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Jay's Opinions Articles

In praise of survival of the weakest

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 28, 2000

Time magazine has a column called Numbers. Its purpose is to startle you by throwing out curious statistics that you could never have imagined. Reading these, I often find myself precisely surprised, not always happily so.

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Christian misconceptions about suicide

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 21, 2000

It's always painful when someone close to us dies, but the pain is compounded considerably when the cause of death is suicide. Suicide doesn't just leave us with a sense of loss, it also leaves us with a residue of anger, second-guessing and fearful anxiety. Partly this is because we still have some unhealthy notions about it.

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Why love leads to commandments

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 17, 2000

Recently, in a theology class, I was asked this question: "Why is it that whenever we talk about love we soon end up talking about rules and commandments? Invariably we end up talking about what we can't do! And it's the same thing with faith: We begin talking about faith and then end up talking about dogma, creeds and heresies. Why can't we just talk about love and faith without immediately bringing in a bunch of `dos' and `don'ts'?"

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Lessons from the Church in Europe

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 3, 2000

Recently I attended a meeting of the major superiors of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Europe. More than a dozen countries, from both Western and Eastern Europe, were represented. My job was only to listen and there was a lot to hear.

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Life's quest for biblical nakedness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 26, 2000

The task of life is ultimately to surrender, as the Gospels define this. If you were to take all of Jesus' teachings, all that's said about belief, morality, and piety in the Gospel, and boil it down to a single precept, you could put it into one word: surrender. The Gospel asks us to surrender.

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What makes for a practising Christian?

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 19, 2000

There's a national phone-in show on radio in Canada that I try to catch whenever I can. Recently its topic for discussion was: Why do so few people go to church today?

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By becoming flesh, God glorifies skin

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 12, 2000

In her book, Nature and Other Mothers, Brenda Peterson has a marvellous little essay entitled: In Praise of Skin. Her reflections begin on a personal level. When she was 35, for reasons that doctors were unable to properly diagnose, she broke out in a rash that left her skin dotted with red marks, like an adult with chickenpox.

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We need secular saints and prophets

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 5, 2000

Recently I attended a meeting at which religious leaders from a dozen European nations made presentations on the state of the Church in their countries.

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A narrow view of the word of God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 22, 2000

Francis of Assisi once said: "Preach the word of God wherever you go, even use words if necessary." We might want to reflect upon that, given some recent shifts within the churches regarding how we understand the word of God.

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Doing nothing is sometimes enough

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 15, 2000

What can you do in the face of powerlessness? What can you do in a situation where, it seems, anything you can say or do will only make things worse?

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