• The gift of the dying

    The case for euthanasia generally revolves around these premises: Suffering devalues human life and euthanasia alleviates that suffering and the ravages of the body and mind that come with that suffering so as to provide a terminally ill person “death with dignity.” As well, it is argued, that once an illness has so debilitated a person so as to leave him or her in a virtual vegetative state, what is the logic for keeping such a person alive? Once dignity and usefulness are gone, why continue to live?

  • The Passion of Jesus

    As Christians, we believe that Jesus gave us both his life and his death. Too often, however, we do not distinguish between the two, though we should: Jesus gave his life for us in one way, through his activity; he gave his death for us in another way, through his passivity, his passion.

  • Seeing in a deeper way

    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.

  • Going to Heaven – by good luck or by God’s grace?

    “Eternity has more kinds of rooms than this world does.”

  • Fear masking itself as piety

    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.

     

     

  • Our daydreams

    A good part of our lives are taken up with daydreams, though few of us admit that and even fewer of us would own up to the contents of those fantasies. We’re ashamed to admit how much we escape into fantasy and we’re even more ashamed to reveal the content of those dreams.

  • God’s pleasure in our action

    We shouldn’t feel guilty for exercising the gifts that God gave us, even though our motivations will never be completely pure. Whenever we use a God-given talent to do something well, God takes pleasure in it … and so too should we.

  • Christ and nature

    Every day our newscasts point out how, without much in the way of serious reflection, we are polluting the planet, strip-mining its resources, creating mega-landfills, pouring carbon dangerously into the atmosphere, causing the disappearance of thousands of species, creating bad air and bad water and thinning the ozone layer. And so the cry goes out: live more simply, use fewer resources, lessen your carbon footprint and try to recycle whatever you’ve used as much as you can.

  • Our eyes as windows to our soul

    Most all of us worry about aging, especially in how it affects our bodies. We worry about wrinkles, bags under our eyes, middle-age fat and losing hair where we want it while finding it in places where we don’t want it. So every now and then, when we look in a mirror or see a recent photograph of ourselves, we are shocked at our own faces and bodies, almost not recognizing ourselves as we see an old face and old body where we are used to seeing a young one.

  • The positive side of melancholy

    Normally none of us likes feeling sad, heavy or depressed. Generally we prefer sunshine to darkness, lightheartedness to melancholy. That’s why, most of the time, we do everything we can to distract ourselves from melancholy, to keep heaviness and sadness at bay. We tend to run from those feelings inside us that sadden or frighten us.

     

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Voices

The best one can do in the circumstances

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Recently I led a weeklong retreat for some 60 people at a renewal center. Overall, it went very well, though ideally it could have gone better.

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