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Every century, every culture has sought the spiritual dimensions of life in particular ways; and across the ages, women and men in East and West chose the path of monastic life, either in solitude or in community. One of them was Benedict of Nursia, the sixth-century founder of communal monasticism in the West. For Benedict, the spiritual life lay in simply living this life, our daily life, well. He turned the ordinary into an experience of the extraordinary, a union with the sacred in the here and now. His enduring legacy—Benedictine spirituality based on the Rule of Benedict—exists to this day, around the world.

The Monastery of the Heart is Joan Chittister’s powerful spiritual guide for all of us who are longing for a more purposeful life in this time of social upheavals and global transformations. It is written for seekers of any faith or none—individuals, couples, families, and small groups— who are looking for new ways of meaningful living in the very center of our world—without ever withdrawing from it. The Monastery of the Heart is anchored in the ancient Rule of Benedict but attempts to redefine it for seekers today. Fresh in its form and focus, it invites us to create within ourselves a Monastery of the Heart.

What others are saying

  • “…Chittister’s spiritual guide for seekers…addresses such timeless considerations as prayer, silence, good work, humility, and much more.”—BOOKLIST
  • “…reflects the creation of a new kind of quasi-monastic spirituality suited for the age of liberalization...” —LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • “...will be helpful to anyone looking for good spiritual direction to their personal journeys, and imaginative reflections on Benedictine life.” —THE AMERICAN BENEDICTINE REVIEW


  • 2012 Catholic Press Association, 1st and 2nd place in two different categories