Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Fr. Ron Rolheiser

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.

What’s the use of an old-fashioned, hand-held lantern? Well, its light can be quite useful when it’s pitch-dark, but it becomes superfluous and unnoticeable in the noonday sun. Still, this doesn’t mean its light is bad, only that it’s weak.

Evolution, Charles Darwin famously stated, works through the survival of the fittest. Christianity, on the other hand, is committed to the survival of the weakest.

It is easy to mistake piety for the genuine response that God wants of us, that is, to enter into a relationship of intimacy with Him and then try to help others have that same experience.

An open letter to Roman Catholic bishops

Dear Bishops

I write to you as a loyal son of the Catholic Church, with a particular request: Could you make an addition to our eucharistic prayers to include an explicit invocation for other Christian churches and for those who lead them?

Perhaps the single, most-often quoted line from Pope Francis is his response to a question he was asked vis-à-vis the morality of a particularly dicey issue. His, infamous-famous reply: “Who am I to judge?”

Sometimes you can see a whole lot of things just by looking. That’s one of Yogi Berra’s infamous aphorisms. It’s a clever expression of course, but, sadly, perhaps mostly, the opposite is truer. Mostly we do a whole lot of looking without really seeing much. Our eyes can be wide open and we can be seeing very little.

We live inside a world and inside religions that are too given to disrespect and violence. Virtually every newscast documents the prevalence of disrespect and violence done in the name of religion, disrespect done for the sake of God (strange as that expression may seem). Invariably those acting in this way see their actions, justified by sacred cause.

Raissa Maritain the philosopher and spiritual writer died some months after suffering a stroke. During those months she lay in a hospital bed, unable to speak. After her death, her husband, the renowned philosopher Jacques Maritain, in preparing her journals for publication, wrote these words:

Eternity has more kinds of rooms than this world does.

This is a thought inside the head of Marilynne Robinson’s fictional character, Lila, in Robinson’s recent novel. Lila has reason to think that way, that is, to think outside the box of conventional religious piety because her story is not one that fits piety of any kind.

The biblical accounts of Jesus’ passion and death focus very much on His trial, describing it in length and in detail.