The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser, a summary and review

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Review of The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser
(what I call my new favorite non-fiction)

Rolheiser defines spirituality in a way that is much more all encompassing than I have been exposed to before.  He asserts that our passion, eros, desire is our spirituality and that everyone has one, "whether it is life-giving or destructive."  What we do with our fire and how we channel it is our spirituality.  To further explain this concept, he briefly explores this fire in Janis Joplin, Princess Diana, and Mother Theresa.

He defines and gives clear examples of the nonnegotiable essentials of Christianity and our struggle to balance them. He lists them as:
a) private prayer and private morality
b) social justice
c) mellowness of heart and spirit
d) community as a constructive element of true worship

He gives practical ways of demonstrating incarnation, including how we must be the flesh that brings action to our prayers, not relying on God to answer our prayers without us doing what we can, in the flesh.

One of my favorite chapters (from any author, any book) is the chapter on Paschal Mystery, "the timeless issues of suffering, death, and transformation."  He provides real stories of individuals navigating the process as well as clear markers for common themes and radically simple advice for clarity at each stage, suggesting we; "name our deaths, claim our births, grieve what we have lost and adjust to the new reality, not cling to the old but let is ascend to give it's blessing, and accept the spirit of the life that we are living.