Richard Rohr focuses his attention on all frames and doorways to the divine—the alternative way of Francis of Assisi.
Francis of Assisi, one of the most beloved of all saints, was at once very traditional and entirely revolutionary in the ways of holiness. As a standing paradox, he both stood barefoot on the earth and yet touched the heavens; he was grounded in the church and yet instinctively moved toward the cosmos; he lived happily inside the visible and tangible, and yet both suffered and rejoiced in the invisible.
Rohr places the tradition as first practiced by Francis, and subsequently by others, within a context for the uninitiated audience. This is not a historical accounting, but rather a perspective about how the alternative orthodoxy can deepen spiritual life for anyone, whether Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, secular, or spiritual seeker.
Eager to Love is grounded in the Gospels, the prophets, a broad blend of psychology and theology, and in literature and art, to continue to communicate through all the sources that articulate specific alternative ways of understanding God with us.
Ever since the current pope took the name Francis, interest in the life and message of Francis of Assisi has grown exponentially. Rohr (Silent Compassion), a Franciscan priest and director of the Center for Action and Contemplation, examines the life of Francis of Assisi, God's "holy fool." This is not a biography, however, but rather an examination of themes in Francis's ministry that can help inspire and motivate contemporary people of faith. Francis focused primarily on loving and being in solidarity with the poor, suffering, and outcast. His outwardly focused spirituality does not emphasize pursuing personal piety. In this way, the author posits that Francis serves as a "corrective" for those who are exceedingly pious or think they can forge their own path to God without community involvement. Simplicity is another key theme in Francis' spirituality: simplicity involves placing oneself outside of financial and consumerist desires that offer a false sense of freedom. This Franciscan message is sorely needed in the world, and Rohr's masterful exposition of its treasures offers spiritual salve.