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Francis of Assisi is one of the most beloved of all saints, both traditional and revolutionary. In Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi, ecumenical teacher Richard Rohr helps us look beyond the birdbath image of the saint to remind us of the long tradition founded on his revolutionary, radical, and life-changing embrace of the teachings of Jesus.
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Franciscan Media
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.25 (inches)|
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Globally recognized as an ecumenical teacher, Richard Rohr started outand remainsa Franciscan friar. The loving, inclusive life and preaching of Francis of Assisi make him a recognizable and beloved saint across many faith traditions. He was, as Rohr notes, "a master of making room for it and letting go of that which was tired or empty."
Francis found an "alternative way" to follow Jesus, one that disregarded power and privilege and held fast to the narrow path of the Gospel. Rohr helps us look beyond the birdbath image of the saint to remind us of the long tradition founded on his revolutionary, radical, and life-changing embrace of the teachings of Jesus.
Rohr draws on Scripture, insights from psychology, and literary and artistic references, to weave together an understanding of the tradition as first practiced by St. Francis. Rohr shows how his own innovative theology is firmly grounded in the life and teaching of this great saint and provides a perspective on how his alternative path to the divine can deepen and enrich our spiritual lives.
"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
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
Why another book on St. Francis when there is already so much on him?
Well, first of all it isnt a biography on St. Francis, and I dont 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 dont care if theyre 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 havent 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 dont want to write for the elite, but neither do I want to make Francis into a lightweight as hes so often been portrayed. So I guess Im 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 BonaventureBonaventure is the philosopher-theologian who takes Francis intuitive vision and makes a systematic theology and philosophy out of itis where I found it. In my reading of Bonaventure, I dont 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 wasnt 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.