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The lesson of Jepthah's mistake

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 28, 2002

There's a story in the Jewish scriptures that is both fascinating and shocking in its earthiness.

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We are children not yet fully responsible

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 21, 2002

Recently I was visiting a family who has a four-year-old daughter. Some of her friends were over playing with her and her siblings. So there were about six kids in total, all under the age of eight. Kids can play cruel games and these kids did just that.

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Making peace with your fire within

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 14, 2002

There's been an interesting phenomenon in literature these past few years. Looking at non-fiction books, we see a number of popular best-sellers that draw their titles and substance from mythology and astrology: Women who run with Wolves, Iron John, A Blue Fire, The Wildman's Journey, Women are from Venus, Men from Mars.

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The gestation of God into our world

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 24, 2001

I did my doctoral thesis on the classical, philosophical proofs for the existence of God. The concept had always intrigued me: "Can you prove that God exists?" After researching the thought of Aquinas, Anselm, Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza (all of whom assert that you can "prove" the existence of God through rational argument) what was the conclusion? Can you prove that God exists?

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Christmas is a time to be happy

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 17, 2001

My 50th year has come and gone, but, at Christmas, I'm a child, delighting in the crèche, the lights, the carols, the Christmas tree. I've always loved Christmas, loved everything about it.

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Purgatory is the pain of entering heaven

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 10, 2001

Several weeks ago I wrote a column in which I mentioned purgatory (WCR, Nov. 12). Here's what I said: "Purgatory is not a geography, a place distinct from heaven, but is the pain that comes from being in heaven, without having fully let go of earth. Love, even as we know it in this life, already teaches us that."

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Teilhard calls for a larger imagination

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 3, 2001

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was once called to Rome and asked to clarify certain issues in regards to his teachings. At one point, he was asked: "What are you trying to do?" His answer, in effect: "I am trying to write a Christology that is wide enough to incorporate Christ. Christ isn't just an anthropological phenomenon with significance for humanity, but Christ is also a cosmic event with significance for the planet."

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God's purpose and our proud resistance

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 26, 2001

Nikos Kazantzakis, the author of Zorba the Greek, was an extraordinarily complex man, especially religiously. An artist, a searcher, strongly independent, yet a man with a mystical bent, he often found himself involved in painful interior struggles in his relationship to God. Sometimes he would acquiesce in obedience, sometimes he would hold out in proud resistance. His is an interesting story.

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Giving our death to our loved ones

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 19, 2001

In his last works, just before he died, Henri Nouwen began to speak of how the final task in life is to give one's death to others. We are meant, he says, to give our lives for others, but we are also meant to give our deaths for them. Just as elders must teach the young how to live they are also meant to teach them how to die.

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The benefits of prayer for the dead

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 12, 2001

Recently I received a letter from a woman asking me to explain the Christian teaching about praying for the dead. Her son had been killed in an accident and she had been dissuaded from attending any special prayers for him. Her question: Does it make sense to pray for the dead?

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