Jay's Articles

Lenten fast should challenge injustice

Bob McKeon

February 23, 2015

Each year as we enter the first week of Lent, we naturally tend to think of fasting. Often we may think of things to give up and abstain from. Candies and deserts may be chosen. For adults, maybe it is alcohol or smoking. It is almost as if we can get a second chance to work at the New Year's resolutions we failed at a month earlier. Significantly, the Scripture passages for the first days of Lent each year speak of fasting. However, what is meant by fasting is different from simply giving up certain treats and pleasures for 40 days.

Apple's massive profits built on exploiting workers

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February 9, 2015

Apple executives are likely proud of their recent quarterly financial results which show revenues of nearly US$75 billion for the period of October through December and a profit of US$18 billion, the largest quarterly profit for any company anywhere at any time. But if the money is rolling in and the iPhones and other electronic gadgets are rolling out, a huge human price is being paid. A BBC undercover investigation recently broadcast on CBC-TV's The Passionate Eye showed widespread violations of Apple's code of conduct for the treatment of workers by companies that build its iPhone 6 and supply raw material for the company.

Interfaith search involves 'digging a well together'

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 9, 2015

Christian de Cherge, the Trappist abbot who was martyred in Algeria in 1996, was fond of sharing this story: He had a close Muslim friend, Mohammed, and the two of them used to pray together, even as they remained aware of their differences, as Muslim and Christian. Aware too that certain schools of thought, both Muslim and Christian, warn against this type of prayer, fearing that the various faiths are not praying to the same God, the two of them didn't call their sessions together prayer. Rather they imagined themselves as "digging a well together." One day Christian asked Mohammed: "When we get to the bottom of our well, what will we find? Muslim water or Christian water?"

Dare to glorify God with a life of joy

John Connelly

February 9, 2015
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 15, 2015

In this week's Second Reading we are offered this challenge, "Do everything for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10.31). How can you and I fulfill this scripture? How do we do everything for God's glory? We can start by thinking about all our daily actions. Each thing we do is important. Actions that are small or large, honest or dishonest, good or bad. St. Ignatius of Loyola saw the purpose of his life in the maxim: "For the greater glory of God." Something that glorifies God is in tune with his truth and love. It must be in tune with the ultimate reality underlying all creation – God.

Consumer debt raises moral concerns

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February 9, 2015

The causes of the world's current economic woes are manifold and it would be folly to oversimplify them. A graver mistake, however, would be for the public to ignore those causes as technical matters to be taken care of by experts without any moral guidance. One factor in the economic slowdown is that production capacity in advanced economies exceeds demand for products by about 2.5 per cent. Over-capacity depresses the need for workers, increasing unemployment and reducing pressure to increase wages. Thus over-capacity suppresses consumer demand and creates hardship for millions of families.

Mounties are police officers who are close to the people

Lasha Morningstar

February 9, 2015

The station manager at the television station where I was working many years ago came over with a watchful look on his face. He handed me a sheet. It was the RCMP's anniversary. The number of years I have forgotten. What the manager was offering was some freelance apart from my regular work. The job? Write two-minute scripts about the Mounties for radio. Fresh out of SAIT and strapped for money, I said a quick "Sure."

Lent is season to change sinful patterns

Lydia Cristini

February 9, 2015
First Sunday of Lent
February 22, 2015

I think it was Father David Bittner who explained "covenant" in a way I found easy to understand: an agreement or a contract, which makes the parties into family members. He used the example of the covenant of marriage, which makes formerly unrelated people into a family of two. The Hebrew people entered a covenant with God almost 4,000 years ago and almost 2,000 of those years are mapped out in the Old Testament. God promises he will be their God, he frees them from slavery and he continually blesses them. The Hebrews? They promise they will be his people, and they continually complain and are frequently unfaithful to him.

Church teaching keeps some Catholics off jury

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February 9, 2015

Out of Boston comes the news that potential jurors in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged with murder in the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, are being asked whether they are Catholic and if they agree with Church teaching on the death penalty. If the answer to both questions is "yes," they are excluded from serving on the jury, one requirement for such service being that a juror must be willing to impose the death penalty or a life sentence with no possibility of release. Catholic reaction to this news, according to an article in USA Today, has been mixed.

Suffering contains a call to become more like Christ

Mark Pickup

February 9, 2015

There was a change in how I viewed being chronically ill for more than three decades. I cannot pinpoint when it happened; the change progressed gradually over time. No longer did I see my incurable sickness and handicap as a curse but as a blessing disguised as misfortune. What began with the question "why?" became anger that no answer seemed forthcoming. Eventually the anger simmered and cooled into acceptance and finally acceptance was followed by peace and anticipation. There are questions for which there are no answers, only understanding. They are questions that focus on the deepest meaning of life or eternity.

Ordinary Time can still bring exhilarating experiences

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

February 9, 2015

As a child I was always thrown when the priest announced that we were in Ordinary Time. Sometimes it seemed self-evident; but often it was anything but ordinary. My uncle bagged a moose; someone won the lottery; another had triplets. And in the papers . . . goodness me, nothing seemed ordinary. So why was the priest proclaiming that we were in the fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time? What, I always wondered, was extraordinary time? Maybe I should come back later when the cool things were happening.