Columns

From the category archives: Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

Jesuit makes writers 'gold' available to average Catholics

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 28, 2011

One reason why we don't often find a good Christian apologetics today is because so many of our best theologians write at such a level of academia that their thoughts are not accessible to the ordinary person in the pews. Apologists like C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton are rare. We have great thinkers in theology today, but unfortunately many of them cannot be profitably read outside of academic settings.

Read the rest of entry »

Jesus' death on the cross ricochets through history

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 21, 2011

We are saved by the death of Jesus. All Christians believe this. This is a central tenet within the Christian faith and the centre of almost all Christian iconography. Jesus' death on a cross changed history forever. Indeed, we measure time by it. The effect of his death so marked the world that, not long after he died, the world began to measure time by him. We are in the year 2011 since Jesus was born.

Read the rest of entry »

Be aware of your blessed or cursed consciousness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 14, 2011

There's a Buddhist parable that runs something like this: One day as the Buddha was sitting under a tree, a young, trim soldier walked by, looked at the Buddha, noticed his weight and his fat, and said: "You look like a pig."

The Buddha looked up calmly at the soldier and said: "And you look like God."

Read the rest of entry »

Churchgoers’ healthy passion too often flares into burning anger

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 7, 2011

I work and move within Church circles and find that most of the people I meet there are honest, committed and for the most part radiate their faith positively. Most churchgoers aren't hypocrites. What I do find disturbing though is that too many of us can be bitter, angry, mean-spirited and judgmental, especially in terms of the values that we hold most dear. more . . .

Read the rest of entry »

Building an ark in troubled times keeps idealism alive

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 28, 2011

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.

You will recognize these words as the opening lines of Rudyard Kipling's famous poem, If, and they, as much as any scriptural commentary, provide the key to understand the story of Noah and the Ark. more . . .

Read the rest of entry »