Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Too distracted to make room for Christ

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
December 21, 2015

Many of us arrive at Christmas tired, running, distracted, and already fatigued with the lights, songs and celebrations of Christmas. Advent is meant to be a time of preparation for Christmas; but for many of us it is not exactly a time for the kind of preparation that enables Christ be born more deeply in our lives. Instead our preparation for Christmas is mostly a time of making ready to celebrate with our families, friends and colleagues.

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Muslims are the first victims of Islamic terrorism

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
December 7, 2015

This is not a good time to be a Muslim in the Western world. As the violence perpetrated by radical Islamic groups such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram becomes more prevalent, huge numbers of people are becoming paranoid about and even openly hostile towards the Islam religion, seeing all Muslims as a threat.

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Our deceased loved ones can be met in Galilee

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
November 23, 2015

At any given time most of the world believes death isn't final, that some form of immortality exists. Most people believe those who have died still exist in some state, in some modality, in some place, in some heaven or hell, however that might be conceived. In some conceptions, immortality is seen as a state wherein a person is still conscious and relational; in other concepts, existence after death is understood as real but impersonal, like a drop of water that has flowed back into the oceans.

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Look through the lens of love and altruism

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
November 9, 2015

There is no such a thing as pure objectivity, a view that is free of all bias. Yet that’s the claim often made by non-religious, secular thinkers in debates about values and public policy. They argue that their views, unlike those who admit that their views are grounded in religious principles, are objective and free from bias. Their underlying assumption is that a purely rational argument, a view – in effect from nowhere – is objective in a way that religious arguments, based upon someone’s faith and religious perspective, can never be.

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Jesus' crucifixion bares same stigma as those who suicide

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
October 26, 2015

Recently I read, in succession, three books on suicide, each written by a mother who lost one of her children to suicide. All three books are powerful, mature, not given to false sentiment, and worth reading: Lois Severson, Healing the Wound from my Daughter's Suicide, Grief Translated into Words, lost her daughter, Patty, to suicide; Gloria Hutchinson, Damage Done, Suicide of an Only Son, lost her son, David, to suicide; and Marjorie Antus, My Daughter, Her Suicide, and God, A Memoir of Hope, lost her daughter, Mary, to suicide. Patty and David were in their mid-twenties, Mary was still a teen.

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Care of one's soul means balancing its fire and glue

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
October 12, 2015

Jesus taught this and, I suspect, we generally don't grasp the full range of it meaning. We tend to take Jesus' words to mean the following: What good is it if someone gains riches, fame, pleasure, and glory and then dies and goes to hell? What good is earthly glory or pleasure if we miss out on eternal life? Well, Jesus' teaching does mean that, no question. But there are other lessons in this teaching that have important things to instruct us about health and happiness already here in this life.

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Recipe for disaster: We all think we are centre of the universe

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
September 28, 2015

There are now more than seven billion people on earth and each one feels he or she is the centre of the universe. That accounts for most problems in the world, in our neighbourhoods and in our families. No one's to blame for this, save God perhaps, for making us this way. Each of us is created in the image and likeness of God, meaning that each of us holds within a divine spark, a piece of infinity and an ingrained knowledge of that unique dignity.

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Our human nature seems to be at odds with God's will

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
September 14, 2015

An American humorist was once asked what he loved most in life. This was his reply: I love women best; whiskey next; my neighbour a little; and God hardly at all!< This flashed in my mind recently when, while giving a lecture, a woman asked this question: "Why did God build us in one way and then almost all of the time expect us to act in a way contrary to our instincts?"

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Politically correct? Just swallow hard and accept the truth

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
August 31,2015

Just because something is politically correct doesn't mean that it might not also be correct. Sometimes we have to swallow hard to accept truth. Some years ago, I served on a priests' council, an advisory board to the bishop in a Roman Catholic diocese. The bishop, while strongly conservative by temperament, was a deeply principled man who did not let his natural temperament or spontaneous feelings dictate his decisions. His decisions he made on principle, and sometimes that meant he had to swallow hard.

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Tell it like it is when writing a suicide obituary

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
August 17, 2015

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That axiom still holds true surrounding our understanding of suicide. Despite all the advances in our understanding, there remain a number of stigmas around suicide, one of which pertains to how we write the obituary of a loved one who dies in this way. In writing an obituary, we still cannot bring ourselves to write the word suicide: He died by his own hand.

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