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Jay's Opinions Articles

The acid test of Christianity

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 26, 2001

In a recent issue of America magazine, John Donahue makes this comment: "Virtually no Christian group has adopted Jesus' teaching on love of enemy as the critical test of orthodoxy. Yet Jesus issues four ringing commands: love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who mistreat you."

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In Prayer, talk to God, not to yourself

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 19, 2001

One classic definition of prayer tells us that prayer is raising mind and heart to God. In essence, that says it all. The problem is that often we raise our minds but not our hearts. Our prayer tends to be intellectual but not affective and we tend to think of prayer more as a way of gaining insight than as way of being touched in the heart.

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The tension between theology and piety

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 12, 2001

Ten years ago, I spent six months on sabbatical at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. During that time, I lived at our Oblate parish in inner-city Oakland.

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Silence is the language of heaven

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 5, 2001

Many of us could use more silence in our lives. I say this cautiously because the place of silence in a healthy spirituality isn't easy to specify.

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Anti-Church bias calls for understanding

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 29, 2001

Circumstance and history ask each generation to carry a certain pain and to redeem it through suffering. We are no exception. Our generation in the Western world is being asked to carry the pain of ecclesial disprivilege.

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Our need to be a missionary Church

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 22, 2001
  • We know what to do for someone who comes to church, but we don't know how to get someone to come to church.
  • We know how to be Christian when we are poor, under-educated and culturally marginalized, but we struggle to be Christian when we are affluent, educated and have a full place in the culture.

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A mother responds to the monastic bell

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 15, 2001

Carlo Carretto, one of the leading spiritual writers of the past half-century, lived for more than a dozen years as a hermit in the Sahara desert. Alone, with only the Blessed Sacrament for company, milking a goat for his food, and translating the Bible into the local Bedouin language, he prayed for long hours by himself.

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A choice between 2 kinds of fire

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 25, 2000

"The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre –

T.S. Eliot wrote those remarkable words in his poem, The Four Quartets. Brief though they are, they capture an entire anthropology, a spirituality of longing and a theology of Advent.

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Mary turned our hope in to reality

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 18, 2000

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, as even his critics admit, was a man of hope. Indeed his whole vision of things is generally criticized for being too hopeful. So, in trying to explain hope and advent, allow me a Teilhard story:

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Too impatient for an emerging butterfly

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 11, 2000

In one of her early books, Annie Dillard shares how she once learned a lesson, the hard way, about the importance of waiting. She had been watching a butterfly slowly emerge from its cocoon.

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