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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turned upside down!, 23 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
Radical - yes! Revolutionary - yes! Inspiring - yes! Soothing - no!

Reminds me of Eckhart's title 'Everything is Divine'. Not disappointed. In fact Rohr's book stirred up what I am beginning to realise about Christianity - the religion of my youth but one that I neglected for a period. Now I come back to it with my eyes wide open to the fact that though Christianity is about love it is not sweet sentimental love but a revolutionary, radical way of being and acting in the world. It is about letting go of who we think we are and of finding out who we really are -a painful but necessary process.

Rohr speaks of the weeping, the cleansing that we need to do as we come to be more present with Divine Love. It is not for the faint-hearted. It is about TRUE love which often means taking up the cross and observing our own stream of consciousness which contains both the good and the shadow self. It is about understanding our own human nature. That can be a painful yet necessary process. Rohr invites us to persist and deepen our faith through contemplation. (There are no practical exercises on contemplation in this book. Those can be found in Fr Thomas Keating's book: 'Open mind, Open heart').

Rohr quotes from the teachings of Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila amongst others. Jesus's message is for everyone not just those who go to church on Sunday. Rohr mentions Simone Weil, Etty Hillsum, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela as people who do not formally belong to the church but seem to have truly lived the mystery of the suffering and joy of God. Living by God's choice and Grace is a transformative process and that is radical and at the same time neither soothing nor comfortable yet it brings with it sincere and profound faith in the good and bad of human history and moulds us into the instrument of the divine. We see the profound wound we carry and it is in that wound that the answer lies. 'God sees the wounds, and sees them not as scars but as honors ..' Julian of Norwich ('Revelations of Divine Love').

Everything in life belongs - this book is asking us to open our eyes to reality. This message is excellent and I pray more people stumble across and hear this profound but simple message. Amen.
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78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Virtually revolutionized my understanding of Christianity, 6 April 2009
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C. G. Harding - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
I bought this after reading some of Rohr's articles on the internet and reading the positive reviews of the book (more than 30 of them) at Amazon.com. The book sets out to discuss 'the gift of contemplative prayer' but really does a little less and far more.

'Less' because there is little here about how to get started on this sort of prayer, which has a great deal in common, in terms of the logic and practice of self-emptying, with the silent traditions within Islam, Buddhism, and other religions. Anyone looking for a 'how to' guide could do worse than Thomas Keating's 'Open Mind, Open Heart'.

'More', because Rohr succeeds in presenting a far more profound, challenging, compassionate, and brutally realistic Christianity than anything I have previously come across (as someone who was brought up in an intellectual Catholic atmosphere and now teaches in the general area of religious culture). If you can read beyond the occasionally distracting Americanisms and references to US culture, Rohr offers a comprehensive vision of Christianity rooted in Francis of Assisi (Rohr is a Franciscan) and in the contemplative tradition. He frequently offers biblical citations, leading me to read these passages in a radically different light (Rohr loves the word 'radical', by the way, and it does indeed seem appropriate to much of what he says).

This would be an interesting book to read alongside Matthieu Ricard's 'Happiness'. Ricard is a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and his presentation of Buddhist psychological insights and virtue ethics chimes well with what Rohr is saying. Neither person is interested in making converts or in pressing the claims of their religion - the very notions of identity and 'groups', they would say, is part of the problem. But they do both offer sincere perspectives and very real practical suggestions and challenges for their readers.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for life, 27 May 2010
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This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
This is a book for life - read it as many times as you like over the years and you will always find something new, something relevant.
Encouraging, uplifting but without syrup. Honest and realistic without cynicism. Written with integrity and intelligence.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this of all religions or none., 27 Oct 2011
This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
A breath of fresh air in a confusing world. Richard Rohr seems to find a way to express a spiritual understanding of the meaning and purpose of life that is neither over simplistic so as to be completely inadequate, or so highbrow in its concept that it bears no relevance to most people's lives.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important book I have ever read, 29 Mar 2010
By 
Mario Sidoli "mind if eye" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
This is one book I always have with me. Literally life-changing. Buy it before you get any older.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For open minds, 17 May 2012
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This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
This book takes you back to the foundations of Christianity - it's true spirituality, upon which everything else is overlaid. Rohr writes as a practising Catholic and this book is also absolutely relevant to every other spriritually enlightened faith practitioner, because its message is to find the true bedrock of spiritual truth wherever that is to be found. Not, I would suggest, a book for the fundamentalist. I think you have to be in a certain place on your spiritual journey before this book will resonate with you. And when it does - it does!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to take you deeper into the spiritual life., 7 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
Richard Rohr speaks from experience not just from academic knowledge. He loses me sometimes but I think that says more about where I am in my spiritual journey than any criticism of his writing. I just read again with an open heart and mind. Strongly recommend his writings to anyone who is serious about getting seriously started on contemplative prayer and living.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, 22 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
This book is essential for the new life I have embarked on since retirement. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of doing something different.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Spiritual aid., 13 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
Richard Rohr write deep but simple to understand books. If you are a meditator this will add another dimension to your experience.

Christmas time is particularly a good time to delve into this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Aug 2014
This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
Another excellent book by Richard Rohr. To be read and reread.
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Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer by Richard Rohr (Paperback - 3 April 2003)
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