Columns

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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:

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

Advent prepares us for the sublime

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 4, 2000

A couple of years ago, Robert Waller published a book that became a runaway bestseller and an immensely popular movie. Entitled The Bridges of Madison County, it stirred the romantic imagination in a way that few other stories have in recent times, especially as it was played out in its film version by Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. The story runs this way:

Read the rest of entry »

Our ignorance of God's Love for us

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 27, 2000

"Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!" Jesus said this of his executioners. But a question can be asked: Is this true? Were Jesus' executioners really that naive? Did they really not know what they were doing? A lot indicates that they were far from innocent. They knew they were shedding innocent blood. So why does Jesus say what he said?

Read the rest of entry »

Mourning, weeping in this valley of tears

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 20, 2000

My mother and father had a strong faith. They prayed every day and had us, as a family, pray with them. One of the prayers they said daily was the Salve Regina, an old, classic prayer which asks Mary to intercede for us. Many of us, I suspect, are familiar with it. At one point it describes our state in this life as "mourning and weeping in this valley of tears."

Read the rest of entry »

Why does God seem so boring?

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 13, 2000

Many of us struggle with prayer, both to take time to pray and then to be actually interested in God while we are praying. The problem is not just that we are restless and that prayer takes us away from other things, but also that we do not think that God is all that interesting.

Read the rest of entry »