Columns

From the category archives: Opinion

Opinion

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.

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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.

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Africa torn by massive struggles as West shrugs in indifference

WCR Logo

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.

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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.

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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.

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Shunning is one form of abuse of power

Lasha Morningstar

June 9, 2014

Shunning is a rather arcane word. History and religious studies students come across it when studying groups such as the Amish. Strict, living their lives according to set rules, they shun any one of the group who leaves or breaks one of their cardinal edicts. Ignore them. Do not speak to them. Shunning hurts and it is alive and well in offices, schools, neighbourhoods, families. All of a sudden you are invisible to former friends, fellow workers, classmates, members of charity groups, family members.

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Fatherhood a gift that calls dads to love, guide, inspire

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

June 9, 2014

I never got to speak to my father as he lay dying. Quite simply, he was the most important figure in my life, a humble, funny and deeply honourable individual, a unique person who could discipline without anger, inspire without fanfare, and who kept the ship afloat no matter how bad the seas. Despite a desperately poor upbringing and a difficult life, he managed to steer his family through good and bad times and to ensure that we had all the necessities of life.

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Those who believe in Jesus have eternal life

Ralph Himsl

June 9, 2014
Corpus Christi
June 22, 2014

Today's Gospel Reading from John tells of a time of intense activity on the part of Jesus. His curing of the sick, acts of compassion and mercy in themselves, also offered testimony of a person possessed of remarkable powers. As John puts it, in the verses preceding today's reading, "A great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick." Jesus recognized a need of the crowd and we have the occasion of the feeding of the 5,000 – another convincing sign.

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Tutu brings climate change struggle to Alberta

Joe Gunn

June 9, 2014

A bishop is making news – calling on Canadians to restore our moral standing in the global community. Are we listening? Desmond Tutu is (Anglican) archbishop emeritus of Cape Town. A confidant of Nelson Mandela in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Tutu won the Noble Peace Prize in 1984. Tutu came to Alberta at the end of May – and his message was making waves.

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Why is it OK for us to pray to the Virgin Mary?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

June 9, 2014

A lady who is Catholic now belongs to one of the "new age" religions. She was told that you do not pray to Mary because she is human. You pray only to God. I told her that Jesus was human too and asked her if she prayed to him. She said "that's different" but could not explain why.

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