Breathing Under Water
When we learn to identify our addiction, embrace our brokenness, and surrender to God, we begin to bring healing to ourselves and our world. In Breathing Under Water, Richard Rohr shows how the gospel principles in the Twelve Steps can free anyone from addiction – from an obvious dependence on alcohol or drugs to the more common but less visible addiction that we all have to sin.
‘A must-read for any person who recognizes the need to go “inward” on their soul’s journey to question what their relationship is with God, themselves, and others.’
‘Rohr is a perfect writer on the subject of the 12 Steps. His easy-to-read book is essentially a commentary on each of the steps, with twelve chapters and a postscript that concisely tackles the big religious questions of human suffering, suffering with which addicts and their families are intimately acquainted. Jesus, Rohr answers, is no stranger to suffering . . . This is a good book for those in recovery from addiction and those who love them.
‘Richard Rohr continues to guide us to greater wholeness . . . his books have helped countless souls, especially those who struggle with issues of brokenness and seek transformation.’
National Catholic Reporter
Richard Rohr continues to guide us to greater wholeness. The latest example is his new book, Breathing Under Water. A prolific writer, his books have helped countless souls, especially those who struggle with issues of brokenness and seek transformation.
Spirituality is perhaps an ill-chosen word in this book's subtitle, given that Rohr's characterization of Christianity is (and always has been) relentlessly incarnational. Here his identification of the gospel with the core tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous underscores how redemption comes to us in and through the messes we make of our lives, not despite them. Anyone with first- or even second-hand knowledge of the Twelve Steps can attest to the unsettling challenges they present to safe, respectable, middle-class Christianity: “When the churches forget their own gospel message, the Holy Spirit sneaks in through the ducts and air vents. AA meetings have been very good ductwork, allowing fresh air both in and out of many musty and mildewed churches.”
Breathing Under Water is a must-read for any person who recognizes the need to go “inward” on their soul’s journey to question what their relationship is with God, themselves, and others. The author guides us on a journey that begins with a powerlessness or being shipwrecked on a deserted island. It is God’s greatest surprise and constant disguise. We always want to be the manager of our lives. But God makes sure that several things will come our way that we cannot manage on our own... What Breathing Under Water comes to be is an understanding that those people who have undergone suffering and pain come up to be a compassionate people, loved by God, to be there for others experiencing a similar challenge in life. Rohr summarizes that a graced moment from God is when the suffering people can love and trust a suffering God, and through this deep transformation, will save and be there for one another.
This book offers us all a taste of the deep compassion of Christ towards and within our communities.
rich as a plum pudding
it revitalised [his] moribund prayer life
a well laid out workout for the soul; pointing to a wisdom that spells genuine freedom