Columns

Doing nothing is sometimes enough

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 15, 2000

What can you do in the face of powerlessness? What can you do in a situation where, it seems, anything you can say or do will only make things worse?

Read the rest of entry »

We breathe the air of agnosticism

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 8, 2000

Imagine lying in bed one night and finding yourself flooded with warm feelings of faith. In that graced moment you truly feel the reality of God. There are no doubts in your mind on this night; you know that God exists as surely as you know that you exist. Your faith feels sure.

Read the rest of entry »

God spills his own blood to reach us

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 24, 2000

There are so many haunting lines in the passion narratives. Who of us, for instance, is not stirred in the soul when the passion story is read in church and we come to the part where Jesus takes his last breath and there is that minute of silence, where we all drop to our knees?

Read the rest of entry »

Jesus sweat blood in the garden

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 17, 2000

There's a remarkable expression in popular language that describes one of the most painful moments in Jesus' life, his "agony in the garden." The phrase describes his inner struggle the night before he died. That struggle and venue, the garden, are the ultimate desert and our response to what we do battle with there becomes our defining moment. We see this clearly in Jesus' life:

Read the rest of entry »

In the desert, God is close to us

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 10, 2000

In her biography, The Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day shares how, shortly after her conversion to Catholicism, she went through a painful, desert time. She had just given birth to her daughter and her decision to have the child baptized, coupled with her profession of faith, meant the end of her relationship with a man she deeply loved.

Read the rest of entry »

The desert, a womb of emptiness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 3, 2000

Christina Crawford once said: "Lost is a place too!" That's wise. Emptiness too can be a womb. Barrenness can be fertile. Desert flowers are often the most beautiful of all.

Read the rest of entry »

Facing our demons in the desert

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 27, 2000

We live lives of tortured complexity. Inside each of us there is both a saint and a sinner and enough complexity to write our own book on abnormal psychology. Our hearts are a murky cauldron of grace and sin, angels and demons. Always, it seems, we are torn in a way that leaves us feeling unsure, guilty and tense. It is no simple task being a human being.

Read the rest of entry »

The desert as a place of preparation

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 20, 2000

One of the great ironies in life is that, too often, success brings more unhappiness, jealousy and destructiveness than joy, blessing and harmony. Daily our newspapers carry the familiar headlines: Millionaire superstar arrested on drug charges. Movie star found dead of overdose. Star football player hasn't talked to parents in 15 years. Baseball star jailed for spousal abuse. Pop idol arrested for drunken driving. Rock star dead of unknown causes at age 33.

Read the rest of entry »

Lent a season to sit in the ashes

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 13, 2000

We begin the season of Lent with ashes on our foreheads. What is symbolized by this smudging? Perhaps the heart understands better than the head because more people go to church on Ash Wednesday than on any other day of the year, including Christmas. The queues to receive the ashes in many churches are endless. Why? Why are the ashes so popular?

Read the rest of entry »

The happy nihilism of Jerry Seinfeld

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 6, 2000

Nihilism has a curious variety of faces. Generally we think of it as some gloomy, philosophical ideology within which God does not exist, nothing means anything and suicide is explored as a positive option.

Read the rest of entry »