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Surprised by Gentleness

There is a little monastery in Mobile, Alabama, nestled in one of those historic Old South neighborhoods where moss-draped oaks and magnolias frame antebellum mansions. Even in winter, white and pink camellias bloom outside the convent’s 160-year-old brick walls. Inside are other wonders: the Gothic grandeur of the Sacred Heart Chapel, where the cloistered Visitation nuns pray six times daily; the storied beauty of the convent’s lush green courtyard; and the sinful delectability of the sisters’ chief export, a gooey chocolate-marshmallow confection known as Heavenly Hash.

In December 2008, struggling with a mix of writer’s block, winter blues, and grief over my four-year battle with infertility, I . . .

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Colleen Carroll Campbell is an award-winning author, print and broadcast journalist, and former presidential speechwriter whose newest book is The Heart of Perfection: How the Saints Taught Me to Trade My Dream of Perfect for God's (Simon & Schuster, 2019).

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33.1—January/February 2020

Surprised by Gentleness

on a Saint's Charism That Cures Toxic Perfectionism by Colleen Carroll Campbell

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