I guess for a book so closely walking the line of pondering the meaning and direction of life, the area I found drastically lacking was that of God's involvement. Since I am a Christian, I knew I would desire to see Jesus given more attention because I am a dedicated follower of His. I understood the author held different beliefs, being Catholic, but I guess I expected, or hoped, that the Lord would play a bigger role in the author's writings and musings. Some areas felt slightly like circular logic and justification, but I am not without fault in my thought process, either, so I won't cast the first stone.
The beginning of the book concerned me slightly when the author stated, "Centering on spirits within us, rather than being obsessed with the vicissitudes and petty imperfections of life gives the soul its stability, whatever the kinds or degrees of turbulence to be dealt with around it." Exactly what kind of spirits? [We never really find out.] And, Chittister finishes the book with a chapter on spiritual seeking which includes an interpretation of the account of the tower of Babel which is not true to Scripture. The author writes the following:
The Hebrew Scriptures... tells us that in their passion for the spiritual life- when the whole world still had only one language, were one race, one nation and were, then, capable of working together on such a great project- the people decided to dedicate themselves tot he building of a great high tower. The goal was to build the tower high enough to enable them all to go up to God together. ... But then the story goes on, God looked down and saw them all at work and instead of being impressed by their plan was deeply disturbed at the very sight of it. This great tower, this singular definition of one path to heaven, this foolish notion that God was available for capture made a mockery out of the very spirituality for which they sought: the awareness that God was everywhere, that God was with everyone, that God is the very Life of life.
Genesis Chapter 11 (King James Bible)
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
In the interest of full disclosure: I didn't realize this book was written by a Catholic author when I ordered it. I understand I will have to agree to disagree with the Catholic viewpoint and hope those who read my review can be respectful of my viewpoint. Also, a copy of this book was provided to me at no cost for the purpose of reviewing by Blogging for Books.