Columns

Helping others by standing helplessly by

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 24, 1999

In her book, Dead Man Walking, Helen Prejean describes her feelings as she watches her first execution. Everything inside her is sick and confused. She knows that what is about to happen, the taking of this man's life, whatever his crime, is wrong and yet she can appreciate the feelings of those who are about to take that life.

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My youthful summer of discontent

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 17, 1999

Nothing in my youth remains as clear in my mind and as formative of my soul as is the summer when I was 14. For any boy, that's an awkward age, even at the best of times. For me, that summer was not the best of times.

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Monks have secrets worth knowing

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 10, 1999

Daniel Berrigan once suggested that monks have secrets worth knowing. This I learned, first-hand, last year when I spent 10 days on retreat with a Trappist community in Oregon.

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God shines through in our humiliations

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 3, 1999

One characteristic of divine revelation is that it often breaks through where you least expect. Grace invariably catches you unaware, a surprise. Frequently too the surprise is not a pleasant one for God shines brightly in our humiliations, unafraid to be embarrassed in this world.

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Commandments for the long-haul family

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 26, 1999

Some years ago, Daniel Berrigan wrote a little book called Commandments for the Long Haul.

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God makes the words to sustain families

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 19, 1999

There is a story told of a Jewish farmer who, while ploughing in his field one Friday afternoon, was too distracted to notice the sun setting. Now, being a very pious man, he feared travelling on the Sabbath and therefore spent the whole night and all of the next day until sunset in his field.

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The sacrament of family life

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 5, 1999

The catechism from which I drew my religious instruction as a child said a Christian sacrament was an "outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace."

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The family as a place of therapy

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 29, 1999

Families are schools of charity. Many classical spiritual writers used to espouse this. What does it mean?

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In family, we participate in God's life

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 22, 1999

"God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him or her."

If that is true, and it is, then we can say the same thing about family: "God is family and whoever abides in family abides in God and God abides in that person." The theology of family roots itself here. Among other things, this means that a family is really a religious community, a church, the place where we participate in God's own life.

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The family: A kingdom under siege

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 15, 1999

The family today is a kingdom under siege. It is nearly impossible to exaggerate the importance of this fact. Many forces within our culture are conspiring against the family. What is happening? Simply put, at virtually every level, community is breaking down: Marriages are breaking up at unprecedented rates, families are moving apart as never before, neighbourhoods in essence no longer exist, civic life is fragmenting to the point where politics no longer work, and whole countries are breaking up. Clearly there is a certain cancer in the human community.

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