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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:

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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?

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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."

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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.

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The ever-present miracle of daily life

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 6, 2000

Shortly after his conversion, St. Augustine penned these immortal words: "Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unlovliness I plunged into the lovely things that you created. You were with me, but I was not with you."

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The tragic divorce of energy and wisdom

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 30, 2000

We are finding it ever harder to pass on our faith to our children. Perhaps the major reason for this is that today energy and wisdom are too separated from each other. What is meant by that?

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From God flows unlimited mercy

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 23, 2000

Shortly after ordination, doing replacement work in a parish, I found myself in a rectory with a saintly old priest. He was over 80, nearly blind, but widely sought out and respected, especially as a confessor.

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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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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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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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