From Publishers Weekly
In this re-issue of a book first published more than two decades ago, Rolheiser, a Catholic priest and author, looks at the deep longing every person experiences and often names as loneliness. He examines its nature and inherent dangers at some length, but also shows how loneliness can bring great benefits, as it often does in the lives of artists. Loneliness, he writes, presents both potential peril and tremendous opportunity for growth, giving birth to the latter when "understood and channeled creatively." Rolheiser develops his ideas by showing how the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and various theologians from Augustine to Karl Rahner have dealt with this basic human problem. He also draws on writers as diverse as the mystic John of the Cross, philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and novelist John Updike. Kierkegaard, he says, was able to mine beauty from his loneliness by seeing it as a "vocation" and himself as someone who could form his pain into "beautiful music—music that could bring healing to those who hear it." Rolheiser goes on to propose a "spirituality of loneliness" rooted in prayer and "the community of life." Readers who have delved into spiritual classics and the works of contemporary religious writers for answers to this basic human question will be attracted to this book, which eschews spiritual fluff. Rolheiser is not given to romantic illusions or easy answers, but serves as an informed guide who is familiar with the challenging territory about which he writes.
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Advance 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 but 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, and author of Living the Truth
and 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 help 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 Angeles
Praise for The Holy Longing
“Rolheiser’s program for Christian spirituality is reminiscent of the best work of Henri Nouwen and Daniel Berrigan.” —Publishers Weekly
“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, lifegiving 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