Columns

From the category archives: Opinion

Opinion

Diligent prayers nurture a deep bond with God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 5, 2011

Do we ever really understand or master prayer? Yes and no. When we try to pray, sometimes we walk on water and sometimes we sink like a stone. Sometimes we have a deep sense of God's reality and sometimes we can't even imagine that God exists.

Sometimes we have deep feelings about God's goodness and love and sometimes we feel only boredom and distraction. Sometimes our eyes fill with tears and sometimes they wander furtively to our wrist-watches to see how much time we still need to spend in prayer. Sometimes we would like to stay in our prayer place forever and sometimes we wonder why we even showed up.

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John Paul II's monument — a free Poland

Fr. Raymond de Souza

September 5, 2010

The local Church here in Krakow, Poland, takes great pride in her saints and in the 20th century, no city produced more important ones. Father Maximilian Kolbe studied here and died at Auschwitz, part of the Archdiocese of Krakow. Sister Faustina Kowalska’s convent was here, and the Divine Mercy devotion began here.

The summer of 2011 has added Blessed John Paul II to the honour roll, and every single parish, shrine and souvenir stand is bedecked with images celebrating the Church’s newest saint, Krakow’s most noble son.

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Heartfelt forgiveness trumps vengeance

Maria Kozakiewicz

September 5, 2011
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 11, 2011

All of this Sunday's readings are about one of the most important aspects of human life, the healing of the soul through God's forgiveness and what follows as natural consequence of it — our forgiveness of others.

While we all, consciously or not, crave God's mercy and annihilation of our sins, it is not always easy to forgive the other.

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God gifted us with hearts as deep as the Grand Canyon

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 29, 2011

It's common, particularly among religious commentators, to describe the human heart as small, narrow and petty: How small-hearted and petty we are. I find this distressing because religious thinkers especially should know better. We are not created by God and put on this earth with small, narrow and petty hearts.

The opposite is true. God puts us into this world with huge hearts, hearts as deep as the Grand Canyon. The human heart in itself, when not closed off by fear, wound and paranoia, is the antithesis of pettiness. The human heart, as Augustine describes it, is not fulfilled by anything less than infinity itself. There's nothing small about the human heart.

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Unions give people a voice, decent wages

Bishop Fred Henry

August 29, 2011

Upon reading both the signs of the times, and the 2009 encyclical, Charity in Truth, you might be tempted to conclude that Pope Benedict was offering a prophetic description of the 2011 labour scene in Canada.

He noted: "Through the combination of social and economic change, trade unions organizations experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers, partly because governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions."

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We deserve a caring end of life journey

Gordon Self

August 29, 2011

In my ethics classes I often tell "the grizzly bear story," illustrating how our outlook on life can change when confronted by new information or experiences.

A hospital social worker once went hiking in the mountains with her son and sister. The son was a park ranger and knew all the backcountry trails. They decided to tackle a grueling hike but, despite being physically fit, the sisters huffed and puffed trying to keep up with the younger son.

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'Hooking up' diminishes who you can be

Fr. Robert Barron

August 29, 2011

From the 1950s through the late 1970s, Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) was a professor of moral philosophy at the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland, specializing in sexual ethics and what we call today "marriage and family life."

He produced two important books touching on these matters, The Acting Person, a rigorously philosophical exploration of Christian anthropology, and Love and Responsibility, a much more accessible analysis of love, sex and marriage. These texts provided the foundation for the richly textured teaching of Pope John Paul that now goes by the name "theology of the body."

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Abortion opens the door for euthanasia

Mark Pickup

August 29, 2011

Canada and the United States treat abortion as a right. This is a recent development and an aberration from the course of human history.

The Hippocratic Oath for doctors dating back thousands of years forbade abortion and euthanasia. Since the first century, the Catholic Church has unwaveringly maintained the moral evil of procured abortion. Ancient and persistent common law traditions dating back into the Middle Ages treated abortion as a grave crime. In 1802, England formally made abortion a criminal offence.

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What is the stained glass window story?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

August 29, 2011

Please tell us the story of stained glass windows.

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Interfaith dialogue leads to truth, peace, evangelization

WCR Logo

July 25, 2011

Pope Benedict's invitation to leaders of major world religions to join him for a day of prayer this fall in Assisi is yet another indication of his commitment to fostering interreligious dialogue and witness. This pope's efforts, as were those of Pope John Paul II before him, tell of a determined effort to ensure the much-touted "clash of civilizations" becomes less and less of a reality.

Interreligious cooperation is really the "Catholic" issue of our time. It may not seem a pressing issue at the local parish level. But how the Church and society will fare 50 or 100 years from now will depend in no small part on the fruitfulness of dialogue with other faiths.

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