Columns

Romance is God's foretaste of heaven

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 4, 2002

Inside a little book entitled, The Thomas Merton Poems, J.S. Porter writes this piece:

There's too much of everything
books, stars, flowers.

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Leading a moral life is a lonely affair

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 28, 2002

In an autobiographical novel entitled, My First Loves, Ivan Klima, a Czech writer, talks about a pain he endured as a young man. Growing up without religious training and living amidst a group of young men and women not inclined towards sexual and other restraints, he sometimes found himself alone and isolated in terms of his feelings. For reasons he couldn't explain, he, unlike his friends, simply couldn't give himself over to certain forms of youthful revelry. His conscience was reticent and he was haunted by a feeling that solitude should be carried at some high level.

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Skin need to be touched to heal

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 21, 2002

A few years ago, Brenda Peterson wrote a book of essays entitled, Nature and Other Mothers. Her first entry is wonderfully named, In Praise of Skin. In it, she tells how at one point in her life painful skin rashes afflicted her. Like the woman with the hemorrhage in the Gospels, she tried every possible doctor but found no cure. Medication after medication proved ineffective, and eventually the doctors ran out of things to try. The rash always came back.

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Polished prayer stones slay mighty fears

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 14, 2002

There are times when we can only live by hope, when what confronts us is so overwhelming, so huge, so utterly beyond our strength, that it's simply hopeless, or a joke, to try to muster any resources against it. Sometimes we need a magic wand, something supernatural and beyond us, to come and defeat what cannot be defeated. But that's child's fantasy! Or is it?

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Learn soul language, for our child's sake

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 7, 2002

Kathleen Norris' recent book, Amazing Grace, is subtitled, A Vocabulary of Faith. What's implied here is that Christian faith, timeless in content, needs to struggle to articulate itself meaningfully today. Eternal truths must still find a vocabulary so that they can be spoken and heard within a particular time and culture.

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God's grace can stick in our bitter craw

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 30, 2002

It was William Auden, I think, who wrote that when grace enters a room everyone begins to dance.

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Want reality prayer? Turn to the psalms

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 23, 2002

"God behaves in the psalms in ways he is not allowed to behave in systemic theology."

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Challenge: See ourselves as others see us

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 16, 2002

One of the great tragedies in all literature is the biblical story of Saul. Saul makes Hamlet look like a Disney-character. Hamlet, at least, had good reasons for the disasters that befell him. Saul, given what he started with, should have fared better – much better.

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Energy-wisdom combo taps your secrets

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 9, 2002

World Youth Day 2002 recently ended and, from every appearance, was a wonderful success. Hundreds of thousands of young people descended on Toronto for a week and, under the gaze of world television, publicly and energetically celebrated their faith.

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Three things for conservatives to ponder

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 5, 2002

Last week's column suggested three areas for liberal self-scrutiny. It's time for the flip-side. What three areas might conservatives ponder?

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