Vallombrosa 300x100 12.2017

Father Ron Rolheiser


  • My top 10 books for 2017

    Taste is subjective. Keep that in mind as I share with you the ten books that most touched me this past year. That isn’t necessarily a recommendation that you read them.
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  • The real tragedy of sin

    The real tragedy of sin is that often the one who is sinned against eventually becomes a sinner, inflicting on others what was first inflicted upon him or her. There’s something perverse within us whereby when we are sinned against we tend to take in the sin, complete with the sickness from which it emanated, and then struggle not to act out in that same sick way.
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  • Playing loose with the truth

    It can be quite disheartening to watch the news these days. Our world is full of hatred, bigotry, racism and over-stimulated greed and ego. The gap between the rich and poor is widening and random, senseless violence is an everyday occurrence. One lives with hope, but without much optimism.
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  • Paralysis, exasperation and helplessness as prayer

    Several years ago I received an email that literally stopped my breath. A man who had been for many years an intellectual and faith mentor to me, a man whom I thoroughly trusted, and a man with whom I had developed a life-giving friendship, had killed both his wife and himself in a murder-suicide.
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  • Kathleen Dowling Singh, RIP

    No community should botch its deaths. That’s a wise statement from Mircea Eliade and apropos in the face of the death two weeks ago of Kathleen Dowling Singh.
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  • Close the distance, not the gate

    Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison, assessing the times, asks this question: “Why should we want to know a stranger when it is easier to estrange another?
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  • Language as opening or closing our minds

    Thirty years ago, the American educator, Allan Bloom, wrote a book titled “The Closing of the American Mind.”
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  • Healthy and unhealthy fear of God

    As a theologian, priest and preacher, I often get asked: “Why isn’t the church preaching more fear of God anymore? Why aren’t we preaching more about the dangers of going to hell? Why aren’t we preaching more about God’s anger and hellfire?”
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  • Our struggle with riches

    A number of years ago I attended a funeral. The man to whom we were saying goodbye had enjoyed a full and rich life.
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  • Achievement vs. fruitfulness

    There’s a real difference between our achievements and our fruitfulness, between our successes and the actual good that we bring into the world.
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  • The power of ritual

    I don’t always find it easy to pray. Often I’m overtired, distracted, caught up in tasks, pressured by work, short on time, lacking the appetite for prayer, or more strongly drawn to do something else.
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  • Our utmost in dealing with our faith

    The complexity of adulthood inevitably puts to death the naivete of childhood. And this is true too of our faith. Not that faith is a naiveté. It isn’t.
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  • The Gospel challenge to enjoy our lives

    Joy is an infallible indication of God’s presence, just as the cross is an infallible indication of Christian discipleship. What a paradox! And Jesus is to blame.
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  • Inchoate desire

    Sometimes while praying the Psalms, I’m caught looking quite uncomfortably into a mirror reflecting back to me my own seeming dishonesty.
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  • Christianity and noonday fatigue

    There’s a popular notion which suggests that it can be helpful to compare every century of Christianity’s existence to one year of life.
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  • When does faith disappear?

    When Friedrich Nietzsche declared that “God is dead” he added a question: What kind of a sponge does it take to wipe away a whole horizon?
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  • Coming full circle: Storybooks to spirituality

    My first love was literature, novels and poetry. As a child, I loved storybooks, mysteries and adventures. In grade school, I was made to memorize poetry and loved the exercise. High school introduced me to more serious literature, Shakespeare, Kipling, Keats, Wordsworth, Browning.
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  • An extraordinary book

    Dorothy Day is alleged to have said: “Don’t call me a saint; I don’t want to be dismissed that easily!”
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  • 500 years of misunderstanding

    The heart has its reasons, says Pascal, and sometimes those reasons have a long history.
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  • The empty tomb

    Believers and nonbelievers alike have been arguing about the resurrection since the day Jesus rose. What really happened? How was he raised from the dead?
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