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The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of St. Francis

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,177 ratings  ·  135 reviews
We often think of saints as rare individuals whose gifts far exceed our own, and St. Francis is no exception. But for Fr. Richard Rohr, a prolific author and renowned speaker, the life and teachings of this beloved figure offer an authentic spirituality we can all embody. On The Art of Letting Go,, Fr. Rohr gives us a six-session learning course that explores: the surprisi ...more
Audio CD, 6 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Sounds True (first published January 25th 2004)
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 ·  1,177 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Yes, I'm giving this 5 stars. I kind of fell in platonic love with Richard Rohr while listening to The Art of Letting Go. Rohr is very informal and conversational throughout this audio lecture series -- you never feel like he is preaching or lecturing to you. Instead, it is like listening to a wise, older friend, who rambles a bit and contradicts himself sometimes, but who comes from a place of wisdom and knowing and experience. I would listen to this again.
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Matt Root
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
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and essential reading for anyone trying to be a good person. St. Francis was probably one of like 10 people ever who really understand what Jesus was saying. And MLK and Mother Teresa were two others. Richard Rohr is an excellent guide to getting there--but this is not just about Christianity or even religion. It's about becoming a whole person and doing good with your one life
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
spirituality of subtraction, pander to ego, push out for more vs rooted, most written about fear of war obsession with possession measure time barter to money, invite vs push, freedom from self for others needs pains, like Jesus, God as holy mystery, observe natural world, let go less is more, win win view, joyful humility, rope vs belt, rely on nature and goodness of others, who am I, life phase write text then commentary, to love is souls purpose, we are own worst enemy, love people use things ...more
May 08, 2012 marked it as books-i-did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
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
Tamara Dahling
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
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.
John Laliberte
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
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.
Kelley Johnson
Listened to the audio book while sewing masks. It was intriguing to learn about Rohr's nine levels of spiritual development. I'd like to read more from him on this topic.

There was also a really compelling idea about a person's real self being the spirit of God that's been breathed into you (what some might call the soul). This is an intertwining of you, and the god in you. This is why ALL people have worth and value, not as a result of anything they do, but because the spirit of God is in them.
Nic Lishko
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A lovely little franchise retreat.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I just delight in Fr. Richard Rohr. I’ve never read or listened to anything from him that did not leave me happier and improved.
Rick Quinn
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I confess that I really love Richard Rohr's work on spirituality and contemplative prayer so any review I give is certainly filtered through that lens. That said, this is a profound meditation on how the spiritual life is, in Meister Eckhart's terms, a process of subtraction. This is a countercultural word to our Western culture of achievement and status. The ways in which Christianity has been twisted to match the culture of "winning" and achievement add to, rather than assuage, our discontent ...more
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
A collection of sermons by Rohr in the late 1980's on Spiritual simplicity and lifestyle. Interesting but not profound
Aug 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Not a fan of this book....I did do it on audibles, so it may have been the combination of Richard Rohr's voice and the content, no sure. Just could not finish it.
John Hebenton
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book that keeps percolating in the background and ideas from it pop out. Another book that needs to be read again for full impact
Richard Pütz
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As Christians we cling, and we create scapegoats and then one day you realize you just need to let it all go
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Challenging and thought provoking. Worth the listen and work for those who want to dive deeper into their spiritual journey and want to dive past the shallow parts of church and Christianity.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
He really expounds on Non Duality and the different stages we go through in our spiritual development.

If we do not transform our pain, we will transmit it.

Much of the book is an argument against dualism, for as Rohr sees it, language is dualistic and deterministic, but real life is not as clean. Direction is either left or right, but life is nuanced. He encourages us not to look at others or ourselves in terms of right and wrong, but instead to become our true self. If this sounds like a form of dualism, you'd be as confused as me. For Rohr's whole point is that we must become our real self
Jason Muckley
"There must be a victim and a victimizer. But why? What does it help? Maybe that is why Jesus became the cosmic victim and refused to condemn the victimizers: “They know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)" -Fr. Richard Rohr, Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go

I love this quote... Jesus became the cosmic victim BUT He refused to condemn the victimizers. He wasn't pointing fingers at the religious leaders of His day. On the cross, He wasn't swearing at them and blaming them for Him being on the cro
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you highlight everything in a book, do you really highlight anything at all? Rohr's wisdom infuses every paragraph and he writes with a sense of urgency that makes his call to simple faith all the more appealing. His critique of systems--both secular (political, economic, etc.) and sacred (ecclesiastical structures, doctrine, etc.)--is unflinching, yet offered without judgment. He does an exceptional job pointing out the root good behind such systems that are so often corrupted by personal an ...more
Lori Cook
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My New Years resolution was to live more simply, so I thought this book by an author that I love would be a great way to get started. I started reading it and although I enjoyed it, it was hard to get through. Rohr is a spiritual guru and I love what he has to say, but many times I have to read it over and over.
He says so many things that I completely agree with. My favorite quote in the book is how he speaks that words or sermons to not change people, circumstances do. "You have to make your wa
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Difficult, freeing and needed book. Here are my notes:

Jesus didn’t run towards sin, he ran towards pain.

All soul wisdom can be found in nature

When we institutionalize greed, it becomes a virtue

Jesus always praises the outsider and critiques the insider

Non dual thinking is much more capable of love

Goal of ministry is to keep moving people forward in their faith development

Find God in the ordinary and imperfect

If you do not transform your pain, you will always transmit it. Healthy religion is w
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Top tier Rohr book, which is saying a lot as Rohr is already a favorite author. I’m calling this his Spiritual Manifesto because it encapsulates well what he’s written elsewhere, maybe even distills it down to its essence. That makes sense, since he’s a Franciscan, and this book is about simplicity. But what I did not expect is that he talks very little about simplifying one’s house and possessions, but this is a book about spiritual poverty, letting go of all that hinders us, and finding our tr ...more
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book bears the marks of Richard Rohr's genius. It contains rich insights that times provoke significant reflection. I do not, however, think this is Rohr's best. At two points in particular I would like to dialogue with him: 1) his skepticism about the power of words (especially in sermons), and 2) his assertion that power always corrupts. He has valid points to make about each of these points, but in my view overstates his case. Nevertheless, this book as a whole stands as an important cha ...more
Jamie Smet
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of Rohr's talks and sermons, so it's not cohesive in the way a typical book of his would be. Still, I found him, as always, to be pointing me to Jesus, to simplicity, to quiet, and to faith that I will find God in all of those things. This book was published in 1991, and he talks clearly about Western Christianity's problems with patriarchy, sexism, nationalism, racism, etc. It was a good reminder to me that there have always been voices pointing us to the truth; we're just ...more
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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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