Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams often says that, no matter what, the proper stance of the Christian in the world is one of gratitude. In this book, Sister Joan Chittister and Archbishop Rowan Williams offer us a sweeping set of things and circumstances to be grateful for—things for which we can sing "alleluia," "praise and thanks be to God."
Some are things we naturally feel grateful for: God, peace, wealth, life, faith, and unity. But when these are set alongside other things we would never think to sing alleluia about—death, divisions, sufferings, and even sinners—we begin to see, as Joan Chittister says in her introduction, that "Life itself is an exercise in learning to sing ‘alleluia’ here in order to recognize the face of God hidden in the recesses of time. To deal with the meaning of ‘alleluia’ in life means to deal with moments that do not feel like 'alleluia moments' at all."
In this series of reflections it becomes clear that singing "alleluia" is not a way to escape reality but receptivity to another kind of reality beyond the immediate and the delusional, of helping us understand what is now and what is to come.