace a new beginning of faith. Without stepping foot in a monastery, we can become, like those before us, a deeper, freer self, a richer soul – and, as a result, a true monastic.

‘Essential reading for anyone wishing to find the compass of their heart and the wellspring from which to live fully.’ Gregory Boyle, New York Times bestselling author of Tattoos on the Heart