10 of my Favorite Quotes from Richard Rohr’s book Eager To Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi

by Mark Votava


  • Everything is a revelation of the divine

1. “The Christ Mystery refuses to be vague or abstract, and is always concrete and specific.  When we stay with these daily apparitions, we see that everything is a revelation of the divine – from rocks to rocket ships.  There are henceforth no blind spots in the divine disclosure, in our own eyes, or in our rearview mirrors.  Our only blindness is our lack of fascination, humility, curiosity, awe, and willingness to be allured forward.”

  • Having a kind of real inner authority

2. “Once we go through our own sifting – and recovering – we will have a kind of real inner authority too, by just trusting what we know.  It will probably never be an authority that needs to be formally licensed as such…”

  • Agreeing to live simply

3. “When you agree to live simply, you put yourself outside of others’ ability to buy you off, reward you falsely, or control you by money, status, salary, punishment, and loss or gain of anything.  This is the most radical level of freedom, but, of course, it is not easy to come by.  It might be called restorative justice, or primal solidarity with the mass of humanity and the earth…”

  • Leaving us fragile and vulnerable

4. “The true Gospel always leaves us both fragile and vulnerable…”

  • Inner capacity to live with paradoxes and contradictions

5. “…contemplation gives us an inner capacity to live with paradoxes and contradictions.  It is a quantum leap forward in our tolerance for ambiguity, mystery, and paradox.  More than anything else, this new way of processing the moment is what moves us from mere intelligence, or correct information, to what we normally mean by wisdom or non-dual thinking.”

  • External window dressing

6. “When you have not had any internal experience of God and grace, you almost always overcompensate with external window dressing.  The ‘window dressings’ are not wrong in themselves, but do tend to make nonessentials into essentials that we obsess about and divide over.  When you have done this for half your life, it is very hard to let go of it…”

  • Common sign of the contemplative mind

7. “The common sign that the contemplative mind has been accessed is when you see people who are highly capable of long periods of silence and solitude – and do not become negative or narcissistic in the process – but actually increase in joy and love.  This is not possible if you have a dualistic mind or still operate from the egoic level…”

  •  The demand for certitude

8. “It is important to know that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but in fact certitude and the demand for certitude!”

  • If your only goal is love

9. “If your only goal is to love, there is no such thing as failure…”

  • Whenever we choose to love

1o. “Whenever we choose to love we will – and must – die to who we were before we loved.  So we often hold back.  Our former self is taken from us by the object of our love.  We only realize this is what has happened after the letting go, or we would probably always be afraid to love.”

Which quote is your favorite?