SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Fr Ronald Rolheiser

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June 27, 2019
As Christians, we are asked to imitate Christ. How do we do this? One way is to imitate Jesus’s action of holding, carrying, purifying and transforming tension; that is, by taking in the bitterness, anger, jealousy, hatred, slander and every other kind of thing that’s cancerous within the human community, and not giving it back
June 20, 2019
The question of intercommunion within our churches today is a big one, an important one and a painful one. I’m old enough to remember another time – actually, to remember two other times. First, as a boy growing up in the pre-Vatican II Church, intercommunion with other Christians, non-Romans, was a taboo. It just didn’t
June 13, 2019
No community should botch its deaths. Mircea Eliade wrote those words and they’re a warning: if we do not properly celebrate the life of someone who has left us, we do an injustice to that person and cheat ourselves of some of the gift that he or she left behind. With this in mind, I
June 06, 2019
“A common soldier dies without fear; Jesus died afraid.” Iris Murdoch wrote those words which, I believe, help expose an over-simplistic notion we have of how faith reacts in the face of death. There’s a popular notion that believes that if we have strong faith we should not suffer any undue fear in the face
May 30, 2019
Our differences are not a threat but a treasure. Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, who died in Paris on May 7, wrote those words; but their truth is far from self-evident. One might question whether those words are simply nice-sounding poetics or whether they contain an actual truth. Our differences, in fact, are often
May 23, 2019
During the years that I served as a religious superior for a province of oblate priests and brothers in Western Canada, I tried to keep my foot inside the academic world by doing some adjunct teaching at the University of Saskatchewan. It was always a once-a-week night course, advertised as a primer on Christian theology,
May 16, 2019
A reporter once asked two men at the construction site where a church was being built what each did for a living. The first man replied: “I’m a bricklayer.” The second said: “I’m building a cathedral!” How we name an experience largely determines its meaning. Thirty years ago, the American educator Allan Bloom wrote a
May 02, 2019
“I’m a practising mystic.” A woman said that in one of my classes some years ago and it raised lots of eyebrows. I was teaching a class in mysticism and asked the students why the topic of mysticism interested them. Their responses varied. Some were simply intrigued by the concept; others were spiritual directors who
April 25, 2019
Where should we be casting our eyes? Upward, downward, or just on the road that we’re walking? Well, there are different kinds of spiritualities: spiritualities of the Ascent, Spiritualities of the Descent and Spiritualities of Maintenance, and each is important. Spiritualities of the Ascent are spiritualities that invite us to strive always for what’s higher,
April 18, 2019
We are all, I suspect, familiar with the famous expression from Julian of Norwich, now an axiom in our language. “In the end all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” To which Oscar Wilde is reported to have added: “And if it isn’t well, then
April 11, 2019
When the Romans designed crucifixion as their means of capital punishment, they had more in mind than simply putting someone to death. They wanted to accomplish something else too, namely, to make this death a spectacle to serve as the ultimate deterrent so that anyone seeing it would think twice about committing the offence for
April 04, 2019
Several years ago, in the question-and-answer period after a public lecture, a rather disgruntled young man asked me a question that carried with it a bit of attitude: “You seem to write a lot about sex,” he said, “do you have a particular problem with it?” My lecture had been on God’s mercy and had
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