A Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, Joan Chittister is a best-selling author and well-known international lecturer on topics of justice, peace, human rights, women's issues and contemporary spirituality in the church and in society. She presently serves as the co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the United Nations, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders, especially in the Middle East. Chittister has won 14 CPA awards for her books. Her most recent include Between the Dark and the Daylight (Random House), Two Dogs and a Parrot (Blue Bridge, 2015) and In God’s Holy Light (Franciscan Media, 2015). A biography, Joan Chittister: Her journey from certainty to faith, by NCR’s Tom Roberts, was released in 2015 by Orbis Books. Chittister is the founder and executive director of Benetvision, a resource center for contemporary spirituality in Erie.

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To become humility itself

From Where I Stand: By St. Benedict's 12th step of humility, we are meant to be able to blend into the world around us -- serene, contented, open -- too grounded interiorly to crave public approval.

What we say, how we say it, matters

From Where I Stand: Once, I thought that this step of humility was so obvious it was embarrassing. Then I listened to modern political speech, and realized that this step may well be the most fundamental spiritual lesson of them all.

When is funny not funny?

From Where I Stand: St. Benedict's 10th step of humility does not forbid humor; Benedict forbids the bawdry and the brutal. He makes the quality of our laughter a measure of our spiritual adulthood.

A little less talk, a little more thought

From Where I Stand: The ninth step of humility has no caveats as in "keep silent unless you're angry at someone" or "unless you can get the microphone and keep it from everyone else." No, just this: Silence is the better part of communication.