Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity

As I turned 45 and began to contemplate what life and ministry would look like into the remaining years of my life (a post mid-life non-crisis!) I followed the recommendation of some faithful saints online and grabbed Ronald Rolheiser's Sacred Fire. The title says it is "a vision for a deeper human and Christian maturity" and that is exactly what I needed. 

Rolheiser is a Catholic priest and while that comes through in his writing, I saw great value in his thinking. The book in three parts looks at discipleship as coming to Christ and living even into your adult years and maturity is when the bulk of life is accomplished and something new needs to set in. The section on Mature Discipleship is the largest portion of the book and covers giving our lives away in profound ways as invited by Scripture, strengthened in prayer, and done for others. 

Rolheiser gives "Ten Commandments for the Long Haul," which include:

1. Live in gratitude and thank your Creator by enjoying life. 

2. Be willing to carry more and more of life's complexities with empathy. 

3. Transform jealousy, anger, bitterness, and hatred rather than give it back in kind. 

4. Let suffering soften your heart rather than harden your soul. 

5. Forgive -- those who hurt you, your own sins, the unfairness of your life, and God for not rescuing you. 

6. Bless more and curse less! 

7. Live in a more radical sobriety. 

8. Pray, affectively and liturgically. 

9. Be wide in your embrace. 

10. Stand where you are supposed to be standing, and let God provide the rest. 

I found Sacred Fire to be an invitation to mature discipleship when I needed it most. While a few of the chapters felt like they dragged the content was essential and I am grateful for the vision of this path. This is the Christian call, to give your life away, finish well, that Christ would be glorified. 

If you are thinking through the same questions of the tail end of your journey, why not be warmed by some Sacred Fire!


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