Columns

From the category archives: Opinions

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Great writers can stretch perceptions, but read with care

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 11, 2010

British writer, A.S. Byatt, is perhaps the foremost novelist in the English language today. She will, no doubt, one day be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

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Suicide’s crippling shadow spills over friends, family

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 30, 2010

Every year I write a column on suicide. It’s not my favourite thing to do, but I do it because there is too little in the public forum, secular or religious, on this painful issue. Suicide remains one of the great unmentionables and people who lose loved ones to suicide search mostly in vain for anything that might bring understanding and consolation.

 

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Ritual can be boring, but it will sustain our relationships

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 26, 2010

Never travel with anyone who expects you to be interesting all the time. On a long trip there are bound to be some boring stretches.

That’s an axiom offered by Daniel Berrigan in his Commandments for the Long Haul and it contains a wisdom that is often absent today in our marriages, our family lives, our friendships, our churches and our spiritual lives.

 

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See one Pharaoh, then you’ve see them all

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 19, 2010

After Jesus had fed a crowd of more than 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, he asked his apostles to gather up the fragments that were left over, scattered here and there on the ground. They did as he asked and ended up filling 12 baskets with leftovers.

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Our conflicted souls yearn for both purity and promiscuity

I was born into this world with a tortured complexity. For a long time I have puzzled over the causes of my psychological anguish.

Ruth Burrows, the renowned Carmelite writer, begins her autobiography with those words.

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Belief in life after death allows joy today

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 24, 2005

Does belief in life after death have an impact on how we live our lives right now? Should it?

Several years ago, I watched a panel of theologians discuss this question on national television and was surprised by their conclusions: All of them, theologians who professed to believe in God, stated that it shouldn't make any difference whatsoever whether there is life after death in terms of how we live our lives. Belief in life after death, they said, shouldn't affect really our daily lives.

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Catholic roots nourish contrary directors

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 17, 2005

Canadian theologian Michael Higgins recently made this observation. At the upcoming Academy Awards, two movies will take centre stage, Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

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Dark nights of the soul test our faith

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 27, 2004

If Christ was born into the world to redeem it, why doesn't our world look more redeemed? Why is our world still full of loneliness, anxiety, betrayals, sickness, poverty, violence, war and death? What did Christ's birth into our world really change?

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Jesus' dysfunctional family tree

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 20, 2004

The full story of how Jesus Christ came to be born includes elements that we do not easily imagine when we sing our Christmas hymns. Jesus' family tree and blood-line were far from perfect and this, according to the great biblical scholar, Raymond Brown, needs to be kept in mind whenever we are tempted to believe in Jesus but want to reject the Church because of its imperfections, scandals and bad history.

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Name the emotion and healing begins

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 13, 2004

"A symptom suffers most when it doesn't know were it belongs."

James Hillman wrote that and I learned what it means when I was 17 years old. At that tender age, I entered a religious order, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Like everyone that age, I was pretty restless, overfull with desire, and that was soon compounded by the isolation I experienced during the early years of seminary formation.

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