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From the category archives: Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Let the Lenten fast create the climate to experience the sublime

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Month Date, 2012

Celebration is a paradoxical thing, created by a dynamic interplay between anticipation and fulfillment, longing and inconsummation, the ordinary and the special, work and play.

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Ten ways to understand the salvation of non-Christians

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 12, 2012

As Christians we are asked to carry a tension in terms of how we understand the salvation of non-Christians. We have two seemingly conflicting teachings within our Scriptures and our tradition.

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Secularism blots out our reliance on supernatural forces

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 5, 2012

A friend of mine tells this story: As a young boy in the 1950s he was struck down with pneumonia. His family lived in a small town that had neither a hospital nor a doctor. His father had a job which had taken him away from the family for that week. His mother was home alone with no phone and no car.

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Sheep not of our flock hear the shepherd's voice

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 27, 2012

I grew up with strong, conservative, Roman Catholic roots: the Baltimore Catechism, the Latin Mass, daily rosary, daily Mass if possible, and a rich stream of devotional practices. That's a gift for which I'm deeply grateful.

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Cancer treatment an unexpected time of grace

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 20, 2012

As a columnist, I've always harboured a certain paranoia about being overly personal or exhibitionistic in my writing or in thinking that my own emotional ups and downs are of interest to others. I've tried to respect that fear. Occasionally, however, circumstance dictates that I do write something more personal. This is such an occasion.

I want to express my gratitude for all the prayers and support I have received during these past seven months while undergoing treatments for cancer. That desert journey has finally ended and with a good result. A month ago, I finished my last chemotherapy treatment and, two weeks ago, after a battery of medical tests, was pronounced "cancer-free."

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The dance of life struggles to find an ethical two-step

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 13, 2012

Henri Nouwen used to publish some of his diaries under the title, On Mourning and Dancing. The title was wholly appropriate since those diaries chronicled much of his own struggle to give public expression to what was bubbling up inside of him and, at the same time, respect a highly sensitive self-consciousness and reticence that made him hesitate to publicly express those same feelings.

His writings are a rare expression of both inner freedom and inner fear. His thoughts and feelings are sometimes tortured, but that's what makes them rich. It's not always easy to find that delicate balance between healthy self-expression and unhealthy exhibitionism.

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A haunting equation: suffering balanced with joy

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 6, 2012

In her novel, Final Payments, Mary Gordon articulates an equation that has long influenced Christian spirituality.

Her heroine, Isabel, is a young woman within whom a strong Catholic background, an overly-strict father and a natural depth of soul conspire together to leave her overly-reticent and overly-reflective, looking at life from the outside, too self-aware and too reflective in general to enter spontaneously into a dance or trust any kind of gaiety.

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The mosquito bites of life can cause us to forget grace

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 30, 2012

When grace enters, there is no choice – humans must dance.

W.H. Auden wrote those words and, beautiful as they sound, I wish they were true. When grace enters a room we should begin to dance but, sadly, more often than not, we let some little thing, some minor mosquito bite, blind us to grace's presence.

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Chastity lets sexual energies flow in life-giving ways

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 23, 2012

To live a chaste life is not easy, not just for celibates, but for everyone. Even when our actions are all in line, it is still hard to live with a chaste heart, a chaste attitude and chaste fantasies. Purity of heart and intention is difficult.

Why? Chastity is difficult because we are so incurably sexual in every pore of our being. That is not a bad thing. It's God's gift. Far from being something dirty and antithetical to our spiritual lives, sexuality is God's great gift, God's holy fire, inside us. The longing for consummation is a conscious or inchoate colouring underlying most every action in our lives.

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Dark night of the soul allows God to make us in his image

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 16, 2012

Few people have ever written as penetrating a critique of faith and religion as have Friedrich Nietzsche and Ludwig Feuerbach. "God is dead," Nietzsche declared, "and we are his murderers." We murder God, he contends, in subtle ways to which we are entirely blind.

In a vast over-simplification, their critique might read as follows: Faith and religion are, in the end, human projections. We believe in God because we need to, pure and simple. We create God to serve our own needs. We need to believe in God because without a belief in God, we cannot deal with the pain, brokenness, inadequacy and limits within our own lives.

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