About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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"Bishops have a duty towards both wise and foolish. They have to rouse the devotion of the carnal people with material ornament, since they are incapable of spiritual things."
— St. Bernard of Clairvaux (†1153)

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Many Insights
published 12 August 2012 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

This will be a smorgasbord of happenings and insights because I am traveling from California to North Carolina and then back to the Seminary all in a couple of weeks.

In the Legion of Mary I did my first ministry of bringing the Eucharist to the homebound. It is very moving. I was moved to see the 8 people we went to in their beds, but eyes gleaming with joy because we brought Jesus to them. I was moved to see the loving relatives and caregivers surrounding their beds. Because of the Olympics I told each one that when they got their resurrected bodies they have bodies as beautiful and fleet as the Olympic stars. They all smiled at that image, especially a man 10 years paralyzed now finally on hospice care. As we wrote so often in What the Saints Said about Heaven, we would all be so much happier if we reflected on what our resurrected bodies would be like at least once a day.

I was stunned by this great quotation from Solzehnitsyn. It’s from the book I think is his best froma literary point of view called The Cancer Ward (He uses cancer as a metaphor for communism): “The meaning of existence is to preserve unspoiled, undisturbed and undistorted the image of eternity which each person is born with – as far as possible.”

Fr. Emmerich Vogt, the Catholic 12 Step priest, said that many people won’t be open about their faults fearing that others will not love them if they know their real selves. I responded that we hate and envy those who seem perfect.

I remembered a spiritual leader’s response to someone saying there is no reason to correct others since angels can correct them without our getting into proud mode telling people what is wrong with them. The leader said “Not angels, humans!” Even though we should avoid pride we need to help others change by speaking the truth with love. It is easier for people to ignore hints from angels.

A 12 Step Al-Anon sponsor teaches that we can avoid making an addicted person feel judged by just saying “I feel” instead of “you are….” Is that the other side of the above truth?

I was talking to a friend who is a Secular Carmelite about John of the Cross and his seemingly extreme recommendations of detachment even from philosophy. Of course he doesn’t mean that true philosophy isn’t wonderful as a participation in God’s truth. And of course, artistic beauty, is wonderful as a participation in God’s beauty. The problem is when philosophy, art, a holy person, a family member, becomes an “idol” – a substitute for God. For example, do I choose my work as a philosophy professor over my prayer-time because reaching out to God in “the Cloud of Unknowing” is measureless, unstructured, not in my control, but my work is all structured by me and in my control? Analogously do I make cleaning the house an absolute but daily Mass, when possible, an option? When we go to daily Mass we enter the world of Jesus each day – when we pray to Him at home we are asking him to come into our world. Both are good.

A priest in a sermon was telling us how much we need to hang onto the Church and not drift away. He used this analogy: when a boat capsizes it is those who hang onto the boat who are usually saved.

I made this longer because I may be away from blogging for a few weeks, as explained above. Pray for me as I transition.

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda Chervin by visiting RondaView. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website, rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.

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