The Gift of Years
Growing Older Gracefully
By Joan Chittister
(Bluebridge, Hardcover, 9781933346106, 240pp.)
Publication Date: May 2008
Not only accepting but also celebrating getting old, this inspirational and illuminating work looks at the many facets of the aging process, from purposes and challenges to struggles and surprises. Central throughout is a call to cherish the blessing of aging as a natural part of life that is active, productive, and deeply rewarding. Perhaps the most important dimension revealed lies in the awareness that there is a purpose to aging and intention built into every stage of life. Chittister reflects on many key issues, including the temptation towards isolation, the need to stay involved, the importance of health and well-being, what happens when old relationships end or shift, the fear of tomorrow, and the mystery of forever. Readers are encouraged to surmount their fears of getting older and find beauty in aging well.
Joan Chittister is an internationally known author and lecturer, and the executive director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality. She is past president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Her books include The Friendship of Women, In Search of Belief, In the Heart of the Temple, and Wisdom Distilled from the Daily. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.
"Clearly, getting older has not diminished the controversial nun, activist, lecturer and author of nearly 40 books on feminism, nonviolence and Benedictine wisdom. This collection of inspirational reflections, 'not meant to be read in one sitting, or even in order, [but] one topic at a time,' abounds in gentle insights and arresting aphorisms." Publishers Weekly
"Chittister beautifully downplays regrets and accents the rewards of a mature life. While she acknowledges the pain of old age, she focuses on the new beginnings that life can offer at this stage. . . . Excellent information and would make a positive contribution to any public library's collection." Library Journal
"Joan Chittister is one of the great spiritual teachers of our generation." Lawrence Kushner, author, Kabbalah: A Love Story
"A prophetic voice that is desperately needed in our troubled time." Karen Armstrong, author, The Great Transformation
"It's the best book I have read on the subject of aging, a dazzling work radiant with gems of insight on every page. It will be my spiritual reading in the days ahead." Andrew Greeley, author, The Great Mysteries
"Brims with insight, pluck, verve and courage. . . . It shows us both the joys and the challenges of growing older, and encourages us to discover the deep spiritual meaning that can come with older age." Helen Prejean, author, Dead Man Walking
"An amazing compendium of wisdom not only for people facing aging or providing support, but for everyone who wants to live a spiritually centered and balanced life." Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun Magazine
"In a world that glorifies youth and degrades old age, the words of Joan Chittister about aging are a precious gift. Through numerous insights, she invites us to realize that old age is not a drawing away from a fulfilling life, but a new life unto itself." Seyyed Hossein Nasr, author, The Garden of Truth