Richard Rohr is a Franciscan who serves as director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This book is a new and revised edition of a collection of sermons and lectures given in Germany during 1990. Rohr is convinced that the overarching imperative of our time is to link spirituality and social justice.
He writes: "The Gospel has given us a clear directive to stand on the side of those who are victims." This "bias toward the bottom" has informed the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa, and Catholic base communities in Latin America. Dorothy Day, who lived in poverty, also got the point: She said, "I'd like to live my life so close to the bottom that when the system collapses I don't have far to fall." The Gospel, according to Rohr, revolves around the art of letting go. This means shucking the need to be successful, right, or powerful. Mary is a model here as one who gets out of the way so God can take over. This emptying of self sets us on a path of service.
St. Augustine observed, "Many belong to the church who do not belong to God. And many who belong to God do not belong to the church." Rohr sees the Spirit at work both within the community of believers and outside. Women, Third World activists for social justice, and all those who "discover Christ in the least of their brothers and sisters" are helping to reinterpret the Gospel in a rapidly changing world.