I’m trying to decide if I should recommend an older book, Richard Rohr’s 1999 effort Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer.
On one hand, I got the idea I was reading the transcript of one of his many recordings. On the other, I think he has a bead on the challenges of Christianity in the 21st century.
I know this book was well-received when it came out, and it has an interesting resonance given the phenomenon of retrenched conservative Catholicism of the last decade and Pope Francis in this one. The one aspect that frustrated me is the writing style. I could hear his voice narrating as I read. But I found the chapters too long without good places to pause. Maybe I’ve been reading too many Jesuits and not enough Franciscans.
On the plus side, Fr Rohr draws upon a very wide variety of sources, including literature and non-Christian religions to buttress his insights. The image above isn’t the book I read–I wonder how the updated/revised edition reads.
If I could sum up the author’s criticism of people who struggle with belief and prayer is that they try too hard to be good. Or they try in the wrong ways. Elder sibling types are skewered. One good quote: “God can most easily be lost by being thought found.”
I think I’ll recommend it if you haven’t read it. It’s interesting to go back and read spirituality books from twenty, thirty years ago. I have another by my bed I’ll tell you about later this week.