Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Columns in the WCR

Tears free us to accept unfinished symphonies of life

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
April 4, 2016

Several years ago, while teaching a summer course at Seattle University, I had as one of my students a woman who, while happily married, was unable to conceive a child. She had no illusions about what this meant for her. It bothered her a great deal. She found Mother's Day difficult. Among other things, she wrote a well-researched thesis on the concept of barrenness in Scripture and developed a retreat on that same theme which she offered at various renewal centres.

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Jesus returns to stir disciples' first love

Brett Fawcett
April 4, 2016
Third Sunday in Easter
April 10, 2016

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus appears to his disciples after his resurrection and performs a familiar miracle: he asks them (commands them really, in that gentle way of inviting us to obey him that Jesus does) to throw their fishing nets back into the sea. Of course, once again, the nets fill up with fish, so many that they can't even pull the nets back into their boat. It's just like when Jesus first called his disciples and told them he would make them fishers of men.

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Trudeau ignores moral duty in proceeding with Saudi arms pact

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April 4, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tried to claim the moral high ground for his decision to proceed with a $15-billion arms deal with the government of Saudi Arabia. Speaking to the United Nations March 15, Trudeau said the government must honour all contracts signed by the previous government whether it agrees with those contracts or not. It does not seem to matter to the prime minister that there is near-moral-certainty that the light armoured vehicles (aka, tanks) will be used in suppressing dissent and the human rights of the Saudi people.

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Retreat is a way to defend one's spirit

Lasha Morningstar
April 4, 2016

Retreat is a powerful word. Certainly it bears the connotation of failure - of backing away from the enemy, of losing the battle. But there is another meaning to this word. Catholics turn it into a time of restorative power. To go on retreat means to withdraw from the everyday world to a place of seclusion, connect not only with your own inner voice but to also listen for God's whispers. Businesses use time-away retreats for their employees as a corporate tool focusing on team building.

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Martyrs' robes washed in blood of the Lamb

Maria Kozakiewicz
April 4, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Easter
April 17, 2016

"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Who are those "who have survived the time of great distress?" My first thoughts run towards persecuted Christians, especially those of our times. We read about them in the Christian press, rarely in the mass media. Their numbers are in the hundreds of thousands. Some names we know; others are known to God alone.

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Guilty bystanders can be saved by repentance

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April 4, 2016

St. Peter's speech on Pentecost to "men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem" is one of the most dramatic moments in the Acts of the Apostles (2.14-36). In the speech, Peter directly accuses his hearers of crucifying Jesus and then proclaims that God "raised him up." Hearing his speech, the men "were cut to the heart" and asked Peter how they could overcome their sin. "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins," Peter replied. That day, about 3,000 souls were baptized (2.37-41).

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Monthly column gives birth to 'small things'

Dr. Gerry Turcotte
April 4, 2016

One of the most unexpected joys of coming to St. Mary's University in Calgary was the opportunity to write this column. While it is a most modest affair, I confess to enjoying the process and discipline of writing a monthly reflection, and especially value the opportunity to discourse at will on whatever subject happens to take my fancy. As readers of the column will know, often that interest revolves around activities undertaken by my university.

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Will compassion for refugees open our hearts to all in need?

Bob McKeon
April 4, 2016

The desperate situation of many refugees has been in the media now for several months. The numbers are overwhelming. The image of the body of a three-year-old boy on a Mediterranean beach caught people's hearts and spirits around the world. Supported by widespread public concern, the newly-elected Liberal federal government acted quickly on its campaign promise, expediting refugee processing times, and rapidly increased the number of Syrian refugees arriving in Canada.

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Brutal persecution of Christians needs potent response

Douglas Roche
April 4, 2016

How should we respond to the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities now going on in the Middle East and Africa before our very eyes? One thing I know for certain: silence is not the answer. Matthew Fisher, a veteran Canadian correspondent, recently reported that the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) "is hell-bent on exterminating ancient Christian communities across the Middle East."

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Folly of the cross provides the hope for Church and society

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March 21, 2016

The cross is not only the toughest aspect of the Christian faith to accept, but also the most important. North American Christians, living in the most affluent time in history, may want to downplay the cross and hurry on to the resurrection. With the resurrection, those uncomfortable nails are no longer driven through the hands and feet, to say nothing of having to endure that scratchy crown of thorns. With the resurrection, one might even enjoy a margarita on the beach, if not a piece of fish.

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