SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Fr Ronald Rolheiser

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July 12, 2018
Ralph Waldo Emerson calls the stars in the night sky “envoys of beauty, lighting the universe with their astonishing smile” and submits that if they appeared for a single night only every thousand years, we’d be on our knees in worship and would cherish the memory for the rest of our lives. But since they
July 05, 2018
There’s an axiom that says: Catholics tend to adore Mary while Protestants and Evangelicals tend to ignore Mary. Neither is ideal. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, has in effect two histories within Christian tradition. We have the Mary of Scripture and we have the Mary of Devotions, and both offer something special for our Christian
June 28, 2018
Our culture doesn’t give us easy permission to mourn. Its underlying ethos is that we move on quickly from loss and hurt, keep our griefs quiet, remain strong always and get on with life. But mourning is something that’s vital to our health, something we owe to ourselves. Without mourning, our only choice is to
June 21, 2018
Anyone who has ever watched a fire knows that at some point the flames subside and disappear into smouldering coals which themselves eventually cool and turn into cold, grey ash. But there’s a moment in that process, before they cool off, that the coals can be stirred so as to make them burst into flame
June 14, 2018
The Gospel of John presents us with a very powerful and rather earthy mystical image. As John describes the Last Supper scene he tells us that as they were at table the beloved disciple was reclining with his head against Jesus’s breast. The power of this image has, I believe, been better captured by artists
June 07, 2018
Recently a student I’d taught decades ago made this comment to me: “It’s been more than 20 years since I took your class and I’ve forgotten almost everything you taught. What I do remember from your class is that we’re supposed to always try not to make God look stupid.” I hope that’s true. I
May 31, 2018
One of the richest experiences of grace that we can have this side of eternity is the experience of friendship. Dictionaries define friendship as a relationship of mutual affection, a bond richer than mere association. They then go on to link friendship to a number of words: kindness, love, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, loyalty, understanding,
May 24, 2018
For centuries, suicide was considered an act of despair and despair itself was seen as the most grievous sin of all. In many religious circles, despair was seen as the most sinful of all acts and ultimately unforgivable. Sadly, a strong residue of that remains. Suicide is still seen by many as an act of
May 17, 2018
Dreaming is sometimes the most realistic thing we can do. Or, is there still something else we might do, like public protest, or something else? In his book on prophecy, Commandments for the Long Haul, Daniel Berrigan offers this advice. Prophetic gestures aren’t always politically effective. Often they accomplish nothing that’s practical. But he adds:
May 09, 2018
Cardinal Francis George was once asked what he thought of the radical pacifism of people like Dorothy Day and Daniel Berrigan, prophetic figures who believed in absolute non-violence. How can this be practical, he was asked. It’s naïve to believe that we can live without police and soldiers. This was his reply: the world needs
May 02, 2018
Information technology and social media aren’t my mother tongue. I’m a digital immigrant. I wasn’t born into the world of information technology but migrated into it, piecemeal. I first lived in some foreign territories. I was nine years old before I lived with electricity. I had seen it before, but neither our home, nor our
April 26, 2018
Moral outrage is the antithesis of morality. Yet it’s everywhere present in our world today and is everywhere rationalised on the basis of God and truth. We live in a world awash in moral outrage. Everywhere individuals and groups are indignant and morally outraged, sometimes violently so, by opposing other individuals, groups, ideologies, moral positions,