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How Shall We Live?

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There is a clear beacon for our darkening but beautiful world. It’s from the sixth century, when a single monk chose to live a life that made the world new.

This article appeared in our December 2003 issue. We live in a moment in human history that calls for the deepest wisdom and will require holy struggle on behalf of all creation to resist chaos. The map of the world is changing. People are starving to death on the television screens in our family rooms. People who have worked hard all their lives fear for their retirement while we continue to invest more money in Neanderthal instruments of destruction, which in this new geopolitical world appear increasingly useless, than we do on human development. What is the spirituality we need for the 21st century? We lace a choice: to retire from this fray into some marshmallow paradise where we can massage away the heat of the day, the questions of the time, the injustice of the age, and live like pious moles in the heart of a twisted world. Or, we can gather our strength — our spiritual strength — for the struggle it will take to wake up from this pious sleeps. An Ancient Model for Today In fifth-century Europe, the Roman Empire, then the superpower, was in decline, and the world was a rest …

Joan D Chittister

Sister Joan D. Chittister OSB is a Benedictine nun, theologian, best-selling author, and speaker. She has served as prioress and Benedictine federation president, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and cochair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women.


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