The Heart of Perfection:
How the Saints Taught Me to Trade My Dream of Perfect for God’s
Comparisons. Control. Impossible expectations — and crushing guilt. Spiritual perfectionism is the least recognized and most toxic form of perfectionism. And it’s the one problem Colleen was sure the saints couldn’t help her with …
A lifelong overachiever who drafted her first résumé in sixth grade and spell-checked her high-school boyfriend’s love letters, Colleen knows something about the perfectionist trap. But it was only after she became a mother that she began to see how insidiously perfectionism had infected her spiritual life and how lethal it could be to her happiness and family.
In the ruins of her perfectionist mistakes, Colleen turned to Scripture and the lives of the canonized saints for answers, doubtful she’d find them from the holy overachievers whose dazzling virtues seemed tailor-made to aggravate her self-criticism. To her surprise, Colleen discovered that many of the same holy men and women she once saw as encouraging her spiritual perfectionism were, in fact, recovering perfectionists. And their grace-fueled victory over 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 recovering perfectionist saints (and one heretic) with Scripture and tales of her own trial-and-error experiments in applying that wisdom to her life. The Heart of Perfection shows that the solution to perfectionism is not to squelch our hard-wired desires for excellence but to allow God to purify and redirect them, so we can pursue a new kind of perfection: the freedom of the children of God.
My Sisters the Saints:
A Spiritual Memoir
Honored by two national awards and published in four languages with more than 90,000 English copies sold, My Sisters the Saints has been praised as “provocative … charming and instructive” (Kirkus Reviews), “thoughtful and gracious” (Booklist) and “completely contemporary and totally timeless” (Cardinal Timothy Dolan). The book tells the story of Colleen’s 15-year spiritual quest and the six women saints who became her unlikely guides as she grappled with everything from the chaos of the campus party scene and the work-life dilemmas of a pressure-cooker White House job to the twin heartbreaks of her father’s descent into dementia and her own infertility. Colleen found help and support where she least expected it: in the lives and writings of six holy women she came to regard as not simply spiritual friends, but sisters.
The New Faithful:
Why Young Adults are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy
Colleen’s first book, The New Faithful, was a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award and a Catholic Book Publishers Association bestseller. Hailed as “novel and timely” (Publishers Weekly), “refreshing” (Wall Street Journal) and “a blockbuster of a book” (Canada’s National Post) that is “a great resource” (CBA Marketplace) and “highly recommended” (Library Journal), The New Faithful blends firsthand reporting, storytelling and analysis to shed light on a trend with far-reaching cultural and religious implications. It has been featured in nearly 100 magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, National Review and Christianity Today.