Writing this series of columns based on the insights that Father Ronald Rolheiser has offered in his “The Passion and the Cross” (Franciscan Media, 2015) has been a wonderful experience for me. I feel as though I have just taken a course in theology. Better, I feel as though I have just taken a course in Christian spirituality.
There is a section of Ronald Rolheiser’s The Passion and the Cross (Franciscan Media, 2015, pp. 112) that I have returned to several times. What Rolheiser has written in this section I think is very important but I have never encountered the ideas the way he has expressed them. He is writing about what he refers to as moral loneliness and moral union. I think what he is referring to is what I would call the deepest center of the self.
Fourth in Lenten SeriesRE-READING “The Passion and the Cross” (Franciscan Media, 2015) by Father Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I., I find that insights into the Christian mystery seem to leap off the page at me. Reflecting on this book and writing this Lenten series has been a grace in my life. If the series moves readers to pick up Father Rolheiser’s book, then I will judge the series a success.
Before sitting down at my computer to write this particular column, I re-read a section of Father Ronald Rolheiser’s book, “The Passion and the Cross” (Franciscan Media, 2015). One reason was that I wanted to make sure that I understood what Father Rolheiser was saying. The other was that the section so beautifully presented the meaning of God that I wanted to savor it and use it as an antidote to the unfortunate images of God that I have received at different times in my life.
I have been either reading about, thinking about, preaching about, or writing about Jesus’ crucifixion for many, many years and yet Father Rolheiser presents insights that seem new to me.
First of a Lenten SeriesI HAVE BEEN LOOKING FORWARD to writing this series of columns during Lent. I am planning to use a marvelous book by one of my favorite authors, Father Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I., as a guide. The book is The Passion and the Cross.
I HAVE CHANGED my view of evangelization. In the past I thought that someone began to evangelize after he or she had been evangelized. The new evangelizer had no further need of being evangelized. That person’s experience of being evangelized was finished.
Anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I have long been interested in film. When I was in grammar school and high school, I loved all types of movies. When I moved on to college, I became interested in serious films. I also developed a strong interest in foreign films by directors such as Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Eric Rohmer and Robert Bresson.
Third and final in a series
I AM VERY aware that memory plays tricks on us. Perhaps the tricks increase as we grow older. As I have aged, I have become increasingly aware that my memories may be less than completely accurate. Indeed, sometimes they are totally incorrect. Having admitted that, I am still confident that in my recollection of my six years as a major seminarian, there was little emphasis on the importance of interpersonal relationships in any class or spirituality program. There was almost a negative view of interpersonal relationships, almost a view that they interfered with your relationship with God.
Second in a series
RE-READING “Beginning Your Marriage” by John I. Thomas and David M. Thomas (ACTA Publications, 1994) has been a fascinating experience for me. Much of what the authors write about the commitment that married people make to each other and to God has set me thinking about the life commitment that every person is called to make. Discussing some of the dimensions involved in a marriage the authors write: