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From the category archives: Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Law of karma based on timeless moral wisdom

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 22, 2014

In 1991 Hollywood produced a comedy entitled, City Slickers, starring Billy Crystal. In a quirky way, it was a wonderfully moral film, focusing on three, middle-aged men from New York City who were dealing with midlife crises. As a present from their wives, who are frustrated enough with them to attempt anything, the three are given the gift of participating in a cattle drive through New Mexico and Colorado. So these three urbanites set off to ride horses through the wilderness.

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Life of goodness can sap our joy and leave us bitter

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 8, 2014

Sometimes everything can seem right on the surface while, deep down, nothing is right at all. We see this, for example, in the famous parable in the Gospels about the Prodigal Son and his Older Brother. By every appearance the Older Brother is doing everything right: He's perfectly obedient to his father, is at home and is doing everything his father asks of him. Unlike his younger brother, he's not wasting his father's property on prostitutes and partying. He seems a model of generosity and morality.

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Aging bodies enable souls to deepen, mellow and mature

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 25, 2014

There are few more insightful studies into the spirituality of aging than the late James Hillman's book, The Force of Character. Ironically, Hillman was more critical of Christian spirituality than sympathetic to it; yet his brilliant insights into nature's design and intent offer perspectives on the spirituality of aging that often eclipse what is found in explicitly Christian writings.

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Lost in distraction, we need hurricanes to wake us up

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 21, 2014

There's a story in the Hindu tradition that runs something like this: God and a man are walking down a road. The man asks God: "What is the world like?" God answers: "I'd like to tell you, but my throat is parched. I need a cup of cold water. If you can go and get me a cup of cold water, I'll tell you what the world is like." The man heads off to the nearest house to ask for a cup of cold water. He knocks on the door and it is opened by a beautiful young woman. He asks for a cup of cold water. She answers: "I will gladly get it for you, but it's just time for the noon meal, why don't you come in first and eat." He does.

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Don't be stingy in dispensing God's mercy

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 7, 2014

Today, for a number of reasons, we struggle to be generous and prodigal with God's mercy. As the number of people who attend church services continues to decline, the temptation among many of our Church leaders and ministers is to see this more as a pruning than as a tragedy and to respond by making God's mercy less, rather than more, accessible.

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God's presence lies within us silent, almost unfelt

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 9, 2014

The poet, Rumi, submits that we live with a deep secret that sometimes we know, and then not. That can be helpful in understanding our faith. One reason why we struggle with faith is that God's presence inside us and in our world is rarely dramatic, overwhelming, sensational, something impossible to ignore. God doesn't work like that. Rather God's presence, much to our frustration and loss of patience sometimes, is something that lies quiet and seemingly helpless inside us.

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Prairie author makes pilgrimage of soil and soul

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 26, 2014

Nature, desire and soul, we rarely integrate these well. Yet they are so inextricably linked that how we relate to one deeply colours the others; and, indeed, spirituality itself might be defined as what we each do in terms of integrating these three in our lives. More recently notable spiritual authors such as Annie Dillard, Kathleen Norris, Bill Plotkin, and Belden Lane have argued persuasively that physical nature profoundly affects the soul, just as how we manage our private desires deeply influences how we treat nature. Spirituality is naïve when it is divorced from nature and desire. In a book just released, The Road Knows How: A Prairie Pilgrimage through Nature, Desire and Soul, Canadian writer Trevor Herriot joins these voices in calling for a better integration between nature, desire and soul.

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Truth comes dressed in many different cloaks

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 12, 2014

When I was a student in the seminary, I had two kinds of teachers. One kind, precisely because they were fiercely loyal to all that is Christian and Catholic, would have us read great secular thinkers but always with the intent of helping to show where these thinkers were wrong. Our intellectual task as Catholic seminarians, they would tell us, is to defend Catholicism against the kinds of criticisms found in the writings of these secular, sometimes anti-Christian, thinkers and to keep our faith and teaching free of their influence.

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Voices of the tortured must be remembered as an Easter song

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 28, 2014

Easter is about many things. We celebrate God's power to overcome death, sin, and injustice, but we also celebrate the voices and wounds of the ones who died on Good Friday. To illustrate this, I would like to recount one such voice, that of an anonymous young woman who was brutally raped and murdered by the Salvadoran military in 1981, at a place fittingly called La Cruz. The story was reported by Mark Danner, a journalist.

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Our health depends on giving wealth to the poor

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 14, 2014

We need to give away some of our own possessions in order to be healthy. Wealth that is hoarded always corrupts those who possess it. Any gift that is not shared turns sour. If we are not generous with our gifts we will be bitterly envied and will eventually turn bitter and envious ourselves.

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