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Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi Hardcover – July 31, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Eager to Love illuminates the path of Francis of Assisi as a path of evolving life toward integral wholeness." —Ilia Delio, O.S.F., author, Compassion: Living in the Spirit of St. Francis

"A gift to all Franciscan-hearted people everywhere!" —Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., author, The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering

"This book captures the essence of our Franciscan spirituality.  Richard has woven a masterful tapestry that combines ancient sources with cutting edge experience and thought.  He writes with the authority of a man who has faithfully embraced our life for over half a century, an authentic mystic drawing on his own experience.  This book may indeed help re-ignite the Franciscan revolution in our 21st Century." —Robert Lentz, O.F.M.
 
"A marvelous, companionable book for those eager to love as Francis and Clare loved.  Both philosophical and experiential, theological and historically based, Eager to Love is itself a chronicle and sustained meditation on how Friar Richard has come to understand and live the Franciscan life he vowed as a young man.  It is a wisdom book packed with insight, compassion, and love – a mellowing and deepening of a modern prophetic voice." —Murray Bodo, O.F.M., author, Francis and Jesus




Ever since the current pope took the name Francis, interest in the life and message of Francis of Assisi has grown exponentially. Rohr (Silent Compassion), a Franciscan priest and director of the Center for Action and Contemplation, examines the life of Francis of Assisi, God’s “holy fool.” This is not a biography, however, but rather an examination of themes in Francis’s ministry that can help inspire and motivate contemporary people of faith. Francis focused primarily on loving and being in solidarity with the poor, suffering, and outcast. His outwardly focused spirituality does not emphasize pursuing personal piety. In this way, the author posits that Francis serves as a “corrective” for those who are exceedingly pious or think they can forge their own path to God without community involvement. Simplicity is another key theme in Francis’ spirituality: simplicity involves placing oneself outside of financial and consumerist desires that offer a false sense of freedom. This Franciscan message is sorely needed in the world, and Rohr’s masterful exposition of its treasures offers spiritual salve. — Publishers Weekly

In Eager to Love, [Rohr] reclaims the mysticism inherent in the Franciscan legacy and he offers it as an alternative to the hierarchical, patriarchal and authoritarian Christianity that he suggests has primary responsibility for so much of contemporary agnosticism in the West. … He claims to want to "reignite the Franciscan revolution," which is universally accessible and inclusive, offering healing and liberation. As such, he is building a bridge between the Christian mystical tradition and estranged seekers of every ilk. … Eager to Love is neither a biography of Francis nor a history of the Franciscan order, but Rohr's reflections on the best aspects of the Franciscan heritage as lived out by its founder and its early worthies — Clare, Bonaventure and Dun Scotus. — Dana Greene, National Catholic Reporter




From the America magazine interview with Richard Rohr:

Why another book on St. Francis when there is already so much on him?
Well, first of all it isn’t a biography on St. Francis, and I don’t really talk about him until one of the later chapters. I make that point at the beginning. My emphasis in the book is on what flowed from him, what was validated by him and then toward the end of the book I look at the source: Francis himself. Francis was not a theologian, much less a systematic theologian. But he was an intuitive genius, at least in terms of spiritual things and the gospel.
 
Who are you writing for?
I would say interested but sincere seekers. I don’t care if they’re in the church or out of the church. I would like to believe that interested but sincere seekers, probably with some degree of education, will read it. Some of the chapters are quite heavy; the one on contemplation is really central. People who haven’t done a little homework in these fields will probably jump over some of these heavier chapters because it might be too much for the common reader. I worried about that a bit because I don’t want to write for the elite, but neither do I want to make Francis into a lightweight as he’s so often been portrayed. So I guess I’m shooting at the middle.
 
What does the title “Eager to Love” mean for you?
As I began writing it, I was wondering what I would title it, and then in reading Bonaventure—Bonaventure is the philosopher-theologian who takes Francis’ intuitive vision and makes a systematic theology and philosophy out of it—is where I found it. In my reading of Bonaventure, I don’t remember if he actually uses that phrase, but whatever phrase I was reading prompted that image. What Bonaventure saw in Francis and what he desired in himself was an eagerness to love. It wasn’t just an intellectual head trip that the gospel for both Francis and Bonaventure was immediately oriented toward love and service in the world. And love of the world and service toward the world. So the phrase came to me and I never changed it after that. The publishers liked it and it stuck.

Read the entire interview here.

About the Author

Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard's teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and lived kenosis (self-emptying), expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized. Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam’s Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under WaterFalling UpwardImmortal Diamond, and Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. Fr. Richard is academic Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. Drawing upon Christianity's place within the Perennial Tradition, the mission of the Living School is to produce compassionate and powerfully learned individuals who will work for positive change in the world based on awareness of our common union with God and all beings. Visit cac.org for more information.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Franciscan Media; First Edition first Printing edition (July 31, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616367016
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616367015
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I have long enjoyed reading Fr. Richard Rohr, particularly starting with "The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See" and on through "Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life " and "Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self." This one is his best yet. Fr. Rohr' thinking is maturing and deepening and, as throughout all of his works, he presents his ideas in a clear way. I am a Third Order Lutheran Franciscan and as such am very interested in Franciscan spirituality; as I have been reading this I have been posting quotes from the book.
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I have read several books by Richard Rohr now. I enjoy his effort to continue to love many things from the past about his religious faith while trying to find new and fresh ways of expressing faith in a changing world. He walks a tight rope of remaining open to the people who want nothing to change about their faith and those to want a new insight to ponder. I think he does both with skill. This book about the faith of the founders of his religious order borrows from the old but expresses it again new.
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Vintage Rohr! His latest book is a strong demonstration of how and why one can live and pray inside and on the edge of the institutional church and be in full communion with her, just as Francis did. Rohr is one of those prophetic voices that joins the chorus of so many deeply contemplative Catholic Christians from the desert fathers to this 21st century calling us all to greater authenticity. It is a call to a richer and fuller communion with God and a more mature understanding of life and love, one that is fluid and not polarizing, always rooted in scripture and the most ancient of our church traditions.
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Wow. My clergy book club chose this as our monthly reading and it is blowing me away page after page. I'd highlight more, but then all the pages would be also solid highlighting. There is a lot to think about in this robust overview of Franciscan spirituality.
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This was a very enlightening book. I found myself unable to put it down. Richard done a great in answering some of the basic questions about many areas of religion and spirituality that I had. For those who are seeking a deeper understanding of spirituality, this book is for you. Sure it is great to go to church and get the messages taught by those who foster community in living a spiritual life, however there is not a lot of teaching on that very intimate walk with the Holy Spirit. Richard lays out a method to achieve that deeper self knowing that the spirit is alive and well. I felt more like getting to know Christ, and the Holy Spirit in a closer, deeper, personal way. Richard Rohr does a great job of motivating one to take that deeper walk. He also uses scripture to help one understand that this closer walk is very scriptural. I really enjoyed his expose on Franciscan Spirituality. For those who are seeking this would be a great book. HS
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Richard Rohr always manages to challenge and enlighten with his insight. His latest work, Eager to Love provides a thorough understanding of Franciscan spirituality which I'd more visceral and less cerebral than that espoused by Benedictine spirituality. The Franciscan model may be more relevant today given the apparent gap that exists between and among personnel cultures, ethic groups, as well as the misuse of the earth and it's primal inhabitants.
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Fr. Richard skillfully highlights how love is at the heart of the alternative way of St. Francis of Assisi. This book really made me desire to start down the road of the discernment process for the Secular Franciscans and save money for the Living School run by Fr. Richard.

If you desire the primacy of Love in your life and in the world, this book is a must read.
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Richard Rohr has done it again! The prolific padre has produced an absolute gem in his exposition of `The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi.' The first chapter alone -- on mysticism -- is worth the price of the book, and there are a dozen more after that. plus a preface, three appendices, an afterword, and copious notes. This is a book to be chewed and digested thoroughly.
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