Friday, December 14, 2012

Rolheiser - Revisited

I must admit that there have been thoughts rolling around in my head these days about possible blog topics. The Season of Advent is something that stirs up lots of things in me and the season is too short to get it all accomplished. However something that comes back to me time and time and time again is Rolheiser's, The Holy Longing. Part of it has to do with the word longing. Longing -- longing -- longing. Doesn't most of life, in all of its stages, have alot to do with longing?

Again this book has done wonders for me, as I have expressed in past blog entries. But I just want to put forth two other witnesses to this matter. They would Laurie Killeen and Yuan Zhou. Laurie is the mother of two of our alums -- Martin in 1998 and Addison in 2004. Yuan is a graduate of 2011.

When Addison was a senior, I was then teaching Social Justice and Peace, first semester and Christian Lifestyles the second semester. I had all the seniors every day in those days. Anyway, during Curriculum Night, when most of the parents where there in class, I suggested that they too read what the students were reading and The Holy Longing was on that list. Laurie Killeen was one of them who picked up The Holy Longing and really digested it. That Christmas, after the Eucharist, she told me how she had a much better understanding of the INCARNATION after reading Rolheiser's book.

She is so absolutely correct. So if anyone really wants something to help with the Advent Season and then get a handle on what is really important about Christmas, do what Laurie Killeen did. Pick up The Holy Longing!

The second witness I need to describe a bit is: Yuan Zhou. Yuan graduated in 2011. Presently, he is a student at Georgetown University. Being Non-Catholic does not excuse Mount Michael students from theology classes. And I must admit it was a great pleasure to have Yuan in my class. I would imagine his classmates would say the same. Yuan was one of those students who devours books. He is a great thinker. I knew that if I gave him something to read that would be called outside reading, he would do it. And so I suggested several books to him. One of those books was, of course, The Holy Longing.

The following is an exact quote from Yuan: "I used to be unfriendly and simply reject Christianity on the basis that it is just a different faith. But in this class, after reading the book (The Holy Longing) you gave me, I realized that I had fallen prey to my own close minded-ness. I had become the enemy I once hated. After realizing my own stupidity, I became even more thankful of this opportunity you offered me to understand something that is so different and foreign. For that, I shall forever be thankful."

I encourage my readers to read Ronald Rolheiser's spiritual books, especially The Holy Longing.  All life has to do with longing!

Christmas Cactus Blooming in the Abbey Entrance

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