The author of The Holy Longing explores the debilitating obsessions that often dominate our lives and offers down-to-earth guidance for learning to leave our fears, anxieties, and guilt “forgotten among the lilies.”
“Rarely do we taste the food we eat or the coffee we drink. Instead we go through our days too preoccupied, too compulsive, and too dissatisfied to really be able to be present for and celebrate our own lives,” Ronald Rolheiser writes in the introduction to this powerful collection of essays.
Forgotten Among the Lilies shows that there is a better way to find contentment and joy. Only by trusting in God’s grace and providence, Rolheiser argues, can we move beyond our obsessions and rejoice in what we have and who we are.
With his trademark blend of insight, compassion, and honesty laced with humor, the author teaches that it is possible to experience freedom instead of anxiety, solitude instead of loneliness, and a generosity of spirit that returns to the giver far more than it costs.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Religion eBook: Forgotten Among the Lilies|
|Release Date: 02-20-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group|
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Forgotten Among the Lilies
RESTLESSNESS, SPIRIT and the MARTYRDOM of OBSCURITY
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre—
To be redeemed from fire by fire.
Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame,
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.
(T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets)
Restless Hearts Yearn for God
WE ARE FIRED into life by a madness that comes from our incompleteness. We awake to life tense, aching, erotic, full of sex and restlessness.
This dis–ease is, singularly, the most important force within existence. It is the force for love and we are fundamentally shaped by our loves and deformed by their distortions.
Shakespeare called this our “immortal longings” and poets, philosophers, and mystics have always recognized that, within it, there is precisely something of immortality.
Religiously, we have surrounded this longing with chastity and mystique.
Ultimately our restless aching was seen as nothing less than the yearning within us for God. Augustine’s interpretation of this eros was seen as the proper one: “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
The longing was understood religiously: Adam, missing his rib, longing for Eve, man and woman, woman and man, longing for a primal wholeness in God and each other. This was high longing, eros as the spark of the divine in us, the fire from the anvil of God imprisoned inside us like a skylark, causing hopeless disquiet!