Best 23 Richard Rohr Falling Upward Quotes

Best 23 Richard Rohr Falling Upward Quotes

Richard Rohr, a renowned spiritual writer, and Franciscan priest, has touched the lives of many through his profound and insightful teachings. In his book “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,” Rohr explores the concept of spiritual growth and transformation that comes from experiencing failures and setbacks in life. Here are 23 of the best Richard Rohr Falling Upward quotes that will inspire you to embrace the challenges and opportunities for growth that life presents.

1. “We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right.”
Rohr reminds us that it is through our mistakes and failures that we learn, grow, and ultimately find our true selves.

2. “God comes to you disguised as your life.”
This quote encourages us to see every experience, even the difficult ones, as an opportunity to encounter the divine presence and deepen our spiritual journey.

3. “The path of descent is the path of transformation.”
Rohr emphasizes that true transformation occurs when we are willing to descend into the depths of our own being, facing our shadows and embracing our vulnerabilities.

4. “The ego hates change.”
Our ego, driven by a desire for control and certainty, resists the necessary changes and transformations that lead to spiritual growth.

5. “If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.”
Rohr highlights the importance of facing and transforming our own pain and wounds in order to break the cycle of passing on our unresolved issues to others.

6. “Most spiritual giants have been major failures.”
Rohr reminds us that many of the great spiritual leaders throughout history have experienced significant failures and setbacks, which ultimately shaped their spiritual journey.

7. “If we do not learn how to fail graciously, we will end up failing indeed.”
Learning to embrace failure with grace allows us to learn from our mistakes, grow in humility, and ultimately find true success.

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8. “The first half of life is learning how to succeed, and the second half is learning how to fail.”
Rohr suggests that our first half of life is often focused on achieving external success, while the second half is an opportunity to let go of our attachments and embrace a deeper spiritual journey.

9. “True spirituality is always on some level or in some way about letting go.”
Rohr reminds us that true spirituality is not about accumulating more knowledge or possessions but about surrendering and letting go of our attachments.

10. “The spiritual journey is a constant process of dying to the false self and being reborn into our true self.”
Rohr encourages us to let go of the identity and masks that we have created for ourselves, and instead embrace our authentic selves, which are rooted in love and connection.

11. “The soul needs a container and a context to grow.”
Just as a plant needs the right conditions to flourish, our souls require a supportive environment and community to foster growth and transformation.

12. “We do not think ourselves into new ways of living; we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”
Rohr emphasizes the importance of embodying our beliefs and values through our actions and lived experiences, rather than simply intellectualizing them.

13. “The spiritual journey is not a career or a success story, it is a series of humiliations of the false self.”
Rohr reminds us that our spiritual journey is not about achieving status or recognition but about humbly letting go of our false self and embracing our true nature.

14. “The only real security is the radical insecurity of a life lived in faith.”
Rohr challenges our notions of security and invites us to trust in the divine providence that guides our lives, even in the face of uncertainty.

15. “The truth is always humble, and nobody can own it.”
Rohr reminds us that true wisdom and spiritual truth cannot be possessed or controlled but are available to all who are willing to humbly seek them.

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16. “The great gift of the second half of life is the ability, willingness, and patience to hold the contradictions of life together.”
As we mature spiritually, we become more comfortable embracing the paradoxes and contradictions that life presents, recognizing that they hold valuable lessons and insights.

17. “The spiritual journey is not a journey of acquisition, but a journey of letting go.”
Rohr encourages us to let go of our attachments to material possessions, ego-driven desires, and false identities, and instead cultivate a spirit of detachment and surrender.

18. “The journey from ‘I’ to ‘we’ is a movement towards the true self.”
Rohr suggests that our spiritual journey is not about isolating ourselves but about finding our true selves in connection and relationship with others.

19. “You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.”
Rohr emphasizes that spiritual transformation occurs through the lived experience of embodying new ways of being and relating to the world, rather than relying solely on intellectual understanding.

20. “If you do not transform your pain, you will transmit it in some form.”
Rohr reminds us that unresolved pain and wounds often manifest in destructive patterns and behaviors, but through the process of transformation, we can break free from these cycles.

21. “The great illusion of human life is that God is far away and that we need to do something extraordinary to reach God.”
Rohr challenges our perception of God as distant and unattainable, reminding us that the divine presence is always within and around us, accessible through simple acts of love and presence.

22. “Your True Self is who you objectively are from the beginning, in the mind and heart of God.”
Rohr invites us to recognize that our true selves are not something to be achieved or attained but are already present within us, waiting to be discovered and embraced.

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23. “The bottom line of the spiritual journey is that it is not about perfection; it is about participation.”
Rohr reminds us that our spiritual journey is not about achieving a state of perfection but about actively engaging with life, embracing our imperfections, and participating fully in the ongoing process of transformation.


Q: What is the central message of Richard Rohr’s book “Falling Upward”?
A: The central message of “Falling Upward” is that true spiritual growth and transformation often come from experiencing failures, setbacks, and embracing the challenges of life’s second half.

Q: How can embracing failure lead to spiritual growth?
A: Embracing failure allows us to learn from our mistakes, let go of our attachments, and deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. It fosters humility, resilience, and ultimately leads to greater spiritual growth.

Q: What is the difference between the first and second halves of life, according to Richard Rohr?
A: The first half of life is often focused on external achievements, identity formation, and establishing security. The second half of life is an opportunity to let go of attachments, embrace a deeper spiritual journey, and discover our true selves.

Q: What does it mean to let go of the false self and embrace the true self?
A: The false self refers to the identities and masks that we create to protect ourselves and seek validation from external sources. Embracing the true self means letting go of these false identities and embracing our authentic nature, which is rooted in love, connection, and our divine essence.

Q: How can we apply Richard Rohr’s teachings in our daily lives?
A: We can apply Richard Rohr’s teachings by cultivating a spirit of humility, embracing our failures and setbacks as opportunities for growth, letting go of attachments, nurturing our spiritual journey through practices such as meditation and contemplation, and seeking connection and community with others on the same path.