Jay's Articles

Belief in life after death allows joy today

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 24, 2005

Does belief in life after death have an impact on how we live our lives right now? Should it?

Several years ago, I watched a panel of theologians discuss this question on national television and was surprised by their conclusions: All of them, theologians who professed to believe in God, stated that it shouldn't make any difference whatsoever whether there is life after death in terms of how we live our lives. Belief in life after death, they said, shouldn't affect really our daily lives.

Catholic roots nourish contrary directors

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 17, 2005

Canadian theologian Michael Higgins recently made this observation. At the upcoming Academy Awards, two movies will take centre stage, Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

Dark nights of the soul test our faith

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 27, 2004

If Christ was born into the world to redeem it, why doesn't our world look more redeemed? Why is our world still full of loneliness, anxiety, betrayals, sickness, poverty, violence, war and death? What did Christ's birth into our world really change?

Jesus' dysfunctional family tree

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 20, 2004

The full story of how Jesus Christ came to be born includes elements that we do not easily imagine when we sing our Christmas hymns. Jesus' family tree and blood-line were far from perfect and this, according to the great biblical scholar, Raymond Brown, needs to be kept in mind whenever we are tempted to believe in Jesus but want to reject the Church because of its imperfections, scandals and bad history.

Name the emotion and healing begins

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 13, 2004

"A symptom suffers most when it doesn't know were it belongs."

James Hillman wrote that and I learned what it means when I was 17 years old. At that tender age, I entered a religious order, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Like everyone that age, I was pretty restless, overfull with desire, and that was soon compounded by the isolation I experienced during the early years of seminary formation.

Candles of hope dispel daily news gloom

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 6, 2004

Henri Nouwen was once asked: "Are you an optimist?" His reply: "No, not naturally, but that isn't important. I live in hope, not optimism." Teilhard de Chardin once said the same thing in different words when he was accused of being overly-idealistic and unrealistic in the face of all the negative things one sees in the world. A critic had challenged him: "Suppose we blow up the world with a nuclear bomb, what then happens to your vision of a world coming together in peace?"

Honour your dead loved ones' lives

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 29, 2004

As Christians, we believe in the "communion of saints." We believe that those who have died are not only still alive but that they are, as well, still in a real relationship with us.

Take away the sky and the earth wilts

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 22, 2004

Words are really all we have to fend off the chaos. They can't make or remake reality, but they can give us a vision with which to lift ourselves out of the ordinary.

Share your unspeakable loneliness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 15, 2004

When Kim Campbell was prime minister of Canada she gave a candid interview to Maclean's magazine within which she spoke of the ups and downs of being a public figure. You are surrounded by people, she said, but sometimes you live in "an unspeakable loneliness."

Priestly prayer gives to all, not just you

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 8, 2004

Theologians make an important distinction between what they call devotional and liturgical prayer. Devotional prayer, they tell us, is private in nature and is meant to help sustain us personally on the spiritual journey. Liturgical prayer, by contrast, is public by nature, the Church's prayer (not our own), is universal in scope, and is intended for the needs of the world.

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