The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality

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9780385494182: The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality
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Ronald Rolheiser makes sense of what is frequently a misunderstood word: spirituality. In posing the question "What is spirituality?" Father Rolheiser gets quickly to the heart of common difficulties with the subject, and shows through compelling anecdotes and personal examples how to channel that restlessness, that deep desire, into a healthy spirituality.

This book is for those searching to understand what Christian spirituality means and how to apply it to their own lives.  Rolheiser explains the nonnegotiables--the importance of community worship, the imperatives surrounding social action, the centrality of the Incarnation, the sustenance of the spiritual life--and how spirituality necessarily impacts every aspect of human experience.  At the core of this readable, deeply revealing book is an explanation of God and the Church in a world that more often than not doubts the credibility of both.

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Review:

"Long before we do anything explicitly religious at all, we have to do something about the fire that burns within us," writes Ronald Rolheiser. "What we do with that fire, how we channel it, is our spirituality." From the opening chapter, where Rolheiser eloquently compares the burning spiritual fire of Mother Teresa, Janice Joplin, and Princess Diana, readers will be fully engaged in a unique and altogether fascinating discussion of Christian spirituality.

As a regular columnist for the Catholic Herald, Rolheiser has clearly honed his writing skills. Like an eloquent marriage counselor, he deftly tries to reconcile the rift between contemporary spirituality and Christianity. For example, he points to the four pillars that support a healthy marriage of Christianity and spirituality, which are "Private prayer and private morality. Social justice. Mellowness of heart and spirit. Community as a constitutive element of true worship." Building upon these pillars, Rolheiser delves into the more challenging marital tensions with chapters such as "Christ as the Basis for Christian Spirituality" and a "Spirituality of Sexuality." This is an excellent book for any Christian who has longs to create a more holy and lasting spiritual union. --Gail Hudson

From the Back Cover:

"A master weaver is at work here--I found my soul on every page. At last we have a guide who helps us know what to do with the fire of desire within us. At last a comprehensive, life-giving approach to sexuality. At last a dynamic understanding of how the paschal mystery plays in our own lives. At last a way to weave love for the poor and struggling people with the highest mystical love of God...I love this book."
--Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

"Without doubt, Ronald Rolheiser's The Holy Longing is one of the best books about Christian spirituality that has been published in many a year. Its insights are just what all of us need at this moment of history. It blends the old and the new in ways that few other authors can do."
--Most Reverend Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B., Archbishop of Milwaukee

"Anyone searching for substance and balance in the Christian spiritual life will welcome the wisdom in Ronald Rolheiser's words. His writing is at once learned and clear, not only warming the heart, but also giving light to the mind and guidance to feet stumbling amidst the complexities and ambiguities of our age. He steers clear of the fluffiness and fuzziness clouding today's spirituality superhighway, homing in on the essential elements of a Christian spirituality both sober and sane."
--Michael Downey, Professor of Systematic Theology and Spirituality, St. John's Seminary/Archdiocese of Los Angeles

"Rolheiser dares to ask the hard questions but they are our questions--the deep ones we are slow to let surface. Then he dares to answer them with clear answers delivered in simple, straightforward language. But he doesn't corner us with his clarity. He lets us look at different spiritualities, even a spirituality of sexuality. This is a book that engenders hope because it shows there are paths for each one of us."
--Rev. Basil Pennington, O.C.S.O.

"Spiritual books abound but few hit the mark. Ronald Rolheiser's latest book is one of the few. Sound good sense and insight are combined with genuine sympathy and understanding for the majority of us who struggle spiritually."
--Alban McCoy, The Tablet

"Spirituality is often given a bad name because it can mask a damaging sentimentality. The Holy Longing is a bracing alternative to religious posturing. Truly incarnational, Ronald Rolheiser grounds his vision of the spiritual life in hard real-life experiences and tells tough truths. In the end, it is the hard truths of compassion, forgiveness, and action in the world, that give us a true and lasting hope. A much needed antidote to the consumerist view of religion, this book is both a delight and a challenge to read."
--Alan Jones, Dean of Grace Cathedral and author of The Soul's Journey: The Three Passages of the Spiritual Life with Dante as Guide

"He writes clearly and engagingly, his language can at times be lyrical. He is never sentimental--and all the time he is absolutely grounded in reality."
--Herbert O'Driscoll, author of A Doorway in Time

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