A thoughtful exploration of loneliness, in the tradition of Henri Nouwens classic Reaching Out. Loneliness may be more pervasive now than at any other time in human history. Cell phones and "instant messaging" not withstanding, our longing for meaningful connections seems to increase in direct proportion to our accessibility. In The Restless Heart, Ronald Rolheiser identifies different types of loneliness and discusses the dangers and opportunities they represent in our lives. Using contemporary parables from literature, film, and his own life, he shows that loneliness can be a tremendously creative and even valuable force when it is recognized, accepted and used as a dynamic catalyst. With his trademark clarity of vision, honesty, and intelligence, Rolheiser offers a distinctively Christian approach to living an examined, involved life and presents suggestions that will free readers to discover greater meaning and fulfillment in their own lives.
"The Restless Heart" won the Winnifred Sanford award in the United Kingdom in 1990 as the best book on spirituality.
Ronald Rolheiser is a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In addition to being a popular speaker and writer whose books (over ten in print) are popular throughout the world and whose weekly column is carried by more than seventy newspapers worldwide, he is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.
Rolheiser is among the most popular and inclusive spiritual writers today. Although rooted in the Catholic faith, he is able to transcend denominational boundaries and religious language to appeal to both practicing Christians and unaffiliated seekers.
In this re-issue of a book first published more than two decades ago, Rolheiser, a Catholic priest and author, looks at the deep longing every person experiences and often names as loneliness. He examines its nature and inherent dangers at some length, but also shows how loneliness can bring great benefits, as it often does in the lives of artists. Loneliness, he writes, presents both potential peril and tremendous opportunity for growth, giving birth to the latter when "understood and channeled creatively." Rolheiser develops his ideas by showing how the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and various theologians from Augustine to Karl Rahner have dealt with this basic human problem. He also draws on writers as diverse as the mystic John of the Cross, philosopher Siren Kierkegaard and novelist John Updike. Kierkegaard, he says, was able to mine beauty from his loneliness by seeing it as a "vocation" and himself as someone who could form his pain into "beautiful music-music that could bring healing to those who hear it." Rolheiser goes on to propose a "spirituality of loneliness" rooted in prayer and "the community of life." Readers who have delved into spiritual classics and the works of contemporary religious writers for answers to this basic human question will be attracted to this book, which eschews spiritual fluff. Rolheiser is not given to romantic illusions or easy answers, but serves as an informed guide who is familiar with the challenging territory about which he writes. (June) Forecast: Rolheisers book The Holy Longing has sold more than 100,000 copies. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.