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From the category archives: Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Lost in distraction, we need hurricanes to wake us up

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 21, 2014

There's a story in the Hindu tradition that runs something like this: God and a man are walking down a road. The man asks God: "What is the world like?" God answers: "I'd like to tell you, but my throat is parched. I need a cup of cold water. If you can go and get me a cup of cold water, I'll tell you what the world is like." The man heads off to the nearest house to ask for a cup of cold water. He knocks on the door and it is opened by a beautiful young woman. He asks for a cup of cold water. She answers: "I will gladly get it for you, but it's just time for the noon meal, why don't you come in first and eat." He does.

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Don't be stingy in dispensing God's mercy

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 7, 2014

Today, for a number of reasons, we struggle to be generous and prodigal with God's mercy. As the number of people who attend church services continues to decline, the temptation among many of our Church leaders and ministers is to see this more as a pruning than as a tragedy and to respond by making God's mercy less, rather than more, accessible.

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God's presence lies within us silent, almost unfelt

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 9, 2014

The poet, Rumi, submits that we live with a deep secret that sometimes we know, and then not. That can be helpful in understanding our faith. One reason why we struggle with faith is that God's presence inside us and in our world is rarely dramatic, overwhelming, sensational, something impossible to ignore. God doesn't work like that. Rather God's presence, much to our frustration and loss of patience sometimes, is something that lies quiet and seemingly helpless inside us.

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Prairie author makes pilgrimage of soil and soul

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 26, 2014

Nature, desire and soul, we rarely integrate these well. Yet they are so inextricably linked that how we relate to one deeply colours the others; and, indeed, spirituality itself might be defined as what we each do in terms of integrating these three in our lives. More recently notable spiritual authors such as Annie Dillard, Kathleen Norris, Bill Plotkin, and Belden Lane have argued persuasively that physical nature profoundly affects the soul, just as how we manage our private desires deeply influences how we treat nature. Spirituality is naïve when it is divorced from nature and desire. In a book just released, The Road Knows How: A Prairie Pilgrimage through Nature, Desire and Soul, Canadian writer Trevor Herriot joins these voices in calling for a better integration between nature, desire and soul.

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Truth comes dressed in many different cloaks

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 12, 2014

When I was a student in the seminary, I had two kinds of teachers. One kind, precisely because they were fiercely loyal to all that is Christian and Catholic, would have us read great secular thinkers but always with the intent of helping to show where these thinkers were wrong. Our intellectual task as Catholic seminarians, they would tell us, is to defend Catholicism against the kinds of criticisms found in the writings of these secular, sometimes anti-Christian, thinkers and to keep our faith and teaching free of their influence.

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Voices of the tortured must be remembered as an Easter song

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 28, 2014

Easter is about many things. We celebrate God's power to overcome death, sin, and injustice, but we also celebrate the voices and wounds of the ones who died on Good Friday. To illustrate this, I would like to recount one such voice, that of an anonymous young woman who was brutally raped and murdered by the Salvadoran military in 1981, at a place fittingly called La Cruz. The story was reported by Mark Danner, a journalist.

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Our health depends on giving wealth to the poor

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 14, 2014

We need to give away some of our own possessions in order to be healthy. Wealth that is hoarded always corrupts those who possess it. Any gift that is not shared turns sour. If we are not generous with our gifts we will be bitterly envied and will eventually turn bitter and envious ourselves.

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Soul's dark nights can bring one to greater purity

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 31, 2014

After Mother Teresa died, her diaries revealed something that shocked many people, namely, during the last 60 years of her life, from age 27 until she died at age 87, she struggled to imagine that God existed and had no affective experience of either the person or the existence of God. Yet, during all those years, everything in her life incarnated and radiated an exceptional, one-in-a-hundred-million, selflessness, altruism and faith commitment.

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Creative performers make love to the song

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 17, 2014

There are three kinds of performers: The first, while singing a song or doing a dance, are making love to themselves. The second, while performing, are making love to the audience. The third, while on stage, are making love to the song, to the dance, to the drama itself. Of course, it's not difficult to discern who the better performer is. The one making love to the song, of course, best honours the song and draws energy from some deeper place. He or she does this by entering into and channeling the energy of the song rather than by entering into and channeling their own energy or the energy of the audience.

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Youthful resistance can give rise to final harmony

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 3, 2014

Sometimes while presiding at the Eucharist or preaching, I scan the faces in the front pews. What do they reveal? A few are eager, attentive, focused on what's happening. But a goodly number of faces, particularly among the young, speak of boredom, of dram duty and of a resignation that says: I have to be in the church just now, though I wish I was elsewhere.

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