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.

There’s nothing simple about being a human being.

In 2011, a book by a young writer, Bieke Vandekerckhove, won the award as Spiritual Book of the Year in her native Belgium.

Thirty-four years ago when I launched this column, I would never have said this: restlessness is not something to be cultivated, no matter how romantic that might seem.

Contemplative prayer, as it is classically defined and popularly practised, is subject today to considerable skepticism in a number of circles. For example, the method of prayer, commonly called Centreing Prayer, popularized by persons like Thomas Keating, Basil Bennington, John Main and Laurence Freeman, is viewed with suspicion by many people who identify it with anything from “New Age” to Buddhism to “Self-Seeking” to atheism.

I was blessed to grow up in a very sheltered and safe environment. My childhood was lived inside of a virtual cocoon.

Sometimes we’re a mystery to ourselves, or, perhaps more accurately, sometimes we don’t realize how much paranoia we carry within ourselves. A lot of things tend to ruin our day.

See the wise and wicked ones who feed upon life’s sacred fire

These are lines from Gordon Lightfoot’s song “Don Quixote,” and they highlight an important truth: both the wise and the wicked feed off the same energy. And it’s good energy, sacred energy, divine energy, irrespective of its use. The greedy and the violent feed off the same energy as do the wise and the saints. There’s one source of energy and, even though it can be irresponsibly, selfishly and horrifically misused, it remains always God’s energy.

It’s funny where you can learn a lesson and catch a glimpse of the divine. Recently, in a grocery store, I witnessed this incident:

A young girl, probably around 16 years of age, along with two other girls her own age, came into the store. She picked up a grocery basket and began to walk down the aisle, not knowing that a second basket was stuck onto the one she was carrying. At a point the inevitable happened, the basket stuck to hers released

September 15, 2016

Ups, downs and happy death

In the Roman Catholic culture within which I grew up, we were taught to pray for a happy death. For many Catholics at the time, this was a standard petition within their daily prayer: “I pray for a happy death.”

Unless you are already a full saint or a mystic, you will always live in some fear of death and the afterlife. That’s simply part of being human. But we can, and must, move beyond our fear of God.