Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
In this exploration of the central themes of Scripture, Richard Rohr transforms the written word, discovering in these ancient texts a new and vital meaning, relevant and essential for modern Christians. Rohr offers his listeners a Christian vision of abundance, grace, and joy to counteract a world filled with scarcity, judgment, and fear - a vision that can revolutionize how we relate to ourselves, others, and the world.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 35 minutes|
|Narrator||John Quigley O.F.M.|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 14, 2011|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#28,786 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#57 in Catholicism (Audible Books & Originals)
#187 in Bible Study
#675 in Inspiration & Spirituality
Top reviews from the United States
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My first read of this book was done by reading on my computer screen as I had downloaded the Kindle version. A number of times withing the text I came across something so good that I could not hold it in, and I had to share it on Facebook. Not wanting to flood my friends pages with a hundred quotes, I only picked some of what I considered the best parts, once again, these where parts that I just could not hold within myself and I just had to share. Here are therefore those quotes I shared for your reading pleasure:
1. "The male (or female!) who does not know who he or she is from the inside, will covet all forms of power: titles, costumes, precedence, roles and perks."
2. "Religion is largely populated by people afraid of hell; spirituality begins to make sense to those who have been through hell, that is, who have drunk deeply of life's difficulties."
3. "When we presume we know fully, we can all be very arrogant and goal-oriented. When we know we don't know fully, we are much more concerned about practical loving behavior. This has become obvious to me as I observe human nature. Those who know God are always humble; those who don't are invariably quite sure of themselves."
4. "To allow yourself to be God's beloved is to be God's beloved. To allow yourself to be chosen is to be chosen. To allow yourself to be blessed is to be blessed. It is so hard to accept being accepted, especially from God. It takes a certain kind of humility to surrender to it, and even more to persist in believing it. Any used persons know this to be true: God chooses and then uses whom God chooses, and their usability comes from their willingness to allow themselves to be chosen in the first place. What a paradox!"
Regarding quote 1. In the Catholic Tradition I would be considered I mystic as I converse with God back and forth and get person messages (i.e Prophecies) off God for people. In the Penticostal tradtion I would call myself a Prophet, and yet on Facebook I simplly appear as Matthew Robert Payne. I am a self taught teacher of the word, and though I can prophesy I do not call myself Prophet Payne on business cards, on my website, or on Facebook. Labels that people call themself seem to annoy me and Richard really spoke profoundly to me with what he said in this quote.
Regarding quote 2. Richard makes it very clear in his teaching in this book that the best equiped in this world to recieve the Kingdom of God and to actually practice and not just pay lip service to Jesus' teachings are the negelcted, the rejected, the poor and the marginilised. He says that the worse off you are, the easier it is to live the Christian life. To this end, he says women seem to walk in superior spiritual graces easier simply because is our world they are not the top dogs like the men.
Regarding quote 3 I heard once that true spiritual power and authority comes most easily to the humble. To the "know alls" comes frustration and blockages in the true spiritual path. I think the "poor in spirit" that Jesus spoke about where those of us who don't know it all and are humble enough to listen with ears and hearts wide open to the teachers and the Holy Spirit, the Great teacher.
Regarding quote 4 So many of us struggle with the concept that God is a loving God who adores us and accpets us just the way we are. It is hard to imagine for most of us that God chose us and not the reverse that we think, that we chose God. When you know that you are unique and that you are chosen and God has a purpose for you in this world, you can go on and do what you were created to do.
Richards books was in short:
Hard to put down
Made you think
A total mind feast
A total heart feast
A gift from heaven to me.
It has to be for me one of the top ten books that I have read in my life. I can see myself ordering multiple copies to give to people that I love, and I can see myself collecting quotes from Richards books and writing my own books arouund them. Two other books in my top ten are "Destined to Reign" by Joseph Prince and "Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ" my Madom Guyon.
The author's primary thesis is that scripture is meant to point to God and lead those, who are willing to invest in the effort, to an ever deepening relationship with God. He is up front with the fact that his is a developmental approach and that he views scripture itself as a product of deepening spiritual development. If you want to engage scripture in a mature, adult manner and deal with spiritual questions in increasing depth and are willing to struggle with the ambiguities of life this is the book for you.
This little parable is a nice encapsulation of what Rohr has to say about the spirit of scripture. For Rohr, following Rene Girard (whose influence, along with Nouwen's, is all over this book), the bible is a "text in travail," a fluid, living document that is often times messy and meandering, taking one step forward and two steps back. That's why it's important, insists Rohr, to be clear about the bible's trajectory and momentum, so that we won't get lost down a sidetrack and take the inessential as vital (the fundamentalist failing). The trajectory is the working out of the human recognition of God as a loving, nurturing parent who exhibits mercy, grace, faithfulness, forgiveness, and steadfast love; of recognition of ourselves as originally blessed, made in the image of a loving God and hence intrinsically lovable ourselves; and recognition that the bible encourages awakening, remembering, rather than accomplishing. (It's fascinating to reflect on the fact that the Greek word for truth used in the New Testament--aletheia--can be translated as "unforgetting.")
Readers familiar with Rohr's work won't necessarily find a great deal to surprise them in this lovely and wise book. But readers new to Rohr, as well as those (like myself) who have read and profited from him for years, will appreciate the insight and grace with which he puts scripture in a context that moves away from uninspired literalism on the one hand or academic textual crunching on the other. If spiritual knowing (cognition) is really, as Rohr argues, a re-cognition, an unforgetting of the soul, this book is as good a memory-jogger as one is likely to find.
Top reviews from other countries
When we as Western Christians find ourselves glued to smart phones and tweets, Rohr, like the scripture he champions, challenges us and gets us thinking about and rethinking about a Christian faith that requires wrestling, uncomfortable questions, and divine silence. Just one tame example of Rohr's analytic questioning would be "Why didn't Jesus write the Bible?" As you can expect, the fundamentalist in the average US/European evangelical Christian just want easily digested black and white Christianity, with no room for doubt, error or creative tensions. Yet silence, struggle and tension is exactly what the great saints, prophets and even the Son of God in Gethsemane had to go through to see God's rest and the resurrection life God wants to give us, if only we would die to ego first.
In short, Rohr is a refreshingly no-nonsense author writing about the bare bones of the Christian mystical experience. His many loves - of scripture, pedagogy, psychology, of his Franciscan alternative orthodoxy, of beginner Christians, of the essential Jesus - shines through every page, bringing new yet ancient ways of seeing scripture to every believer looking for a good substantial read.