by Father Robert Lauder
First in a series
ONE OF THE experiences in teaching philosophy that I find interesting is discovering new insights in material that I have taught previously. I am not certain how this happens. Is it that the first time I dealt with the material I was not sufficiently attentive? Was it that with the passage of time I grew in knowledge that enabled me to see what I had previously missed?
AMONG THE MANY wonderful images in sacred Scripture related to following Christ, I find the images of darkness and of light especially provocative.
Second in a series
WHEN I WAS in Catholic grammar school, I learned the following definition of prayer: “Prayer is the raising of the mind and heart to God.” That definition served me well for many years; it no longer does. What now bothers me about the definition is that it seems to suggest prayer starts with us, that we initiate the prayer process. The definition gives me the impression that we pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and turn ourselves toward God. I don’t believe that. It is almost as though we are calling God’s attention to our presence or needs. God loves us more than we love ourselves.
First in a series, REFLECTING ON THE mystery of God’s love relationship with us, I started to think about how a human love relationship develops. This helped me to understand better the gift dimension of God’s relationship with us. I think a human love relationship involves a kind of a rhythm of giving and receiving. So does a love relationship with God.
Shortly after I finished studying theology, there was an enormous shift that took place in the study of Christ’s Resurrection, which helped me to see – and understand better – that theology is done by human beings reflecting on God’s revelation.
Eighth in a series
THE MORE I reflect on the insights that Ronald Rolheiser offers in “Our One Great Act of Fidelity: Waiting for Christ in the Eucharist” (New York: Doubleday, 2011), the more I see how the Eucharist relates to everything I believe as a Catholic.
A FEW MONTHS AGO I wrote a column about a really excellent play, “Martin Luther on Trial.” I also spoke about the play at Sunday Mass. I was surprised – and I admit, delighted – at the number of people who told me that they went to see the play on my recommendation. Apparently, those people loved the play as much as I did.
Since reading Rolheiser’s emphasis on these four words – receive, give thanks, break, share – I have been reflecting on how we might use them to allow the Eucharist to color our entire lives.
Sixth in a series
EXPERIENCING THE season of Lent this year has convinced me that for several years I have been living in the midst of a religious revolution. What I am emphasizing in my life during this Lenten season is radically different from my experience of Lent prior to Vatican II. My guess is that many readers of this column may be having an experience similar to mine.
RE-READING RONALD Rolheiser’s “Our One Great Act of Fidelity: Waiting for Christ in the Eucharist” has been an interesting experience.