Columns

Jay's Articles

Following the rules helps minimize mistakes

Lasha Morningstar

July 11, 2016

Mistakes are horrid. They happen usually when one is rushed, careless or does not follow the rules. These can range from violating rules of the road to society's rules, to family rules, to religious rules, to workplace rules and even rules about rules. Discipline slips. Or, one does not follow the system they have made for themselves. A mistake is made. When that happens one feels such shame, remorse. Apologies fly to the point of anguish. You vow to never break a certain rule again.

Pray, even when you cannot see the effects

Brett Fawcett

July 11, 2016
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 24, 2016

One thing we inevitably hear in the wake of great global tragedies and catastrophes is a lot of people telling the survivors that "our thoughts and prayers are with you." Lately, there's been another inevitable response: A chorus of people rejecting this, saying it isn't good enough. We need action, too, and, sometimes, people will even indignantly add: "Stop praying. God isn't doing anything." This may sound shocking and blasphemous to our ears, but we have to honestly consider the place where a retort like this could come from.

Court ruling offers a view of abortion mindset

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July 11, 2016

It was yet another U.S. Supreme Court ruling lifting state-legislated restrictions on abortion. The rulings are almost routine, but they do give a peephole into the mindset of those who favour legal abortion. The 2013 Texas law required abortion clinics in the state to meet the same safety requirements of other walk-in medical clinics, in regards to staffing, buildings and equipment. As well, it required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Sinclair urges respect for native spiritually

Joe Gunn

July 11, 2016

One year ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its 500-page final report on Indian residential schools: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Most importantly, the TRC issued 94 calls to action. Several of these recommendations should directly impact the ways people of faith live out our covenantal relationship with the indigenous people of this land.

Religions responsible for building bridges of understanding, love

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June 27, 2016

The prayer Jesuit Father Patrick Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, offered at a prayer vigil for the victims of the mass murder at a gay nightclub was straightforward. Conroy called for peace and an end to "violence against populations of people who are identifiable for who they are, whom they love, what they believe or what race they belong to." He also called on God to give us the grace to "build a world where no person needs to fear violence."

Spiritual connection offered by a great hamburger

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 27, 2016

The spiritual writer, Tom Stella, tells a story about three monks at prayer in their monastery chapel. The first monk imagines himself being carried up to heaven by the angels. The second monk imagines himself already in heaven, chanting God's praises with the angels and saints. The third monk cannot focus on any holy thoughts, but can only think about the great hamburger he had eaten just before coming to chapel. That night, when the devil was filing his report for the day, he wrote: "Today I tried to tempt three monks, but I only succeeded with two of them."

Jesus walks with lambs in midst of wolves

John Connelly

June 27, 2016
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 3, 2016

In this week's Gospel, Jesus speaks these words to his disciples, "I am sending you out like lambs among wolves." This is an interesting image. Lambs are not normally sent among wolves. Wolves prey on lambs. They kill them and eat them. What is Jesus getting at? We live in a world filled with predators, a world where the innocent are preyed upon. A world where violence, abuse and war are considered normal.

New movements can thrive in the ordered world of the Church

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June 27, 2016

In the 13th century, the Franciscans and Dominicans would have been considered "new movements" in the Catholic Church. Not only were they new, but they also brought evangelical fervour to the Church which enabled her to respond to the signs of those times. Renewal in the Church rarely comes from the hierarchy. One central function of the Church hierarchy is to preserve pastoral and doctrinal order in the Church. However, the Second Vatican Council and the current pontificate of Pope Francis are examples of when renewal has come from the centre.

Shortness of life should spur us to make our dreams come true

Lasha Morningstar

June 27, 2016

Life is finite. Easy to read that little sentence, isn't it? It is true. It is factual. But it seems to be one of those realities that never apply to oneself - that is, until a close friend or relative dies. It can also come to the forefront when someone starts talking about their bucket list. These are things a person wants to do before they reach the end of their days. Usually their wishes delight their senses. Practicality usually is never included, things like trotting to the lawyer and making out a will that includes trust funds for children and/or pets.

Salvation depends on grace of God

Lydia Cristini

June 27, 2016
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 10, 2016

The law and the heart; Jesus had a lot to say about this topic. Some of his harshest words were to the spiritual leaders of the day, who followed the law "perfectly" . . . and then used it as a stick to keep the rest of the people under a heavy burden. It is an easy trap to fall into: to feel like we earn our way into heaven by doing good. It creates a false sense of security, this belief that we can earn salvation. Then, when that happens, we often look down on people who do not follow the rules as properly as we do.