Columns

In the desert, God is close to us

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 10, 2000

In her biography, The Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day shares how, shortly after her conversion to Catholicism, she went through a painful, desert time. She had just given birth to her daughter and her decision to have the child baptized, coupled with her profession of faith, meant the end of her relationship with a man she deeply loved.

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The desert, a womb of emptiness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 3, 2000

Christina Crawford once said: "Lost is a place too!" That's wise. Emptiness too can be a womb. Barrenness can be fertile. Desert flowers are often the most beautiful of all.

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Facing our demons in the desert

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 27, 2000

We live lives of tortured complexity. Inside each of us there is both a saint and a sinner and enough complexity to write our own book on abnormal psychology. Our hearts are a murky cauldron of grace and sin, angels and demons. Always, it seems, we are torn in a way that leaves us feeling unsure, guilty and tense. It is no simple task being a human being.

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The desert as a place of preparation

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 20, 2000

One of the great ironies in life is that, too often, success brings more unhappiness, jealousy and destructiveness than joy, blessing and harmony. Daily our newspapers carry the familiar headlines: Millionaire superstar arrested on drug charges. Movie star found dead of overdose. Star football player hasn't talked to parents in 15 years. Baseball star jailed for spousal abuse. Pop idol arrested for drunken driving. Rock star dead of unknown causes at age 33.

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Lent a season to sit in the ashes

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 13, 2000

We begin the season of Lent with ashes on our foreheads. What is symbolized by this smudging? Perhaps the heart understands better than the head because more people go to church on Ash Wednesday than on any other day of the year, including Christmas. The queues to receive the ashes in many churches are endless. Why? Why are the ashes so popular?

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The happy nihilism of Jerry Seinfeld

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 6, 2000

Nihilism has a curious variety of faces. Generally we think of it as some gloomy, philosophical ideology within which God does not exist, nothing means anything and suicide is explored as a positive option.

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Chastity in a post-chaste culture

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 28, 2000

Allan Bloom, the famed educator with no religious agenda whatsoever, once suggested that lack of chastity is the biggest reason why there isn't a stronger passion for life among people, especially the young, in the Western world.

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Amidst the storm, Jesus is still Lord

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 21, 2000

Several years ago I attended a seminar on religious experience where a woman shared this story:

A few years before this incident occurred her life had been rather settled. She had been happily married, her children were grown and on their own, and she and her husband were running a successful business together.

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Living in the midst of a lonely place

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 14, 2000

Robert Coles once wrote a fine biographical essay on Simone Weil. In it, he coined a beautiful phrase to describe a quality which made her so extraordinary and which also caused her much suffering. Moral loneliness, he called it.

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Good reasons for daily Eucharist

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 7, 2000

The long-standing Catholic practice of daily Eucharist is today being questioned: On one hand, fewer and fewer people are going to daily Eucharist and many parishes no longer even offer it. As well, more theologians, liturgists and priests are becoming less enthusiastic about promoting it – indeed, sometimes even positively opposing its practice.

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