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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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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Long Blog before a Trip
published 21 March 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin


Linguistic Cleansing When you think of sins of thought, WORD, and deed, probably under the title “word” you are confessing curses, calumny, detraction, or harsh judgments.

But there is a need of purification in our words that does not involve sin per se but would also make us better Christians.


Use of the words “all,” “we,” “some”. I have an opinion about something but I am in a minority. By enunciating the opinion with the word “we,” or “all,” instead of “I” or “some” people, we are pridefully bolstering our side.

Use of demeaning descriptions such as bums vs. street people. It may seem artificial at first to change a common word to what could seem a euphemism, but it is also a delicate form of charity to avoid a word associated with disdain.

Not using words that are affectionate as a means of withholding love, such as never rarely affirming others when they deserve praise.

Another topic:

Words to me allegedly from Jesus: “Learn how to be compassionate -not just to minds, but to bodies in old age who are undergoing my Passion as a purification – now all bravado has to go and they have to become weak and in need only of my mercy. Will you be My merciful hands? If you bring compassionate love to those in most need – body and soul, will I not send you just such compassionate friends in your time of gradual bodily demolition?”

Great line in Michael O’Brien’s Strangers and Sojourners: “I began to find it more important to forgive my enemy on the day I found out that I am my enemy.”

When I wake up I sometimes think, “I can go to daily Mass to receive my Jesus because this priest made the sacrifice of celibacy to bring Him to me.”

Letter to a friend who suffers terribly from feeling a failure in life:

As a penance for your sins of despair please make a big poster with this written on it CHRISTIAN SUCCESS = HAVING LOVE FOR GOD AND NEIGHBOR IN YOUR HEART I will try to remember that every time you call, the first question will be: how did you experience love for God and for others in your heart today?

I want to have a home. I need to pray that the interior insecurity is healed in the home of the heart of God. Our ultimate home is heaven. We need to pray that the heavenly Jerusalem will touch down in our earthly homes so that we don’t feel like refugees. In prayer we have a foretaste of the heavenly Jerusalem – of our supernatural home.

Thoughts about father/son being different from father/daughter. If a father figure is trying to help in the healing of a son-figure – of course with God the Father as the supernatural healer, it seems, as I have heard, that separations are a necessary, since part of the process is the father figure letting the son experience that with his unconditional love in the background, the “son” can be independent, at least at intervals.

But the archetype of father-daughter involves the father eventually giving away the daughter into the hands of the new male protector, the bridegroom, without essentially any independent time in between.

By the way, could female promiscuity of college girls be related to this? They have to leave the father but the bridegroom is not yet in sight?

If this is true, then daughter figures experience separation from the father-figure mentor as much more painful, unless she is handed over to another protective male figure.

An interesting quotation: “The guardian ego is a scriptwriter, tagging moods, experiences, behaviors, and things as “me,” keeping a record of its biographical inventory, which is stores in memory. Since it is a mental function, however, all it can really come up with is an idea of the self, which it eventually fashions into an ideal – and unfortunately too often into an idol. Its attempt to feed and keep the idol intact is narcissism in its purest form – the worship of the self-idol.”

From the book Star Children by Clara Asscher-Pinkhof about the Jewish children in concentration camps:

“We were permitted to bring my dead father to the gate. Two men carried him on a bier covered in white…We walked behind until the gate opened and two men passed through with their load. My father entered into freedom, but the gate was closed for us. “Oh, he received death in a friendly way; he knew that only death could open the barbed wire and the gate. He nodded to this space, this freedom, in the days of his illness, and now that they are open to him, he has greeted them happily…what happens to his body is the secret of the little brick house there in the distance. What happens to his soul we will know and understand all the rest of our lives; the good, which is imperishable…it is not death that has to open the barbed wire and gate, but the soul itself, grown until it is unassailable, which can rise above the impediments created by harsh hatred and mightiless might. You can live and be free however tightly your mortal remains are wedged.”

Last from now, March 2013 More on Pope Francis. I loved reading that he went to the deathbed of a married ex-bishop in the process reconciled the wife to the Church. Also that he told people from Argentina who wanted to organize an, of course very expensive trip to Rome, that they should, instead give the money to the poor.