I was introduced a few years ago to Rolheiser when I read his book The Holy Longing. His writing resonated with me and helped me to understand much about myself and spirituality. I learned I was not the only person who had this deep hunger within and why it is sometimes so hard to fill it in the world today.
This book, Sacred Fire, is his latest offering and was written to go beyond The Holy Longing and answer this question, “How do I live beyond my own heartaches, headaches, and obsessions so as to help make other peoples’ lives more meaningful?” Rolheiser then lays out for the reader how discipleship changes as we mature and the primary task shifts from getting our lives together to learning how to give our lives away.
As I read I became more and more convicted that I was not giving my life away. I was led to that very gently and do not have guilt, just the realization that I am not living out my life in the best possible way. God has given me everything and loves me beyond my human understanding; in return, I want to give him everything back, to use as he needs. The desire, is, as Rolheiser says, is to “become all flame.” In choosing to become all flame, we accept Jesus’ invitation to full human maturity and full generativity as his disciple, “handing over those last rooms in our house.”
Rolheiser moves from talking about the stages of discipleship to scripture to prayer blessing others and then leads us to a vision of radical discipleship. Sacred Fire is a book to read slowly and pray with, asking God to show you what’s next on your journey, to learn how you can become all flame.
You can learn more about Fr. Ron Rolheiser and read his writings on his website, Ron Rolheiser, OMI.
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Copyright 2015 Deanna Bartalini
About the Author
Deanna G. Bartalini, MEd, MPS, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. Her Bible study, invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life, is published by Our Sunday Visitor. Her website, DeannaBartalini.com, is for the Every Day Catholic. There you can find Deanna’s writing, free webinars on Catholicism, her podcast and social media services, and invite her to speak to your group, in person or virtually.