Brennan Manning (christened Richard Francis Xavier Manning) is an author, monk, priest, contemplative and speaker. Born and raised in Depression-era Brooklyn, New York, Manning finished high school and enlisted in the US Marine Corps, where he fought in the Korean War. When Manning returned to the states, he enrolled at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Upon his graduation from the seminary in 1963, Manning was ordained to the Franciscan priesthood.In the late 1960s, Manning joined the Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld, a religious order committed to an uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor. Manning then spent time diversely, transporting water via donkey, as a mason’s assistant, a dishwasher in France, a prisoner in a Swiss jail (by choice), and spending six months in a remote cave somewhere in the Zaragoza desert.In the 1970s, Manning returned the US and began writing after falling into, and climbing out of, alcoholism.
The deepest desire of our heart is for union with God. God created us for union with himself. This is the original purpose of our lives.
The Ragamuffin rabble are the unsung assembly of saved sinners who are little in their own sight conscious of their brokenness and powerlessness before God, and who cast themselves on his mercy. Startled by the extravagant love of God, they do not require success, fame, wealth, or power to validate their worth. Their spirit transcends all distinctions between the powerful and powerless, educated and illiterate, billionaires and bag ladies, high-tech geeks and low-tech nerds, males and females, the circus and the sanctuary
The defining moments of my life have not been my sins or successes. They’ve been a depressingly small number of decisions that involved real risk
Through the stunning mystery of the Incarnation, this same Jesus is present to those caught in midlife crisis, to those suffering debilitation illness or addiction, to those in the dark woods of depression, despair, and overwhelming fear. With a compassion that knows no boundary or breaking point, he startles those caught up in the love of pleasure, trapped by fierce pride, or consumed by ravenous greed with a flash of insight, suddenly revealing that their lives are senseless, chaotic blur of misdirected energies and flawed thoughts. The Savior, ho sets us free from fear of the Father and dislike of ourselves, stirs the defeated through the painful discovery that our lives are self-contradictory, because the source of the shambles is our imperious ego. Huffing and puffing, scrambling for brownie points, and thrashing about trying to fix ourselves is an exercise in futility. Jesus waits and then sends a disciple to the weary soul in order to reveal the staggering meaning of grace.