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We deserve a caring end of life journey

Gordon Self

August 29, 2011

In my ethics classes I often tell "the grizzly bear story," illustrating how our outlook on life can change when confronted by new information or experiences.

A hospital social worker once went hiking in the mountains with her son and sister. The son was a park ranger and knew all the backcountry trails. They decided to tackle a grueling hike but, despite being physically fit, the sisters huffed and puffed trying to keep up with the younger son.

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Unions give people a voice, decent wages

Bishop Fred Henry

August 29, 2011

Upon reading both the signs of the times, and the 2009 encyclical, Charity in Truth, you might be tempted to conclude that Pope Benedict was offering a prophetic description of the 2011 labour scene in Canada.

He noted: "Through the combination of social and economic change, trade unions organizations experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers, partly because governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions."

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Acquire the wisdom of humility in daily life

Ralph Himsl

August 29, 2011
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 4, 2011

In an earlier column on these pages, it proved desirable to refer to the work of the Anglo-American poet and 1948 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature T.S. Eliot, specifically, his words in Four Quartets, "The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless."

Those words read well and lofty. While I often measure the thought they express and admire the insight, my own day to day encounter with humility and wisdom has a simple, homely form.

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God gifted us with hearts as deep as the Grand Canyon

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 29, 2011

It's common, particularly among religious commentators, to describe the human heart as small, narrow and petty: How small-hearted and petty we are. I find this distressing because religious thinkers especially should know better. We are not created by God and put on this earth with small, narrow and petty hearts.

The opposite is true. God puts us into this world with huge hearts, hearts as deep as the Grand Canyon. The human heart in itself, when not closed off by fear, wound and paranoia, is the antithesis of pettiness. The human heart, as Augustine describes it, is not fulfilled by anything less than infinity itself. There's nothing small about the human heart.

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World Youth Day begins harvest from Second Vatican Council

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August 29, 2011

The Second Vatican Council, held almost 50 years ago, has borne many fruits. Those fruits include the revision of the liturgy, better relations with other Christians and with non-Christians, a new respect for religious liberty, a deeper sense of the world's bishops forming a college rather than being local managers for the Vatican, and an expanded role for the laity in the life of the Church.

When Pope John XXIII opened the council in 1962, he said, "The greatest concern of the ecumenical council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously." Pope John wanted Church teaching to be taught in a way more in keeping with modern ways of understanding. He wanted doctrine to be lived by all so that it would permeate not only the life of the Church, but of the whole of society.

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Heartfelt forgiveness trumps vengeance

Maria Kozakiewicz

September 5, 2011
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 11, 2011

All of this Sunday's readings are about one of the most important aspects of human life, the healing of the soul through God's forgiveness and what follows as natural consequence of it — our forgiveness of others.

While we all, consciously or not, crave God's mercy and annihilation of our sins, it is not always easy to forgive the other.

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John Paul II's monument — a free Poland

Fr. Raymond de Souza

September 5, 2010

The local Church here in Krakow, Poland, takes great pride in her saints and in the 20th century, no city produced more important ones. Father Maximilian Kolbe studied here and died at Auschwitz, part of the Archdiocese of Krakow. Sister Faustina Kowalska’s convent was here, and the Divine Mercy devotion began here.

The summer of 2011 has added Blessed John Paul II to the honour roll, and every single parish, shrine and souvenir stand is bedecked with images celebrating the Church’s newest saint, Krakow’s most noble son.

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Diligent prayers nurture a deep bond with God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 5, 2011

Do we ever really understand or master prayer? Yes and no. When we try to pray, sometimes we walk on water and sometimes we sink like a stone. Sometimes we have a deep sense of God's reality and sometimes we can't even imagine that God exists.

Sometimes we have deep feelings about God's goodness and love and sometimes we feel only boredom and distraction. Sometimes our eyes fill with tears and sometimes they wander furtively to our wrist-watches to see how much time we still need to spend in prayer. Sometimes we would like to stay in our prayer place forever and sometimes we wonder why we even showed up.

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Passport to Paradise demands sharing Jesus' death and resurrection

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September 5, 2011

There is the sin of presumption — the belief that death will surely take me to my rightful place in paradise. There is also a philosophy of presumption — the belief that everyone has a right to eternal life unless they do something drastically bad to blow it.

However, there is no right to eternal life. As sinful creatures, there is no natural way we can enter into paradise because entering paradise means sharing in the life of the Trinity. God would be denying his own nature if he admitted to Trinitarian life any creature who was not permeated with eternal life.

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Confession calls for us to shed light on the darkness within

St. Francis de Sales

August 29, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

In 1984, Pope John Paul II wrote, "The sacrament of Penance is in crisis." The World Synod of Bishops held the previous year was an attempt to respond to that crisis and, among other things, encourage a greater use of the sacrament.

Now, 27 years later, one might ask whether we have made our personal contribution to ending this crisis.

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