Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Read: Another gem by Ronald Rolheiser

Ronald Rolheiser, a Roman Catholic priest and noted author, is one of my "go-to" sources for wisdom.  

Like Richard Rohr, Rolheiser is very attentive to the season of life. He breaks down the three great struggles of our lives:
     Essential discipleship: the struggle to get our lives together
     Mature discipleship: the struggle to give our lives away
     Radical discipleship: the struggle to give our deaths away.  

Having "gotten my life together" in terms of family, career, house/home, my phase in life is undoubtedly in the middle phase. Giving my life away is a daily happening. 

Yet one clear by-product of the mature phase is a certain restlessness, when as Rolheiser writes: this life cannot give us everything for we which we yearn. 

So we live with frustration and restlessness. 

Question: Consider where and how you might be restless in your life?  

More about Sacred Fire
Beloved author Ronald Rolheiser continues his search for an accessible and penetrating Christian spirituality in this highly anticipated follow-up to the contemporary classic, The Holy Longing. With his trademark acuity, wit, and thoughtfulness, Rolheiser shows how identifying and embracing discipleship will lead to new heights of spiritual awareness and maturity.  In this new book, Rolheiser takes us on a journey through the dark night of the senses and of the spirit.  Here, we experience the full gamut of human life, pleasure and fervor, disillusionment and boredom.  But, as Rolheiser explains, when we embrace the struggle and yearning to know God we can experience too a profound re-understanding to our daily lives.

“What lies beyond the essentials, the basics?” Rolheiser writes. “Where do we go once some of the basic questions in our lives have been answered, or at least brought to enough peace that our focus can shift away from ourselves to others? Where do we go once the basic questions in our lives are no longer the restless questions of youthful insecurity and loneliness? Who am I? Who loves me? How will my life turn out? Where do we go once the basic question in life becomes: How can I give my life away more purely, and more meaningfully? How do I live beyond my own heartaches, headaches, and obsessions so as to help make other peoples’ lives more meaningful? The intent of this book is to try to address exactly those questions: How can we live less self- centered, more mature lives? What constitutes deep maturity and how do we reach that place? And, not unimportantly, what constitutes a more adult, Christian discipleship? What constitutes a truly mature following of Jesus?”

In Sacred Fire, Rolheiser’s deeply affecting prose urges us on in pursuit of the most holy of all passions—a deep and lasting intimacy with God. 

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