Columns

Jay's Articles

We need strategies to help cope with the rising cost of living

Lasha Morningstar

June 23, 2014

No, it's not your imagination. Food does cost more. Even pet food brings a "my gosh!" to shoppers' lips. TD-Canada Trust economists predict our food bill will rise eight per cent this year. Utility bills, no matter how much one tries to cut down, climb. And were you sitting down when you opened your city tax bill? If you live in one of the areas where you really got hit, you wonder "How am I going to handle this?"

Root out every source of life in the flesh

Kathleen Giffin

June 23, 2014
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 6, 2014

The last few years I have had a "growing" problem in my garden. I have a larger than usual lot in town, with more flowerbeds than I actually have time to look after properly. There are several beds of perennials further away from the house, on the edge of the property, that don't get the same level of attention as the ones next to the house. The result is that whatever weed issue those beds have tend to get more entrenched every year.

Christian living a simple, but difficult, task

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June 23, 2014

Living the Christian life is quite simple. All we need to do is remember the words of St. Josemaria Escriva: "In Baptism, our Father God has taken possession of our lives, has made us share in the life of Christ and has given us the Holy Spirit." If Christ has taken possession of my life, I need always to ask myself whether what I am doing is done in Christ or with indifference to Christ.

Ethical reflection means getting messy

Gordon Self

June 23, 2014

I was invited by a leading Catholic health care journal to write a theological reflection on the influence of Pope Francis in our ministry. Where does one begin? In the brief time since the Holy Father's election, the reach of his pastoral message has been enormous. Countless images and interview quotes have ignited the moral imagination of what it means to be Church, and how we are called to deeper expressions of service to the poor.

How do we know we are getting the real deal Bible?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

June 23, 2014

Why do we use readings from a Bible at Holy Mass which does not have an imprimatur? How do we know we are getting the truth?

Brilliant music crafted by composer battling deafness

Mark Pickup

June 23, 2014

I keep a bust of Ludwig van Beethoven on the mantle above the fireplace in my home. It reminds me of the human capacity to overcome adversity to achieve great things. When I doubt myself in my own acquired disability of multiple sclerosis, I listen to Beethoven particularly his Ninth Symphony written in near-total deafness but at the peak of his creative power His Ninth Symphony exemplifies a triumph of human spirit over adversity, sustained by a spark of God's love in a silent world. Although Beethoven used Schiller's Ode to Joy, there is a spirituality or mystical quality to Beethoven's Ninth.

Prostitution bill charts positive path

Bob McKeon

June 23, 2014

Last December, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that Canada's prostitution laws were unconstitutional. The judges gave Parliament one year to pass new laws that would pass the constitutional test. On June 4, Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay introduced a new prostitution law (Bill C-36) into the House of Commons. Predictably, this proposed law has given rise to intense debates that go beyond predictable ideological divides. No government would voluntarily open up debates on prostitution legislation unless forced to by courts. Prostitution is a complex, difficult issue that defies a simple solution.

Africa torn by massive struggles as West shrugs in indifference

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June 9, 2014

There is hope in sub-Saharan Africa. There are fewer wars, less violence and greater economic activity now than at any point in recent memory. The region, however, is still struggling mightily and, for the most part, the West turns its back on the enormous problems in what used to be called black Africa. Our blasé attitude to Africa is perhaps the greatest sign of what Pope Francis calls the globalization of indifference.

God's presence lies within us silent, almost unfelt

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 9, 2014

The poet, Rumi, submits that we live with a deep secret that sometimes we know, and then not. That can be helpful in understanding our faith. One reason why we struggle with faith is that God's presence inside us and in our world is rarely dramatic, overwhelming, sensational, something impossible to ignore. God doesn't work like that. Rather God's presence, much to our frustration and loss of patience sometimes, is something that lies quiet and seemingly helpless inside us.

You become whatever you contemplate

John Connelly

June 9, 2014
Trinity Sunday
June 15, 2014

There is a simple law that governs all human existence. It is a reality that we should think about and ponder daily. St. Augustine stated it this way: "Whatever we contemplate, we become." When we contemplate something, we take it inside us. It becomes part of us and has a profound effect on who we are. The word "contemplate" means to gaze upon something, to allow something to occupy our mind and heart.