FORGOTTEN AMONG THE LILIES: Learning to Love Beyond Our Fears

Ronald Rolheiser, Author . Doubleday $19.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-51231-2

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)

Reviewed on: 02/28/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-86716-714-6
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Paperback - 284 pages - 978-0-340-53624-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-86716-715-3
Paperback - 315 pages - 978-0-385-51232-9
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