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Voices

Father Ron Rolheiser

FatherRonRolheiser

  • 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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  • Good Friday

    Good Friday was bad long before it was good, at least from outward appearances. God was being crucified by all that can go bad in the world: pride, jealousy, distrust, wound, self-interest, sin.
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  • Nothing is ever really ours

    Everything is gift. That’s a principle that ultimately undergirds all spirituality, all morality, and every commandment. Everything is gift.
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  • Of winners and losers

    Our society tends to divide us up into winners and losers. Sadly, we don’t often reflect on how this affects our relationships with each other, nor on what it means for us as Christians.
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  • Welcoming the stranger

    In the Hebrew Scriptures, that part of the Bible we call the Old Testament, we find a strong religious challenge to always welcome the stranger, the foreigner.
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  • God’s power as powerlessness

    The French novelist and essayist, Leon Bloy, once made this comment about God’s power in our world: “God seems to have condemned himself until the end of time not to exercise any immediate right of a master over a servant or a king over a subject. We can do what we want. He will defend himself only by his patience and his beauty.”
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  • Taking our wounds to the Eucharist

    Recently a man came to me, asking for help. He carried some deep wounds, not physical wounds, but emotional wounds to his soul. What surprised me initially was that, while he was deeply wounded, he had not been severely traumatized either in childhood or adulthood.
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  • Orthodoxy, sin and heresy

    Recently, while on the road giving a workshop, I took the opportunity to go the cathedral in that city for a Sunday Eucharist. I was taken aback by the homily.
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  • Sex and our culture

    No generation in history has ever experienced as much change as we have experienced in the past 60 years especially in the area of our social infrastructure, our communal ethos. Nowhere is this change more radical than in the area of how we understand sex.
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  • Sensitive to community, beyond ourselves

    Some years ago I was challenged by a bishop regarding an article I’d written. We were talking in his office and the tone eventually got a little testy: “How can you write something like that?” he asked.
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  • Our Muslim brothers and sisters

    This is not a good time to be a Muslim in the Western world. As the violence perpetrated by radical Islamic groups such as ISIS, al-Qaida and Boko Haram becomes more and more prevalent, huge numbers of people are becoming paranoid about and even openly hostile toward the Islam religion, seeing all Muslims as a threat.
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  • Faith, doubt, dark nights and maturity

    In one of his books on contemplative prayer, Thomas Keating shares a line he occasionally uses in spiritual direction.
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  • The communion of saints

    At any given time, most of the world believes that death isn’t final. Most people believe that those who have died still exist in some state however that might be conceived.
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  • Religion, secular thought, and health and happiness

    There is no such a thing as pure objectivity, a view that is free of all bias.
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  • Displacing ego and narcissism

    The Buddhists have a little axiom that explains more about ourselves than we would like. They say that you can understand most of what’s wrong in the world and inside yourself by looking at a group photo.
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  • Innocence, complexity, and sanctity

    Some years ago, I officiated at a wedding. As the officiating priest, I was invited to the reception and dance that followed upon the church service. Not knowing the family well and having church services the next morning, I left right after the banquet and the toasts, just as the dancing was about to start. When I was seemingly out of earshot, I heard the bride’s father say to someone: “I’m glad that Father has gone; now we can celebrate with some rock music!”
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  • Caring for our soul

    What does it profit you if you gain the whole world but suffer the loss of your own soul?
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