Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Columns in the WCR

Christians build bridges until finally the world is one

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July 11, 2016

Almost essential to the proper nurturing of young children is a strong, supportive family. As children grow older, their need for community does not disappear, but expands. "It takes a village to raise a child," it is commonly said. Indeed, it does take a family, and it does take a village or a neighbourhood. Many children have grown to have outstanding lives without such roots, but they have often triumphed in spite of their background, not because of it.

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Growing tribalism a symptom of me-first mentality

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
July 11, 2016

More than 2,400 years ago Socrates wrote these words: "I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world." Today more than ever these are words we need to appropriate because our world and we ourselves are sinking into unhealthy forms of tribalism where we are concerned primarily with taking care of our own. We see this everywhere. We tend to think that this lives only in circles of extremism, but it is being advocated with an ever-intensifying moral fervour virtually every place in the world.

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Our lives must be centered around Jesus

Kathleen Giffin
July 11, 2016
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 17, 2016

I've always been able to relate to Martha, the busy responsible sister. The story of Jesus' rebuke to her, in support of Mary who abdicates her responsibility to do her share in caring for guests, has long felt unfair to me. Yet at the same time I have great admiration for a friend of mine who has the capacity to be truly present to the people she is with, whether they are friends or strangers, even when that results in neglecting the job at hand.

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Church faces the joy of marginalization

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July 11, 2016

One main lesson of the recent debate over assisted suicide in Canada is the increasingly marginalized place of religious believers in the public square. The weight of Canadian Catholics, Evangelicals and Muslims, in particular, was against the legalization of assisted suicide. Yet, unlike earlier times, the voice of the faithful had little impact on this issue.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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."

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