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From the category archives: Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Press your ear to God's heart; remember you were kissed by God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 13, 2011

The Last Supper account in John's Gospel gives us a wonderful mystical image. The evangelist describes the beloved disciple as reclining on the breast of Jesus.

What's contained in this image? A number of things.

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Forgiveness is the deep secret to joy, dispels bitterness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 6, 2011

Somewhere near his 75th birthday, Morris West wrote a series of autobiographical essays entitled, A View From the Ridge. In the Prologue of that book he suggests that at age 75 you need to have only one word left in your spiritual vocabulary, gratitude, and that maturity is attained precisely at that moment when gratitude begins to drown out and cauterize the hurts in your life.

As he describes it: Life has served me as it serves everyone, sometimes well and sometimes ill. But I have learned to be grateful for the gifts of it, for the love that began it and the other loves with which I have been so richly endowed.

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We call for violence, revenge — not God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 30, 2011

God is non-violent. God does not prescribe violence. Violence should never be rationalized in God's name. That is clear in Christian revelation. But that immediately poses the question: What about the violence in Scripture that is attributed to God or to God's direct orders?

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The 2 dimensions of orthodoxy: Glue and fire

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 23, 2011

There are more ways than one in which our belief system can be unbalanced so as to do harm to God and to the Church.

What makes for a healthy, balanced, orthodox faith? The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church defines orthodoxy as "right belief as contrasted to heresy." That's accurate enough, but we tend to think of this in a one-sided way.

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Henri Nouwen wrote from his heart to our hearts

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 16, 2011

Henri Nouwen was perhaps most popular spiritual writer of the late 20th century and his popularity endures today. More than seven million of his books have been sold worldwide and they have been translated into 30 languages. Fifteen years after his death, all but one of his books remain in print.

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Jesus' resurrection vindicates our faith despite God's silence

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 9, 2011

Theologians sometimes try to simplify the meaning of the resurrection by packaging its essence into one sentence: In the resurrection, God vindicated Jesus, his life, his message and his fidelity. What does that mean?

Jesus entered our world preaching faith, love and forgiveness but the world didn’t accept that. Instead it crucified him and, in that crucifixion, seemingly shamed his message.

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John's Passion puts us all on trial — and the verdict frees us

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 25, 2011

Each year on Good Friday the Passion of Jesus Christ according to John is read aloud in our churches. John's Gospel, as we know, was written later than the other Gospels, perhaps some 70 years after Jesus died, and those years gave John plenty of time to reflect upon Jesus' death and highlight a number of aspects that are not as evident in the other Gospels. What are those special aspects?

John's narrative of Jesus' death highlights his trial. The bulk of John's account focuses on Jesus' trial and the eventual judgment that he be put to death.

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Life's unquiet frontiers mask a hunger for faith

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 18, 2011

Few books have garnered as much respect during the past five years as has Charles Taylor's A Secular Age.

That respect is well deserved. Given secularity's convoluted history, there isn't any one, normative study that traces its evolution; but, if there was, Taylor's analysis might apply for the distinction. Deeply versed in history, philosophy, literature, theology and spirituality, Taylor has a deep well within which to dip to make his analysis. Few scholars, to my mind, bring so wide and deep a scholarship to the area of history and faith.

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Our aging changing faces reveal the state of our souls

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 11, 2011

In one of James Carroll's early novels, he offers this poignant image: A young man is in the delivery room watching his wife give birth to their baby. The delivery is a difficult one and she is in danger of dying. As he stands watching, he is deeply conflicted: He loves his wife, is holding her hand and is frantically praying that she not die.

Yet the impending birth of their child and the danger of his wife's death conspire to make him acutely aware that, deep in his heart, he has not forgiven her for once being unfaithful to him.

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Loving our enemies proves to be one of life's hardest tasks

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 4, 2011

Lorenzo Rosebaugh, an Oblate colleague shot to death in Guatemala two years ago, used to share at Oblate gatherings some advice that Daniel Berrigan once gave him. Lorenzo, contemplating an act of civil disobedience to protest the Vietnam War, was told by Berrigan: If you can't do this without becoming bitter, then don't do it. Do it only if you can do it with a mellow heart. Do it only if you can be sure you won't end up hating those who arrest you.

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