Ronald Rolheiser, a Roman Catholic priest, is the General Councillor for Canada for his order, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. He has offices in both Toronto and Rome. For most of the 26 years of his priesthood, he taught theology and philosophy at Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Alberta. He remains an adjunct faculty member at Seattle University. He has written many books, (won Catholic Book Award in 1996), is a regular columnist in a number of papers, and has articles published in Louvain Studies, Critic, America, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Spirituality and in various other popular magazines.
Areas of Specialty: Systematic Theology and Philosophy Areas of Concentration: Augustine, Mysticism (John of the Cross, Therese of Lisieux) and Spirituality (contemporary spiritualities, contemporary questions: ecology, feminism, masculine spirituality, religion and culture) Graduate Education: University of San Francisco, USA and University of Louvain, Belgium.
Some day you will have to face your Maker! We’ve all heard that phrase. The hour will come when we will stand alone before God with no place to hide, no room to rationalize, and no excuses to offer for our weaknesses and sin. We will stand in a searing light, naked and exposed, and all we ever did, good and bad, will stand with us in that light. That prospect, however vaguely felt, makes for a dark corner in every person’s mind.
Date posted: 2014-03-10
The church has always struggled with sex, but so have everyone else. There aren’t any cultures, religious or secular, pre-modern or modern, post-modern or post-religious, that exhibit a truly healthy sexual ethos. Every church and every culture struggles with integrating sexual energy, if not in its creed about sex, at least in the living out of that creed. Secular culture looks at the church and accuses it of being uptight and anti-erotic. Partly this true, but the church might well protest that much of its sexual reticence is rooted in the fact that it is one of the few voices still remaining who are challenging anyone towards sexual responsibility. As well, the church might also challenge any culture that claims to have found the key to healthy sexuality to step forward and show the evidence. No culture will take up that claim. Everyone is struggling.
Date posted: 2014-03-03
There are three kinds of performers: The first, while singing a song or doing a dance, are making love to themselves. The second, while performing, are making love to the audience. The third, while on stage, are making love to the song, to the dance, to the drama itself.
Date posted: 2014-02-25
No one, be that an individual or an institution, controls access to God. Jesus makes this abundantly clear.
We see this, for example, in the story of Jesus cleansing the temple by overturning the money-tables. This incident is often used to justify anger and violence in God’s name. Invariably, when someone affirms that God is non-violent, he or she is met with the reaction: “What about Jesus driving the money-changers out of the temple?” “What about Jesus losing his temper and displaying anger?”
Date posted: 2014-02-16
Sometimes while presiding at the Eucharist or preaching, I scan the faces in the front pews. What do they reveal? A few are eager, attentive, focused on what’s happening, but a goodly number of faces, particularly among the young, speak of boredom, of dram duty, and of a resignation that says: I have to be in the church just now, though I wish I was elsewhere. These reactions are, of course, understandable. We’re human after all, flesh and blood, and when we try to focus on the world of spirit or on what relativizes flesh and blood, mortality and self-sacrifice, we can expect that most times the reality of this life will trump the promise of other world.
Date posted: 2014-02-09
In our normal, daily lives we are invariably so self-preoccupied that we find it difficult to be able to accord others the same reality and value we give to ourselves. In brief, it’s difficult for us to live in true empathy because we are forever consumed with our own heartaches and headaches. From two famous intellectuals, one speaking philosophically and the other psychologically, we get that same insight.
Date posted: 2014-02-02
External appearances can easily fool us, and often do. That’s true in every area of human life, and religion is no exception.
Date posted: 2014-01-29
For more than a thousand years, Christians have not had the joy of being one family around Christ. Although there were already tensions within the earliest Christian communities, it was not until the year 1054 that there was a formal split so as to, in effect, establish two formal Christian communities, the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church in the West. Then, with the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, there was a further split within the Western Church and Christianity fragmented still further. Today there are more than a hundred Christian denominations, many of them, sadly, not on friendly terms with each other.
Date posted: 2014-01-19
They called it human sacrifice; we call it capital punishment. In either case, someone dies because we feel that God needs and wants this death for some divine reason.
Date posted: 2014-01-13
Given the speed and change in our world today, the oceans of information being given us by the new technologies, the speed with which knowledge now passes through our lives, the increasing specialization and fragmentation inside higher education, and the ever-increasing complexity of our lives, you occasionally hear someone say, usually just after offering an opinion on something: But what do I know anyway? Good question: What do we know anyway?
Date posted: 2014-01-06