In Exile

Thumbnail shutterstock 288185786 Acedia and Sabbath

Early Christian monks believed in something they called “acedia.” More colloquially, they called it the “noonday devil,” a name that essentially...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 425350552 A 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...

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Thumbnail dorothy day credit gobonobo wikimedia commons An extraordinary book

Dorothy Day is alleged to have said: Don’t call me a saint; I don’t want to be dismissed that easily! A new biography by her granddaughter Kate...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 193185122 Becoming a holy beggar

With the exception of Scripture and a few Christian mystics, Christian spirituality, up to now, has been weak in presenting us with a vision for...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 91289894 Christianity and noonday fatigue

There’s a popular notion that suggests that it can be helpful to compare every century of Christianity’s existence to one year of life. That would...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 534112903 Coming full circle: From storybooks to spirituality

My first love was literature: novels and poetry. As a child, I loved storybooks, mysteries and adventures. In grade school, I was made to memorize...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 640429315 Despair as weakness rather than sin

Classically, both in the world and in our churches, we have seen despair as the ultimate, unforgivable sin. The simple notion was that neither God,...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 324575036 Doing violence in God’s name

Blaise Pascal once wrote: “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” How true! This has been...

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Thumbnail prodigal son Embittered moralizing

One of the dangers inherent in trying to live out a life of Christian fidelity is that we are prone to become embittered moralizers, older brothers...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 25943326 Five-hundred years of misunderstanding

The heart has its reasons, says Pascal, and sometimes those reasons have a long history. Recently, I signed a card for a friend, a devout...

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Thumbnail ron rolheiser in exile Forever being ahead of our souls

Sometimes nothing is as helpful as a good metaphor.In his book “The God Instinct” Tom Stella shares this story: A number of men who made their...

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Thumbnail rolheiser in exile God’s inexhaustibility

Many of us, I am sure, have been inspired by the movie “Of Gods and Men,” which tells the story of a group of Trappist monks who, after making a...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 38891632 God’s power as powerlessness

The French novelist and essayist Leon Bloy once made this comment about God’s power in our world: “God seems to have condemned himself until the...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 574906663 Good Friday

Good Friday was bad long before it was good, at least from outward appearances. God was being crucified by all that can go bad in the world: pride,...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 483074236 Guidelines for the long haul --- revisited

Twenty-five years ago, I wrote a column entitled, “Guidelines for the Long Haul.” Revisiting it recently, I was encouraged that my principles...

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Thumbnail 20141118cnsto0012 How the soul matures

In a deeply insightful book, “The Grace of Dying,” Kathleen Dowling Singh shares insights she has gleaned as a health professional from being...

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Thumbnail shutterstock 158352050 Love: A projection and a reality

The famed Jungian writer Robert Johnson makes this observation about falling in love: “To fall in love is to project the most noble and infinitely...

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Thumbnail tears Mourning our barrenness

Several years ago, while teaching a summer course at Seattle University, I had as one of my students a woman who, while happily married, was unable...

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