—from Joan Chittister
Here’s what’s going on that you need to know about: With the launching of the Monasteries of the Heart movement, whole new possibilities exist for the development of small monastic groups among prisoners.
Imagine what could happen to the loud, harsh, inhuman environment of a prison if prisoners and their chaplains took the monastic life seriously.
Some chaplains are already using Monasteries of the Heart as a basic formation program and forming small monastic communities in prison. We have letters from prison chaplains outlining plans to introduce the concept of stability, community, prayer, silence, stewardship and listening into the lives of prisoners for whom the thought of meaningless routine, uncomfortable schedules, and obedience could be transformed into sacred awareness, silence, and the developmental effect of stability of place on self knowledge and interior development
More than that, this program does what we all say we want to have happen in the penal system. It presents another way to live, another reason to be alive, another kind of human heart to strive for at a time when the people who need those things are most demoralized, most depressed, most alienated from society.
If Monasteries of the Heart is meaningful to you, if it is making a difference in your life, if it is providing a layer of the spiritual life that is accessible, helpful, enriching—please consider making it a reality for those in prison.
We want you to know that ten percent of all donations to the Joan Chittister Fund for Prisoners (click here) is given to initiate Monasteries of the Heart in prisons.
Thank you for your generosity, for giving back in gratitude to God for all the second chances we ourselves have been given in life.