Christian Rodriguez

 

Faith Features Columnist

 

Christian Rodriguez is a Master of Divinity student at the School of Theology and Ministry and a Faith Features columnist for the Torch. Beyond his passion for ministry and reconciliation, he is an avid chef and lover of all things Star Wars. 

Wed

01

May

2019

Learning How to Ride My Bike

by Christian Rodriguez

 

When I was little, my parents took me to the park to learn how to ride a bike. They rode theirs so effortlessly and without training wheels! “Wow!” I thought to myself, “How could I do that?” They were having so much fun, and I wanted to join in. It was absolutely thrilling when I started to get the hang of how to ride my bike. That is, until the fear set in: “What if I fall? What if I can’t move in time and hit something? What if I break a bone?” The second that those fears popped into my head, I began to wobble and fall. I hit the ground with a thud and scraped my knee. I called for my parents, who helped clean me off and assured me that I was doing everything right, that I simply forgot to trust in myself.

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Wed

27

Mar

2019

Healing Our Blindness

Christ healing the man born blind, fresco from Dionysiou Monastery, Mount Athos.
Christ healing the man born blind, fresco from Dionysiou Monastery, Mount Athos.

by Christian Rodriguez

 

In the story of the Blind Man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26) we hear of a man who is brought before Jesus to be healed. Jesus puts his saliva on the man’s eyes. Yet, the man isn’t completely healed. He is still blind: “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Jesus gives it another shot and the man is completely healed. For this man, his journey of healing was also a journey of faith.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

by Christian Rodriguez

 

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

 

In between episodes of Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation on Netflix, I came across the Oscar-nominated documentary End Game. This production highlights the experience of individuals and their families as they come to terms with the reality of death. This deeply personal and spiritual film raises significant and inescapable questions about our relationship to its subject matter.

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Wed

30

Jan

2019

A Catholic Response to the Immigration Crisis

"Landscape with the flight into Egypt" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1563)
"Landscape with the flight into Egypt" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1563)

by Christian Rodriguez

 

Standing atop an outcrop of rocks in Saguaro National Park in Arizona, I could not help but be drawn in by the beauty of the vast expanse before me, with its stunning blue sky and far-reaching desert dotted with seemingly every kind of cacti. Despite its appeal, however, this incredible place hid so much pain and suffering.

 

The Pima County Medical Examiner, which records the deaths of all people in that part of Arizona, recovered the bodies of 2,816 undocumented people in the desert between 2000 and 2017. Given the immensity of the Sonoran Desert, it is not hard to imagine that there are many other people who have yet to be discovered. 

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Wed

21

Nov

2018

A Grave, Public, and Manifest Scandal

by Christian Rodriguez

 

“Things are a lot better now! No one has been abused in 20 years!” Hearing these words come out of the mouth of a priest right before the final blessing, you can only imagine my utter shock and sheer rage.

 

I was visiting the Catholic community of another university in the area when I heard this. Citing recent listening sessions about the Church’s sex abuse scandal and cover up, that community’s campus minister announced that she had printed out a recent article to share. The priest appeared upset about this and began a rant about how the news is not to be believed, that Cardinal Sean O’Malley had given him assurances that abuse has not happened, and that a priest friend of his has been accused then cleared of the allegation.

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Wed

26

Sep

2018

Hope for the Hopeless

by Christian Rodriguez

 

I met my friend Darryl during my post-grad service experience working at the St. Margaret’s Center in South L.A. On one hot day in sunny Southern California everyone had taken a seat on the ground under the shade of the balcony, except for Darryl. It had to have been close to 90 degrees and yet he chose to sit under the pergola, dressed in jeans and a black hoodie. The sun which shone brightly through the wood beams highlighted the sweat glistening on his brow and the metal of the shopping cart he had with him. The cart held all of his possessions—clothes, some instant ramen noodles, and a small yappy chihuahua. After some time, the dog stopped yapping and Darryl was forced to take off his hoodie, revealing a shirt which looked like it had been doused by a fire hydrant.

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Thu

03

May

2018

Pentecost: A Time of Goodbyes

by Christian Rodriguez

 

It’s that time of year again. Classes are winding down, procrastination is finally catching up to us, and we begin saying our goodbyes. For some of us, we say goodbye to friends that we expect to see again next year. Whether they are going back home, vacationing, or taking an internship out of state, there is at least some certainty that we will get to see each other again on move-in weekend in the fall. Even if they are studying abroad in the fall, we still can expect to see each other again in January. There exists a founded hope that we will see each other again.

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Tue

27

Feb

2018

Through My Most Grievous Fault

 

 

by Christian Rodriguez

 

How often do you have trouble forgiving yourself? If you are anything like me, this probably happens a lot more often than we would want to admit. Learning to forgive and love ourselves despite our shortcomings is one of the most herculean tasks we undertake each day.

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Wed

29

Nov

2017

Building and Burning Bridges

 

by Christian Rodriguez

 

For those of us who identify as queer or have friends in the LGBTQ+ community, James Martin’s recent talk on inclusion in the Church may have come as a welcome surprise. Long have queer-identified people waited for a welcoming hand to reach out to them, especially when the news is filled with stories of bishops denying funerals to gay Catholics and queer people being fired from their jobs in Catholic institutions. Martin and those who stand with him have given queer Catholics reason to hope.

 

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Thu

26

Oct

2017

On Race and Religion

 

by Christian Rodriguez

 

Christians can be terrible at encountering others. So often we are the ones who play into the proverbial culture wars. You are either a traditionalist who sees the reforms of Vatican II and Pope Francis as the beginning demise of the Church or a social justice minded progressive who is loose with Church teaching.

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Tue

26

Sep

2017

The Young and the Restless

 

by Christian Rodriguez

 

It is 10AM on a Saturday, and you are walking over to Lower after raging in the Mods the night before. Your hair is a mess, there are stains on your shirt, and the sight of scrambled eggs is enough to make you puke. You sit down to eat, hoping this food is going to cure that throbbing headache when you think to yourself, “What am I doing with my life?”

 

As you try to piece together what happened the night before, the first thing you probably remember is having to yell over the bass line from the host’s crappy Spotify playlist. Thinking about it more, you realize that there were also smiles, there were laughs, there were definitely too many Snaps. 

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