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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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Anchored in the rhythms of the ordinary

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 5, 2001

Something inside us despises the ordinary. Something there is that tells us that ordinary life, with its predictable routines, domestic rhythms, and conscription to duty makes for cheap meaning. Inside us there is the sense that the ordinary can weigh us down, swallow us up, and anchor us outside the more rewarding waters of passion, romance, creativity and celebration.

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God hears the prayer of helplessness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 29, 2001

In her autobiography, The Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day shares how she once prayed at a very low time in her life.

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Waiting for Western culture to grow up

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 22, 2001

Have you ever watched a typical, moody adolescent interact with his or her family in public? Picture a 16-year-old girl in a restaurant with her parents and younger siblings. She's at the far edges of both the table and the conversation, ashamed of her family.

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Wait for the Spirit in the upper room

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 15, 2001

Peter Maurin, the man who helped Dorothy Day found the Catholic Worker movement, used to say: "When you don't know what else to do, keep going to meetings!" Sound advice.

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