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The mindless culture of amazement

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 27, 2001

In the mid-1990s, a novel by Robert Waller, The Bridges of Madison County, took America by storm. It was the number-one, best-selling book for an entire year and eventually was turned into a popular film of the same title.

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In defense of the victims of suicide

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 20, 2001

Each year I write an article on suicide because so many people live with the pain of losing a loved one in this way.

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Stand before life, holding out empty hands

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 16, 2001

Theologian, James Mackey, once shared this story: A man he knew was part of a hunting expedition in Africa. His group was camped in a jungle. One morning he left camp early, hiked a few miles into the bush by himself, and shot two wild turkeys.

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A parable of God's grace and love

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 9, 2001

Piet Fransen wrote many important books, but he will always be most remembered for giving us a wonderful parable that runs something like this:

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The reality of God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 2, 2001

In her book, Guidelines for Mystical Prayer, Ruth Burrows makes an interesting comment on Th‚rŠse of Lisieux. Looking at photographs of her, Burrows points that there is a quality of separateness, of being alone, that Th‚rŠse's face always exhibits, even when she is in a group. Something always set her apart, even though she was a very sociable person.

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Pitfalls of liberalism and conservatism

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 25, 2001

Speaking to a group of theologians in Chicago recently, Cardinal Francis George offered this critique: "Liberal Catholicism is inadequate in fostering the joyful self-surrender called for in Christian marriage, in consecrated life, in the ordained priesthood, even in discipleship itself. . . . A sociological theory that defines the central value as autonomy is only with great difficulty able to hear a doctrinal or Gospel call to surrender."

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God is best found in community

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 18, 2001

Some years ago I attended a symposium on religious experience. A variety of speakers made presentations on how they tried to experience God. One woman, a professor of religious studies, shared how she spent nearly three hours each day meditating, using a strict method for centring prayer. She went on to say that, during those periods of prayer, she sometimes felt God's presence intensely.

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Acts of creativity save us from insanity

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 11, 2001

In his recent novel, Anil's Ghost, Michael Ondaatje creates a character named Ananda. Ananda's wife had been brutally murdered in the civil war in Sri Lanka and Ananda is trying to save himself from insanity and suicide in the face of this. His refuge? His tonic? Art, creativity, building something.

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Tiny human forces can change the world

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 4, 2001

"I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, which, if given time, will rend the hardest monument of pride."

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Killing in the name of all that is good

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 21, 2001

In his masterful book, Violence Unveiled, Gil Bailie picks up on a passage from the diaries of Captain Cooke. Cooke had landed on one of the Polynesian Islands and befriended the chief there. One day the chief took him to a ceremony where a man was killed on an altar as a sacrifice to the gods.

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