A Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, Joan Chittister is a best-selling author and well-known international lecturer on topics of justice, peace, human rights, women's issues and contemporary spirituality in the church and in society. She presently serves as the co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the United Nations, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders, especially in the Middle East. Chittister has won 14 CPA awards for her books. Her most recent include Between the Dark and the Daylight (Random House), Two Dogs and a Parrot (Blue Bridge, 2015) and In God’s Holy Light (Franciscan Media, 2015). A biography, Joan Chittister: Her journey from certainty to faith, by NCR’s Tom Roberts, was released in 2015 by Orbis Books. Chittister is the founder and executive director of Benetvision, a resource center for contemporary spirituality in Erie.

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St. Benedict counsels a little less talk, a little more thought

From Where I Stand: The ninth step of humility has no caveats as in "keep silent unless you're angry at someone" or "unless you can get the microphone and keep it from everyone else."


St. Benedict's eighth step of humility: to grow, not to fossilize

From Where I Stand: The tradition moves on from generation to generation, flowing here, being pruned there, always adapting to the soil in which it's planted. And so do we as people.


Acceptance of inferiority and the freedom it brings

From Where I Stand: No doubt about it: The seventh degree of humility in the Rule of Benedict was meant for us. It's impossible, of course, to lead the world in everything. But tell any lie long enough and people are prone to believe it. And claim it. And assume it. And we do.


Step 6: It is possible to be contented even with disappointments

From Where I Stand: St. Benedict of Nursia's sixth degree of humility is an antidote to the crush of pressure, to the seedbed of envy, to continuing and underlying dissatisfaction with the self.