Columns

From the category archives: Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Profound belief lights a candle of hope

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 9, 2002

To light a candle is an act of hope.

In the days of apartheid in South Africa, Christians there used to light candles and place them in windows as a sign to themselves and to others that they believed that some day this injustice would end. A candle burning in a window was a sign of hope and a political statement.

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Death's clarity allows post-mortem love

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 2, 2002

When I was a child, as part of our family prayer, we used to pray for a happy death. In my young mind, a happy death would be to die inside of grace, cradled warmly in the loving arms of family and Church, fully at peace with God and others, having had time to speak final words of love and gratitude.

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Writer in exile calls home after 20 years

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 25, 2002

Nov. 15 marked an anniversary of sorts for me – 20 years of writing this column. I began it in 1982 as a bi-weekly piece while I was doing doctoral studies in Louvain, Belgium.

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Prayer, like love asks us to surrender

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 18, 2002

It's not easy to be centred, rooted, secure in who we are, able to give the world our best.

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Gossip just might be good for the group

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 11, 2002

In his novel, Oscar and Lucinda, Peter Carey, offers this colourful image of gossip. In a small town there are rumours about the priest and a certain woman.

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Romance is God's foretaste of heaven

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 4, 2002

Inside a little book entitled, The Thomas Merton Poems, J.S. Porter writes this piece:

There's too much of everything
books, stars, flowers.

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Leading a moral life is a lonely affair

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 28, 2002

In an autobiographical novel entitled, My First Loves, Ivan Klima, a Czech writer, talks about a pain he endured as a young man. Growing up without religious training and living amidst a group of young men and women not inclined towards sexual and other restraints, he sometimes found himself alone and isolated in terms of his feelings. For reasons he couldn't explain, he, unlike his friends, simply couldn't give himself over to certain forms of youthful revelry. His conscience was reticent and he was haunted by a feeling that solitude should be carried at some high level.

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Skin need to be touched to heal

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 21, 2002

A few years ago, Brenda Peterson wrote a book of essays entitled, Nature and Other Mothers. Her first entry is wonderfully named, In Praise of Skin. In it, she tells how at one point in her life painful skin rashes afflicted her. Like the woman with the hemorrhage in the Gospels, she tried every possible doctor but found no cure. Medication after medication proved ineffective, and eventually the doctors ran out of things to try. The rash always came back.

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Polished prayer stones slay mighty fears

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 14, 2002

There are times when we can only live by hope, when what confronts us is so overwhelming, so huge, so utterly beyond our strength, that it's simply hopeless, or a joke, to try to muster any resources against it. Sometimes we need a magic wand, something supernatural and beyond us, to come and defeat what cannot be defeated. But that's child's fantasy! Or is it?

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Learn soul language, for our child's sake

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 7, 2002

Kathleen Norris' recent book, Amazing Grace, is subtitled, A Vocabulary of Faith. What's implied here is that Christian faith, timeless in content, needs to struggle to articulate itself meaningfully today. Eternal truths must still find a vocabulary so that they can be spoken and heard within a particular time and culture.

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