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To die and not have loved is a tragedy

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 10, 2003

John Powell once wrote a remarkable little book entitled, Unconditional Love, the story of Tommy, a former student of his who died of cancer at age 24. Shortly before he died, Tommy came to Powell and thanked him for a precious insight he had once drawn from one of his classes. Powell had told the class: There are only two potential tragedies in life and dying young isn't one of them. It's tragic to die and not have loved, and it's just as tragic to die and not have expressed your love to those around you.

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Try to go beyond giving back in kind

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 3, 2003

Perhaps the most misunderstood text in all of Scripture is the one where Jesus says to us: "Unless your virtue goes deeper than that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven."

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Pouring forth praise smothers gossip

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 27, 2003

A friend of mine likes to tease the Jesuits about their motto: "For the greater glory of God." "God doesn't need you to enhance his glory," he likes to kid them. Partly he's right, but the Jesuits are right too: God doesn't need our praises, but we need to give praise, otherwise our lives degenerate into bitterness and violence. Why?

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In celebration of conservative roots

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 20, 2003

Sometimes it's helpful to imagine you're a strip of litmus paper and then analyze the colours you turn as you fall into the various acids of life and religion.

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Dark nights of the soul temper our faith

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 13, 2003

When Therese of Lisieux entered the Carmelites at age 15, she tried to anticipate the difficulties she would face there. She knew that many would see this as the misguided notion of an immature child, entering a convent to be with her older sisters who were already there. She knew too that because of her age she would draw unhealthy reactions from every side and would either be doted-on as the darling little child or scorned as the spoiled brat.

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God doesn't always demand centre stage

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 6, 2003

Last year, in a presentation at a symposium on Being Missionaries to our own Children, Michael Downey posed this question: How do we speak of God inside a culture that's pathologically distracted, distrusts religious language and Church institutions, and yet carries its own moral energy and virtue?

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Face critics with wise discernment

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 29, 2003

Nobody goes through life without facing criticism, opposition, misunderstanding, suspicion, and, at some point, having to experience hatred.

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Acknowledge your own complexity

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 22, 2003

Holiness and wholeness are, ultimately, the same thing. To be holy is to be whole. That shouldn't surprise us; grace builds on nature. What's problematic is achieving wholeness. Why?

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Abuse scandal is a dark night of the soul

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 15, 2003

For the Church in the Western world, particularly in the United States, the recent sexual abuse scandal is probably the biggest crisis we've yet faced, though it's not so much a crisis of faith as one of credibility.

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Envy poisons the promise of eternal life

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 8, 2003

Why do we struggle with the things we struggle with? What explains us to ourselves? The Bible begins with a series of stories that try to give reasons for the human condition. We're pretty familiar with one of these, Adam and Eve eating the apple, but less familiar with the story that follows it immediately.

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