Fall 2015

Eager To Love:

The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi

by Richard Rohr, OFM (Franciscan Media, 2014)

 I am inspired by Richard Rohr’s clear description of the pathway to nondual, mature Christianity. His style is conversational and down to earth, as befits a follower of Francis of Assisi. Friar (Father) Richard makes the revolutionary ways of Francis and Clare accessible for the modern reader. I am struck by the fact that “third tier” contemplative faith is the same for all faith traditions. It involves realizing the sacredness of all creation, including one’s own self, and seeking reunion with the divine. It is so tragic that most of humanity is stuck in “first tier” tribal, dualistic belief systems that exclude and demonize. Fr. Richard quotes Pope Francis liberally, showing that this pope takes after his namesake and is a beacon of hope in our contentious world.  — Jean Doane 

Sep. 10 Introduction & Ch. 1  (pp.i-xxi, 1-17) – Mysticism: experiential knowledge of spiritual things Introduction of speaker preceded by singing of “Swing Low” – recalling members who passed away during the summer. Schellink presentation Discussion, Q & A Rev. Larry Schellink, Unity of Santa Barbara
Sep. 17 Chapters 2 & 3 –  (pp. 19-44) – Suffering and transformation; living “on the edge”Introduction of speaker Hernandez presentation Discussion, Q & A Tensie Hernandez, Advocate for the poor, Catholic Worker house
Sep. 24 Chapters 4 & 5 –  (pp. 45-80) – The nature of mysticism; contemplation Introduction of speaker Mullin presentation Discussion, Q & A Fr. Pat Mullin, Director, St. Mary’s Retreat Center
Oct. 1 Chapters 6 & 7 –  (pp. 81-118) – Franciscan alternative orthodoxy; the “little way” Introduction of speaker George presentation Discussion, Q & A Dawn George, marriage and family therapist
Oct. 8 Chapters 8 & 9 –  (pp. 119-152) – Francis’ masculine & feminine sides; Clare and contemplative spirituality Introduction of speaker Blomstad presentation Discussion, Q & A Sr. Susan Blomstad, OSF
Oct. 15 Chapters 10 & 11 – (pp. 153-174) – Francis and the crusade; Bonaventure and Franciscan thought Introduction of speaker Garrison presentation Discussion, Q & A Gregg Garrison, OSF, with the Secular Franciscans
Oct. 22 Chapters 12 & 13 –  (pp. 175-208) – John Duns Scotus; Francis living the heart of the gospel Introduction of speaker Bro. Jude’s presentation Continuing discussion Bro. Jude Hill, Provincial, (Episcopal) Society of St Francis
Oct. 29 Appendix 1 – (pp. 209-228) – the cosmic Christ and the Franciscan world view Introduction of speaker Fr. Clarke’s presentation Discussion, Q & A Fr. Jim Clarke, St. John Seminary faculty
Nov. 5 Appendix 2 – (pp. 229-246) – The Franciscan view of the nature of God Introduction of speaker Keith Forster’s presentation Discussion, Q & A Keith Forster, Word & Life, and St. Anthony Community
Nov. 12 Appendix 3 & Afterword (pp. 247-268) – Wisdom (mystical) vs. intelligence. Time for another Franciscan revolution? Introduction of speaker Fr. Talley’s presentation Discussion, Q & A Fr. Charles Talley, OFM, Pastor, St. Barbara Parish