25 Inspiring Sister Joan Chittister Quotes on Life

Check out these Sister Joan Chittister quotes from the inspirational and accomplished Benedictine nun.

Sister Joan Chittister was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania, in 1936 and grew up with an abusive alcoholic stepfather.

Chittister became a Benedictine nun after receiving an education from the Sisters of St. Joseph and then attending the St. Benedict Academy located in Erie, Pennsylvania.

She is an accomplished writer, theologian, and speaker who has appeared on many television shows, including:

  • Oprah
  • CBS News
  • 60 Minutes
  • Meet the Press

Sister Joan has written more than 50 books and is a regular contributor to multiple magazines.

Chittister has served as the Benedictine prioress, the President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and the Benedictine federation president, as well as serving on the board of the Global Peace Initiative of Women.

Take a look at these Sister Joan Chittister quotes to learn more about this influential woman.

The Best Sister Joan Chittister Quotes 

Here are some of the best Sister Joan Chittister quotes. 

3. “Humility is reality to the full.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

2. “Simply being active is not life.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

3. “Benedict sets up a community, a family.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

4. “Everything new is not the end of the world.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

5. “It’s time to begin to live life fuller rather than faster.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

6. “There is no amount of darkness that can extinguish the inner light.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

7. “We need to think again about the beauties of age, its freedom, and its splendor.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

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8. “We cannot expect life to be perfect. But we can expect to see life come from death.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

9. “It is what we do routinely, not what we do rarely, that delineates the character of a person.” — Sister Joan Chittister

10. “Risk, the willingness to accept an unknown future with open hands and a happy heart, is the key to the adventures of the soul.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

Inspirational Sister Joan Chittister Quotes 

These Sister Joan Chittister quotes are truly inspiring.

11. “Precisely because of the greatness of God, we don’t have to be great at all. Just in awe.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

12. “Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

13. “A life of value is not a series of great things well done; it is a series of small things consciously done.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

14. “We are so busy making things happen that we have little time left to think about the value of what is happening.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

15. “Too many times we insist on loving people the way we want to love them instead of the way they need to be loved.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

16. “Compassion makes no distinction between friends and enemies, neighbors and outsiders, compatriots and foreigners.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

17. “My limitations make space for the gifts of other people. Without the grace of our limitations, we would be isolated, dry, and insufferable creatures indeed.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

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More Sister Joan Chittister Quotes 

Here are a few more Sister Joan Chittister quotes for your enjoyment.

18. “Learning to celebrate joy is one of the great practices of the spiritual life.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

19. “Faith isn’t faith until it’s all we have to hold on to and knowledge fails us.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

20. “Imagine how happy, how holy, life would be if we ever really learn to see beauty.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

21. “Persistence may not solve everything – at least in our lifetime – but it is truer to the meaning of life for us to wait for another plowing, another seeding, another harvest, then not.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

22. “Imagination begins when it’s raining too hard to go out and play and you become really absorbed in something you would never have thought of doing had the sun come out as usual.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

23. “It’s possible to have too much in life. Too many clothes jade our appreciation of new ones; too much money can put us out of touch with life; too much free time and dull the edge of the soul.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

24. “I have to be honest with you; it never occurred to me, as years went by, that my country would look like this as I grew into it and as it grew into a different world. That’s why I keep pressing the notion that we must seek wisdom.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

25. “Mystery is what happens to us when we allow life to evolve rather than having to make it happen all the time. It is the strange knock at the door, the sudden sight of an unceremoniously blooming flower, an afternoon in the yard, a day of riding the midtown bus.” — Sister Joan Chittister 

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A Controversial Nun

Sister Joan is a strong woman who stands behind her beliefs whether others agree with her or not.

She has clashed with the Catholic church on views on women’s ordination and birth contraceptives.

She was once also prohibited from attending a conference and decided to not only attend but be the opening speaker.

It’s refreshing to see a nun that is so relatable!

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