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Piety as a passion for the faith Template

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 13, 1998

Ernst Kasemann once commented that the problem with the world is that the liberals aren't pious and the pious aren't liberal. A wise comment, one that puts some perspective on the sixth gift of the Holy Spirit, piety. What is piety?

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Wisdom begins with fear of the Lord

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 20, 1998

St. John of the Cross once proposed this axiom" "Learn to understand more by not understanding than by understanding." A curious statement, though obviously a profound one. What does he mean by this? How do we understand "by not understanding"?

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Only a kiss can purify the heart

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 27, 1998

"Let me be punished by a kiss!" That is a prayer St. Therese of Lisieux used to say. What a curious, paradoxical phrase! Few of us, I suspect, pray that way, but it is a prayer rich in insight, containing the rich theology of purgatory.

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The prodigal son's older brother

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 4, 1998

In the summer of 1985, I attended a church conference that brought together people from every continent on earth. In the group within which I was the recording secretary, there was a young nun from the Third World who was very much in the mode of Mother Teresa. She wore a traditional religious habit, had a deep life of prayer, went to Eucharist every day and nobody could have had the slightest doubt concerning her private moral life.

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Giving oneself the right to hate

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 11, 1998

When one reads Helen Prejean's, Dead Man Walking, what is often lost in the sheer power of the story is what she recounts at the very end of the book and intends precisely as the real ending to the story. The book ends with the story of Lloyd LeBlanc, the father of the boy who was murdered, and his struggle to forgive his son's killer.

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Baptism takes us where we'd rather not go

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 18, 1998

To be baptized into the church is to be a consecrated, displaced person. What is implied here? In John's Gospel, there is a revealing exchange between Jesus and Peter. Three times Jesus asks Peter: "Do you love me?" Three times, Peter replies that he does.

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All we have to do is surrender

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 25, 1998

The Gospel is not as much about worthiness as it is about surrender. What God wants from us is not a million acts of virtue, but a million acts of surrender, culminating in one massive surrender of soul, mind and body. When we have given up everything and are completely helpless to give ourselves anything, as we will all eventually be when we face death, then salvation can be given us.

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Joy in the midst of broken community

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 1, 1998

Carol Shields ends her recent novel, Larry's Party, with a scene depicting a dinner party. Larry, the bungling hero of her story, has invited a motley group of persons to join him for a Saturday night dinner party. The guests include his two ex-wives, his present girlfriend and an array of disparate individuals, each equipped to illustrate all the sins and bunglings in the world.

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Our need for a personal faith in God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 8, 1998

Karl Rahner once said that the time is fast approaching when one will either be a mystic or an unbeliever. He's right. None of us can rely much longer on the fact that we were once given the faith and that we still walk within a community that, seemingly, has some faith. These things are no longer, of themselves, enough to sustain faith in an age which is as agnostic, pluralistic, seductive and distracting as is our own.

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Sexuality bursts into full bloom

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 22, 1998

The Greek philosophers used to say that we are fired into life with a madness that comes from the gods and that this energy is the root of all love, hate, creativity, joy and sadness. A Christian should agree with that, then add that God put that power, sexuality, within us so that, ultimately we might also create life and, like God, look upon what we have helped create, overflow with a joy that breaks the very casings of our selfishness, and say: "It is good; indeed, it is very good!"

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