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Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  308 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
One of Fr. Rohr’s bestselling books, this revised and updated edition explores St. Francis’s ancient call to the simple life, where joy, not dry theology, helps us build relationships and find peace in ourselves.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by The Crossroad Publishing Company (first published January 25th 2004)
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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver7 by Jen HatmakerThe Treasure Principle by Randy AlcornSimplicity by Richard RohrFor the Beauty of the Earth by Steven Bouma-Prediger
7 Experiment
4th out of 14 books — 3 voters
The Wounded Healer by Henri J.M. NouwenCelebration of Discipline by Richard J. FosterGilead by Marilynne RobinsonThe Pursuit of God by A.W. TozerA Praying Life by Paul E. Miller
The 100 Best Books for Your Spirit
75th out of 121 books — 29 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sep 14, 2009 Heidi rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that can be read in one sitting - good thing, because I couldn't put it down. It said so many things I've thought about faith and spirituality as opposed to organized religion (specifically Christianity), but haven't been able to articulate. For example: "...And the same for we (blame) parents, institutions, or history itself. There must be a victim and a victimizer. But why? What does it help?...Nothing is gained by accusing or avoiding, except a false sen ...more
Cayla Pruett
Feb 01, 2016 Cayla Pruett rated it it was amazing
I don't even know where to begin... I have grown to adore Richard Rohr, I might even go so far as to categorize him as one of my favorite Spiritual mentors. And even still, this book managed to so far exceed my expectations in its depth of insight and astute observations about the nature and condition of the human soul, I find it difficult to review. Reading this piece felt something like what I imagine it might feel like to stroll along and rest among the green pastures and quiet waters of Psal ...more
John Laliberte
Jan 15, 2012 John Laliberte rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thology
Another fabulous contribution by Richard Rohr. He makes you think, ponder, reflect and pray.. but, mostly, he helps you find peace. I recommend this book highly.
Tamara Dahling
Feb 13, 2015 Tamara Dahling rated it really liked it
Although a bit disjointed at times, this book will make you think about how you view God and why. A short book that is easy to devour and yet, in some ways, hard to digest because it's so full of ideas to mull over, put away, and then return to. Worth the time to delve into.
Matt Root
Sep 08, 2015 Matt Root rated it it was ok
I try not to judge spiritual books on whether they speak to me, so I don't rate this lowly because it wasn't the right time or right message. In fact it's hard to argue with anything he says. My problems with the book are twofold: 1. It doesn't work as a book; even if seen as a loose collection of essays, the titles of some of them don't match the content and many of them are poor in quality. 2. Much of the book is now dated. He would have been well served to do a far deeper edit for the re-rele ...more
Tim Street
Jul 22, 2015 Tim Street rated it really liked it
A good read that unearthed fresh thoughts on Christianity and the Gospel for me. One of my favorite passages:

"Jesus invites us at the Church to become a new community of human beings; he calls us a little flock. I don't believe he ever wanted us to be the whole – only the part. He said we should be the yeast, the leaven, not the whole loaf. He called us to be the salt, but we want to be the whole meal. he urged us to be the light that illumines the mountaintop, but we want to be the whole mounta
Jul 21, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
This book is (I think) a collection of talks and essays so it can feel a little repetitive and disjointed reading through it at a normal pace. However I found the repetition totally necessary for my absorption & learning! It's like reading several Wendell Berry essays in one sitting: you're pretttttty sure he's always driving home to the same point but there's that part of you that hopes to God if you keep reading maybe his point won't be so shockingly brilliant and simply terrifying for you ...more
Feb 05, 2014 Andy rated it it was ok
Not terrible, but I would suggest reading "Falling Upward" by him afterwards. Many of the issues I have with his thinking he better presents and fine tunes in the later book. Good author and has good points on spirituality and personal religion.
Jess Martin
Dec 28, 2015 Jess Martin rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Several speeches given by Richard Rohr, transcribed and bound together in a book. Some ideas repeated, but they're worth repeating.
Jul 23, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: religion, spiritual
I love this mans work, but while the book has many good points that either coincide with my life, or are something I need to aim for, I agree it is disjointed at time. The thing is, this is a book based on his talks; and those are more difficult to read.
Dan Williams
Mar 22, 2015 Dan Williams rated it it was amazing
Simplicity is a good read. Challenges the Western Church. I am Protestant and enjoyed it very much.
Michelle Bodle
Apr 26, 2014 Michelle Bodle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Not at all what I expected but still a wonderful piece from Rohr
Deanna Annaed
Mar 20, 2013 Deanna Annaed marked it as books-i-did-not-finish
I must confess that I went into this book with expectations based solely on the title of the book. "Simplicity: the freedom of letting go". This book seems to be about neither simplicity nor about any kind of letting go. It wasn't that I thought it was a how to of living a simpler life, i.e. less stuff but how to simplify by getting rid of all that emotional baggage we carry around. Part way through the book and I still don't know what the overarching theme is or how it even remotely relates to ...more
Stacey Bailey
Jul 12, 2015 Stacey Bailey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rereading
I read this book at least once a year and every time I get even more from it.
Jan 18, 2014 Connie rated it it was amazing
Simplicity, along with Roh's other text, is life changing.
Anita Bradshaw
Jul 15, 2013 Anita Bradshaw rated it liked it
I liked this book, but it is a bit disjointed and is clearly a collection of talks published together. It is not edited very well and can be repetitive. But, it does offer thoughtful reflections as is expected from Rohr.
Brad Kittle
Nov 13, 2012 Brad Kittle rated it liked it

Parts of this book were exceptional! Very inspiring quotes. I gave a 3 because I'm not sure of his doctrine in all cases, but there are some great ideas here.
Jun 28, 2016 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Explained so well why people have left the church (though I don't think that was the book's intent). Insightful and honest.
Aug 06, 2011 Keith added it
Rohr had a lot of good things to say, but i felt it was a bit disconnected and didn't give a lot of direction for the person seeking to practice simplicity.
R.L. Calixto
Feb 28, 2008 R.L. Calixto rated it really liked it
The Franciscan way of living. The title says it all! Generally, Americans and very ambitious people won't like it. We're to possessive of our material things!
Jan 08, 2010 Will rated it it was ok
Very disjointed...appears to be writing stuck together with no glue. Not even sure what he wrote has to do with simplicity. Loved his other work, though.
Angela Joyce
Jul 08, 2012 Angela Joyce rated it really liked it
The pervading theme here is that 'religion' is what keeps us from getting truly close to God. I happen to agree. So I liked this a lot!
Mar 22, 2012 Drick rated it liked it
A collection of sermons by Rohr in the late 1980's on Spiritual simplicity and lifestyle. Interesting but not profound
Courtney Beck
Feb 05, 2008 Courtney Beck rated it really liked it
Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest and a really good writer. I was genuinely interested in what he had to say.
Tom Marsan
Jul 07, 2013 Tom Marsan rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual, cloud-list
Poignant and broad critical look at our society, spiritual lives and general busyness. Worth an easy read :)
May 29, 2012 Carol rated it it was amazing
I've now read four books by Richard Rohr and I always find something of value in them.
Paul Parkinson
Not one of his better ones. A series of lectures.
Mar 15, 2009 Betsy rated it it was amazing
A great book to read and reread!
a wonderful way to live.
Apr 12, 2008 Janeen rated it it was amazing
loved this book, especially his thoughts on feminism.
Patti Clement
Jul 25, 2012 Patti Clement rated it really liked it
Great read about a topic we all struggle with!
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Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard's teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplat ...more
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“The sermons of pastors convert no one. Just consider how many sermons you've heard in your life. Circumstances convert people! You have to make your way to new circumstances so that reality can really get through to you, because that's where Jesus has hidden himself : in the human condition and even in the humiliation of human flesh. Christ always comes into the world on an ass, Christ always comes into the world as a beggar. We would so much like to have him enclosed in the Church and in our theology. But Good is always free.” 1 likes
“Individualism has taken away the credibility of the Gospel in the western world because we think we can seek our private freedom - independently of others. But genuine evangelization must move forward on two rails. We must simultaneously evangelize individuals, calling them to freedom, and evangelize institutions, nations, and systems, calling them to conversion. If you do the first, you'll be called a saint ; if you do the second, you'll be called a communist or a revolutionary. And for this reason most of us remain safely on the first side. Few of us are ready for full freedom in Christ. We want the freedom of Christ only so long as they don't take our "swine" away from us and we can live comfortably "among the tombs” 0 likes
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