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Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life


In exchange for my honest review I was given a free copy of Joan Chittister book Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life by Blogging for Books. The opinions I express are my own and were in no way influenced.

At the beginning of this year I chose a focus word and that word is Identity. I wanted to know who I am, especially who I am in Jesus. It’s been an interesting journey so far. So far, I have read several books about finding your identity. Joan Chittister’s book Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life is just one example.

Joan’s book focuses on the Rules of Benedict: Humility. Since I am not Catholic nor did I grow up in a Catholic environment this was my first time reading and learning about these rules to humility. I have read about humility and I know how important it is. I didn’t realize there was 12 things to being humble.

There is one statement that I found thought provoking. On page 62 on the third step of humility Chittister says: “Humility does not necessarily require me to agree and comply with everyone else’s position, but it does demand that I be willing to understand and respect the many sides of every issues.”  With the high octane of our political world, and all the opinions expressed out there I find this statement and the understanding and having it one’s heart and mind and soul important as we develop relationships. For me, I have always liked having different points of view as I meander through my life. I like to understand, if I can. But I also know that in order for me to understand communication is required too. This is only one sample of what I found in Radical Spirit. There is so much more.

Another chapter that got my thought flowing is the Ninth step of Humility: Listening. I try to listen, but I also know that I struggle with this. I struggle with those who play the victim, who seems to focus on negative and whining and complaining constantly and not look or listen to themselves. I struggle. I often times offer a solution, I sometimes listen with anger in my heart towards them and a judgmental thought. I am going to have to focus and rethink and do a different type of action when I listen. Relationships are valuable. Communication is essential to building relationships. Listening is part of that communication.

As you can see, there is a ton of valuable insights into what it means to be humble and a child of God and helping build relationship between people. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I’m glad that I read it. This book is great for anyone who is wanting to dive deeper into what humility is. It is good whether you are a Catholic or not.

Here are some links I’d like to share:

Joan Chittister

Radical Spirit


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