Faith in Focus
Ellen RufftOctober 22, 2007
Two strangers bring home the pain of war.
Faith in Focus
Ellen RufftOctober 23, 2006
I had very mixed feelings driving to Mass a few Sundays ago. The pastor of the church I had been attending for years was retiring, and this would be his last Mass there. I was trying to feel happy for Father Don; he deserved to be free of the administrative duties of a pastor. I knew he wanted more
Faith in Focus
Ellen RufftApril 24, 2006
Some time after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center four years ago, I read the results of a study of 437 adults over age 50 that indicated that their sense of control over their lives dropped significantly after that event. I found it interesting that the people who were more religious su
Ellen RufftFebruary 14, 2005
I always cringe when our convent doorbell rings after 10 o’clock, as it did the other night. It’s not in fear that a terrorist or some shady character might be outside. Rather, it’s the scenario that I feel certain will unfold as soon as I open the door. I have played a part in the
Ellen RufftNovember 22, 2004
I am not certain whether it’s my personality or a result of a traditional Catholic background, but I frequently find myself making resolutions. I respond to all the typical opportunities to start over—New Year’s Day, Advent, Lent—and also create some of my own. The Easter sea
Ellen RufftAugust 16, 2004
As I get older, I continue to discover that many of the beliefs I cherished as a child were not really truths. They were, rather, proverbs my Irish mother used to say to encourage her daughters to behave appropriately. Because of a letter I received during the past Easter season, I was reminded of t
Ellen RufftFebruary 09, 2004
A friend wrote a beautiful song a few years ago with the refrain, “Time, like gold, is hard to find, is hard to mine...is hard to hold.” The melody of that song has been playing in my mind frequently these days, perhaps because the words express so poignantly my beliefs about time and th
Ellen RufftNovember 10, 2003
I had a disconcerting conversation recently with a former therapy client who was trying to decide whether or not to marry the woman he had been living with for some time. The woman in question possessed all the qualities he had already decided were essential in a life partner—except that she w
Ellen RufftOctober 20, 2003
I used to like the idea of placing all people into one of two groups: the brave or the fainthearted. I willingly put myself in the latter category and therefore felt justified in not doing many things that only “brave” people do: being a missionary, going to jail to protest some injustic
Ellen RufftApril 28, 2003
I have been reflecting on dandelions lately. The reason is not merely that they are flourishing everywhere these days, but rather a conversation I overheard in a hospital gift shop recently. A little girl was asking her mother why she was buying flowers for her sick friend instead of giving her a bu