The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully

Joan Chittister, Author BlueBridge $19.95 (222p) ISBN 978-1-933346-10-6

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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