Columns

From the category archives: Opinion

Opinion

Hunger haunts even the working poor

Bob McKeon

January 23, 2012

Two months ago, Food Banks Canada published Hunger Count 2011 , an annual report on hunger and food use in Canada. Our community food banks serve as an "early warning" indicator of the serious problems our society is currently facing.

The total number of individuals assisted by food banks in Alberta was 58,735, up a whopping 75 per cent from three years ago.

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Ecumenists in same boat as evangelizers

January 23, 2012
THOMAS RYAN, CSP
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Church leaders from across the denominational spectrum in the United States met for two days prior to the Jan. 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in what might be called an ecumenical summit meeting.

They met to look at whether the various ecumenical "instruments" such as the National Council of Churches and the new Christian Churches Together in the USA represent in their present configuration the most effective use of available resources for carrying forward the work of unity among Christians.

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Singing 'Joy to the World' behind bars

January 23, 2012
VIVA LAMOUREUX
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

This year, as an Advent offering, I had the opportunity to do something completely different. I was invited to bring my guitar and join a small volunteer choir in singing Christmas carols with inmates.

So on a chilly morning a few days before Christmas, I met up with the other volunteers at the Edmonton Remand Centre. After a few brief instructions we tuned our guitars and followed the chaplains into the prison. I must admit that I really had no idea what to expect.

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Church's treasure of sexual teaching is a gift to the world

WCR Logo

January 16, 2012

Basilian Father Jack Gallagher has written an important book that challenges both Church and society (Pages 10 and 11). The challenge to society is to overcome its individualistic approach to sexual morality that has separated procreation from marriage. The challenge to the Church is to be more forthright in presenting its teaching on sexuality and marriage that is the only real hope for society to avoid collapse and ruin.

Gallagher doesn't mince words in his book, Human Sexuality and Christian Marriage: An Ethical Study. Evidence abounds, he says, indicating that the direction in which society is moving regarding sex and marriage is disastrous for both individuals and society itself.

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Dark night of the soul allows God to make us in his image

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 16, 2012

Few people have ever written as penetrating a critique of faith and religion as have Friedrich Nietzsche and Ludwig Feuerbach. "God is dead," Nietzsche declared, "and we are his murderers." We murder God, he contends, in subtle ways to which we are entirely blind.

In a vast over-simplification, their critique might read as follows: Faith and religion are, in the end, human projections. We believe in God because we need to, pure and simple. We create God to serve our own needs. We need to believe in God because without a belief in God, we cannot deal with the pain, brokenness, inadequacy and limits within our own lives.

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People of Nineveh repented with flair

Maria Kozakiewicz

January 16, 2012
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 22, 2012

I love the readings of this Sunday. They are like three wholesome dishes that need to be tasted separately, yet they form one wonderful meal.

First, Jonah, my favourite prophet, warns the people of Nineveh of impending doom and the need for penance. He has little love for the people to whom he brings this message, but he obeys God's command.

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Listening in prayer is the pathway to knowing God's will

Lasha Morningstar

January 16, 2012

Listen.

Hard stuff isn't it?

Because if we really listen it means we must filter out as much of the extraneous world as we possibly can and concentrate on the sound/words being made or said.

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Despite his protests, Hitchens the atheist actually loved God

Fr. Robert Barron

January 16, 2012

I have, over the years, playfully accused some of my atheist interlocutors of being "secret Herods." The biblical Herod arrested John the Baptist but nevertheless took pleasure in listening to John preach from his prison cell.

So, I've suggested, the atheists who come to my website and comment so acerbically and so frequently on my Internet videos are, despite themselves, secretly seeking out the things of God. I will confess to having a certain Herod syndrome in reverse in regard to Christopher Hitchens (who died Dec. 15).

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Mental illness throws a wrench into quality medical treatment

January 16, 2012
AUSTIN AND CATHERINE MARDON
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Mental illnesses are a barrier to so many things in life.

We lost a good friend at Christmas. She was one of the first people in my parish to make friends with my wife when she came to Canada. We've watched her youngest son grow up, and I have tried to be a positive male role model for him. She was a single mom with nine children.

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Change your heart, forgive your sin, let God transform you

Mark Pickup

January 16, 2012

Things designed for good can be used for bad purposes. Art in its proper context captures images of beauty in the world or perverted to promote evil such as pornography. Books can teach and enlighten while others promote falsehoods or hatred.

Sometimes that which is life affirming in one context can be life denying if misused in another context. A drug originally intended to try to save life can also be used to kill.

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