The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully

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9780867169317: The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully

Joan Chittister, one of our most celebrated spiritual writers, invites us to embrace older age as a natural part of life that is both active and contemplative, productive and reflective, and deeply rewarding. She encourages us to cherish the blessings of aging and to overcome its challenges. And she shows us clearly that this is a special period of life—maybe the most special of them all.

The Gift of Years looks at the many dimensions of aging, the purposes and concerns, struggles and surprised, the potential and joys. And perhaps the most important dimension of older age, Joan Chittister illuminates, is to become aware of its profound purpose: These are the capstone years, the time in which a whole new life is in the making again. The gift of these years is not merely being alive, it is the gift of becoming more fully alive than ever.

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About the Author:

JOAN CHITTISTER is an internationally known writer and lecturer, and the executive director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality. She currrently serves as co-chair of the UN-sponsored Global Peace Initiative of Women. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.

From Publishers Weekly:

Well-known in Catholic circles for her willingness to take on anybody-even the pope-in defense of women's rights, Chittister, now in her 70s, examines how it feels "to be facing that time of life for which there is no career plan." 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: "'Act your age' can be useful advice when you're seventeen; it's a mistake when you're seventy-seven." Beginning each short chapter with a trenchant quotation ("'It takes a long time,' Pablo Picasso wrote, 'to become young'"), she ponders topics such as fear, mystery, forgiveness and legacy. Old age is rich for those who choose to thrive, not wither: "We can recreate ourselves in order to be creative in the world in a different way than the boundaries of our previous life allowed."
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