From Publishers Weekly
In this book of poignant meditations, theologian Rolheiser pleads an important case of idealism, romanticism, fulfillment and pure love (eros
) in an age of skepticism, cynicism and despair. Pulling from a host of spiritual classics, he succeeds at inspiring his readers, translating with impressive acumen the wisdom of theologians like Karl Rahner, poets like Rainer Maria Rilke and contemporary writers like Annie Dillard. He aptly engages readers in deep philosophical questions without losing them in abstract language because he diligently connects his theological ideas to concrete, common experiences. Rolheiser writes about such topics as self-expression, innocence, friendship, forgiveness, prayer, sexuality and social justice with his signature touch of empathy and eloquence. However, in his effort to inspire optimism, he dodges some controversial issues and appears at times to dangerously discount some very real illnesses (e.g. depression, anxiety disorders), which may require psychiatric and physiological treatment beyond his recommended method of "praying it through." Titled appropriately after the last line of St. John of the Cross's poetic masterpiece, "The Dark Night of the Soul," Rolheiser's reflections capture postmodern anxiety and despair; he accurately identifies some alarming trends in contemporary culture, such as the "Friday Night Syndrome"—what he calls our society's need for constant excitement. Overall, his words offer readers a perspective of hope and provide spiritual nourishment at its best. (May)
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Praise for The Holy Longing
“A master weaver is at work here. … I found my soul on every page. At least 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
Praise for The Restless Heart
“Ronald Rolheiser examines the pain of loneliness and the meaning of our longing with compassionate precision. The book is not simply an exercise in personal spirituality—it also comes at a time when great social and political harm is done because many of us cannot endure and enjoy who we are in our loneliness. A much-needed antidote to the uneasiness of the times.”
—Alan Jones, Dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, author of Living the Truth,
and coauthor of Seasons of Grace
“Ronald Rolheiser has emerged as one of the finest spiritual writers of our time. In this new edition of his earliest work, he tills the soil where the holy longing is cultivated, nurtured, and sustained: the lonely human heart. He holds the key to helping loosen the suffocating grip of loneliness so that our deepmost desires flourish and find rest in God.”
—Michael Downey, Cardinal’s Theologian, Archdiocese of Los AngelesFrom the Hardcover edition.