Ronald Rolheiser, a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.

He is a community-builder, lecturer and writer. His books are popular throughout the English-speaking world and his weekly column is carried by more than seventy newspapers worldwide.


Fr. Rolheiser can be reached at his website, www.ronrolheiser.com

It’s hard to say something consoling in the face of death, even when the person who died lived a full life and died in the best of circumstances. It’s especially hard when the one who’s died is a young person, still in need of nurturing and care in this life, and when that young person dies in less-than-ideal circumstances.

A pilgrimage through nature, desire and soul

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Nature, desire and soul, we rarely integrate these well. Yet they are so inextricably linked that how we relate to one deeply colours the others; and, indeed, spirituality itself might be defined as what we each do in terms of integrating these three in our lives.

Accepting truth, whatever its cloak

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When I was a student in the seminary, I had two kinds of teachers: One kind, precisely because they were fiercely loyal to all that is Christian and Catholic, would have us read great secular thinkers but always with the intent of wanting to help show where these thinkers were wrong. Our intellectual task as Catholic seminarians, they would tell us, is to be able to defend Catholicism against the kinds of criticisms found in the writings of these secular, sometimes anti-Christian thinkers and to keep our own faith and teaching free of their influence.

God’s quiet presence in our life

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The 12th-century Persian poet Rumi submits that we live with a deep secret that sometimes we know, and then not.

We need to share our riches with the poor

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We need to give away some of our own possessions in order to be healthy. Wealth that is hoarded always corrupts those who possess it. Any gift that is not shared turns sour.

Resurrection reveals God as redeemer, not rescuer

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Before you get serious about Jesus, first consider how good you are going to look on wood!

What dark nights do for us

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After Mother Teresa died, her diaries revealed something that shocked many people. During the last 60 years of her life she struggled to imagine that God existed and had no affective experience of either the person or the existence of God. Yet, during all those years, everything in her life incarnated and radiated an exceptional, one-in-a-hundred-million selflessness, altruism and faith commitment.

Our deeper way of praying

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When we no longer know how to pray, the Spirit, in groans too deep for words, prays through us.

We face our Maker each day

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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.

The real challenge in creativity

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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.

The struggle with sexual energy

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The Church has always struggled with sex, but so has 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.