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The Heart of Perfection
Winner of the 2020 Catholic Press Association Book Award
In a book hailed as “liberating” (Gary Chapman, New York Times bestselling author), an award-winning author and mother of four weaves her own stories and struggles with those of seven ex-perfectionist saints (and one heretic) who show us how to pursue a new kind of perfection: freedom in Christ.
Spiritual perfectionism—an obsession with flawlessness rooted in the belief that we can earn God’s love—is dangerous because so many of us mistake it for virtue. Its toxic cycle of pride, sin, shame, blame, and despair distorts our vision, dulls our faith, and leads us to view others through the same hypercritical lens we think God is using to view us.
As a lifelong overachiever who drafted her first résumé in sixth grade and spell-checked her high school boyfriend’s love letters, Colleen Carroll Campbell knows something about the perfectionist trap. But it was only after she became a mother that she started to see how insidiously perfectionism had infected her spiritual life, how lethal it could be to her happiness and her family, and how disproportionately it afflicts the people working hardest to serve God.
In the ruins of her own mistakes, Colleen dug into Scripture and the lives of the canonized saints for answers. She discovered to her surprise that many holy men and women were, in fact, recovering perfectionists. And their grace-fueled victory oer this malady—not perfectionist striving—was the key to their heroic virtue and contagious joy.
In The Heart of Perfection, Colleen weaves the stories and wisdom of seven ex-perfectionist saints (and one heretic) with Scripture and beautifully crafted tales of her own trial-and-error experiments in applying that wisdom to her life. Gorgeously written and deeply insightful, Colleen Carroll Campbell’s The Heart of Perfection is a “must-read” (Jeannie Gaffigan, executive producer of The Jim Gaffigan Show) that “gives us permission to…walk in the freedom of God’s unconditional love” (Jennifer Fulwiler, author of One Beautiful Dream).
For a free Heart of Perfection reading guide for book clubs, visit Colleen-Campbell.com.
Colleen Carroll Campbell is an award-winning author, print and broadcast journalist, and former presidential speechwriter. Her books include her critically acclaimed journalistic study, The New Faithful, and spiritual memoir, My Sisters the Saints, which won two national awards and has been published in five languages. Colleen has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Christianity Today, America, and National Review, and she has appeared on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, ABC News, PBS, NPR, and EWTN, where she hosted her own television and radio shows for eight years. A former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and editorial writer and op-ed columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Colleen is the recipient of two honorary doctorates and numerous other awards for her work. She speaks to audiences across North America and Europe and lives on the central coast of California with her husband and their four children, whom she homeschools. Visit her online at Colleen-Campbell.com.