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Lessons from the Church in Europe

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 3, 2000

Recently I attended a meeting of the major superiors of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Europe. More than a dozen countries, from both Western and Eastern Europe, were represented. My job was only to listen and there was a lot to hear.

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Why love leads to commandments

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 17, 2000

Recently, in a theology class, I was asked this question: "Why is it that whenever we talk about love we soon end up talking about rules and commandments? Invariably we end up talking about what we can't do! And it's the same thing with faith: We begin talking about faith and then end up talking about dogma, creeds and heresies. Why can't we just talk about love and faith without immediately bringing in a bunch of `dos' and `don'ts'?"

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Christian misconceptions about suicide

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 21, 2000

It's always painful when someone close to us dies, but the pain is compounded considerably when the cause of death is suicide. Suicide doesn't just leave us with a sense of loss, it also leaves us with a residue of anger, second-guessing and fearful anxiety. Partly this is because we still have some unhealthy notions about it.

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In praise of survival of the weakest

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 28, 2000

Time magazine has a column called Numbers. Its purpose is to startle you by throwing out curious statistics that you could never have imagined. Reading these, I often find myself precisely surprised, not always happily so.

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Parenting is a unique way to holiness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 4, 2000

Christian theology has generally been weak in its treatise on marriage. Somehow the earthiness of the Incarnation, so evident elsewhere, has been slow to spill over into our thinking about marriage, sex and family.

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Priesthood tries to give human face to God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 18, 2000

The incarnation should never be confused with Disneyland. In the incarnation God enters into actual humanity – pain, ambiguity, misunderstanding, crucifixion. There's some purity there, on God's side; but, on our side, nothing is pure, including the priesthood.

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The view of Jesus as tragic anti-hero

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 25, 2000

My teenage years were a time of considerable loneliness. I remember myself only too well as a teen, driven by restlessness, haunted by unspoken dreams, full of youthful grandiosity, unsure of myself, shuffling hesitantly in the stag-line at the local dance.

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Another look at the notion of suicide

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 2, 2000

A couple of months ago, I wrote a column suggesting that we still have many misconceptions about suicide (WCR, Aug. 21). Among other things, I stated that many, perhaps most, people who die from suicide are, in the real meaning of those terms, not morally or otherwise responsible for their own deaths but are victims of a disease, not unlike cancer or heart failure.

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The Olympics as a showcase of beauty

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 9, 2000

The Olympics have just ended. I wasn't able to watch much of them, but did see the highlights most nights. What a curious, paradoxical mixture of things these games are.

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Church under fire: How to respond

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 16, 2000

In much of North America and Western Europe, we live in an intellectual climate that is somewhat anti-Church and anti-clerical. In intellectual circles it is fashionable today to bash both Roman Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism.

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