Columns

Jay's Articles

You too can make a choice to be happy

Lasha Morningstar

July 7, 2014

The sentence startled me. "You have the right to be happy." I was reading that proclamation somewhere, don't know where or in what context. Probably in the Saturday Globe or a news magazine. But the words sat in the back of my consciousness like a nagging toothache. What is happy? Dogs romping in the dog park. A toddler flying down a slide. An elderly couple walking hand in hand down the sidewalk.

The exercise of power calls for wisdom

Ralph Himsl

July 7, 2014
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 20, 2014

In Litany for Dictatorships, the poet Stephen Vincent Benet writes of a dictator ruminating on the miseries his kind have laid on the world. Near the conclusion of this sordid list, Benet's narrator confesses an insight: "We thought because we had power, we had wisdom." I can't escape the irony of the fancy that came to me following my reading of that epigram: Had I the power, I would have that sentence rendered in a bronze plaque suitable for placement on the walls of every office across the nation.

Canada must look beyond self-interest

WCR Logo

July 7, 2014

It would be a fine birthday present to itself and to the world if Canada could use the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 to rise above national self-interest and stretch itself to make a greater contribution to global peace and development. In his final speech as a senator on June 16, Roméo Dallaire identified the need for "transcendent leadership" in our country. Daillaire said Canada has not maximized its potential since the Second World War.

Few events are as exciting as a convocation

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

July 7, 2014

Like many of my fellow presidents I had the honour recently of speaking at our university's convocation. As so often happens, I spent a fair amount of time thinking about the structure of the event, what my speech would focus on and how we would ensure that our students had a perfect day. Once the event was over, though, I was struck (as I always am) by the sense of shared joy that permeated the reception.

Canada slams door shut on thousands of Syrian refugees

Joe Gunn

July 7, 2014

I'll never forget the refugee child who died in my arms. Deep in the jungle of southern Mexico, by 1983, 100,000 Mayan refugees had fled the barbarous offensives of the Guatemalan Army. I had been visiting Church workers along the river and had not had a meal since the first day I arrived. You can't eat when everyone around you has nothing – all our food had immediately been given away upon arrival.

Shunning former friends closes door to possible reconciliation

Mark Pickup

July 7, 2014

I had a Christian friend who wrote off our friendship, like a bad debt. Perhaps he saw me as a liability perhaps I am a friendship liability. His name is David. I miss him and wish I knew why he severed our friendship so abruptly and without explanation. David has not spoken or communicated with me for over a decade; my overtures went unacknowledged; my attempts to contact him to set things right were met with stony silence. We are no longer friends.

Assaults on common good put society on perilous course

WCR Logo

June 23, 2014

Modern liberal democracy and liberal notions of human rights are widely seen as the highest form of political organization and the clearest sign of moral progress of humanity. But this system of individual autonomy only works to the extent that there is overwhelming respect for legitimate authority and the common good.

When you grow weary of doing what is right

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 23, 2014

Thirty years ago, before the airline hijackings of Sept. 11, 2001, before the shoe-bomber and others like him, it was simpler to travel by air. You didn't need to take off your shoes to pass through security, you could carry liquids with you, laptops and other electronic devices, if you had any, did not have to be brought out of your carry-on bags, the door to the cockpit wasn't barricaded with steel, and there was much less paranoia in general about security. You even got to see the pilot occasionally.

Peter overcame revulsion to pagan Rome

Maria Kozakiewicz

June 23, 2014
Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
June 29, 2014

When you walk the Via Appia, hoping not to twist an ankle on the large, flat stones of this ancient road, it is hard not to think about St. Peter. His sandals must have trod the same stones, his eyes seen the same or similar sights. Both sides of this ancient road were lined with tombs at that time, the more ancient ones closer to the city gates. The huge cylindrical mausoleum of the wealthy aristocratic woman Caecilla Metella must have still gleamed with marble decorations, reliefs of once-sacrificed bulls' heads, and heavy swags of fruit and leaves.

Palliative care means death with dignity

WCR Logo

June 23, 2014

In the last month, both the House of Commons and the Canadian Medical Association have called on the federal government to bring in a national palliative care strategy that will improve the quality of life for the dying. Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose says she supports that call and will "continue" to discuss the upgrading of palliative care with the provinces.