Columns

From the category archives: Opinion

Opinion

Interfaith dialogue leads to truth, peace, evangelization

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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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Columnist, diagnosed with colon cancer, describes its impact

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 25, 2011

When I began writing this column, I shared that occasionally I would do a column that was more exclusively about my personal life. I have tried to limit myself in that and, in the 28 years I have been writing this column, have probably done fewer than 10 pieces whose main focus was my own life. When I have done so, it was almost always to share with readers a major transition in my life.

This column is one of those personal pieces. My personal life is again undergoing a major transition, though this one does not concern a move to a new job or to a new city. It has to do with my health:

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Call out to Jesus, welcome him into your life

John Connelly

 

July 25, 2011
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 7, 2011

The one thing I have come to know about Jesus is that he is faithful. He is faithful in revealing to us love and compassion even when we are inconsistent, foolish and proud. Jesus is truly the Compassionate One. He sees our weakness and struggles and he comes to us to transform our broken lives by his power and love.

In this week's psalm we read the words, "The Lord is near to all who call upon him." What a simple and stunning truth! These are living words that should inspire us again and again. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2666) we read, "To pray 'Jesus' is to invoke him and call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies.

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Imagination crucial in respecting dignity

Gordon Self

July 25, 2011

One memorable event I witnessed in hospital many years ago involved a patient who suffered a stroke and was left with severe expressive aphasia. He could only utter, "yes" to questions, requiring careful interpretation if his "yes" really meant "no."

Assuming he was comfortable and didn't need pain medication, for example, underscored the risk of misinterpreting his intended meaning.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

July 25, 2011
JOHN MULDERIG
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

One of the most successful movie franchises of all time goes out in style with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Warner Bros.).

Though this eighth installment in the series that began with 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone may bewilder newcomers — if there are any of the uninitiated left, they will not find themselves mollycoddled by patient exposition — director David Yates provides a gratifying wrap-up to a decade of blockbuster adaptations.

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Tenderness: A crucial element in every person's life

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July 18, 2011

Along with the rights to freedom of speech, food and water, and various others, we need to be cognizant of the human right to tenderness. The future Pope John Paul spoke of this right in his 1960 book Love and Responsibility, but in the intervening 51 years it has yet to gain much notice.

Every person needs to experience tenderness on an ongoing basis. It is essential to human flourishing. In a marriage, tenderness is essential and each person has the right to receive tenderness from one's partner and the responsibility to give it. But tenderness is also essential outside the marriage bond. The sick, the dying, the rejected, those suffering emotional traumas, the single, the widowed and divorced, single parents, children and infants all need tenderness.

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Life of learning may undermine our child-like dependence

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 18, 2011

I've lived and worked in academic circles for most of my adult life, studying in various universities, teaching in university circles and having university professors as close friends and colleagues. What's that world like? What kind of folks inhabit academic circles?

Perhaps my experience is atypical because most of the scholars under whom I studied and most of the theologians and other scholars who have been my colleagues became professors and university lecturers in function of ministry, as a vocation, rather than as a career.

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Surrender and God's life moves through us

Kathleen Giffin

July 18, 2011
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time — July 24, 2011

Thirty years ago, having recently returned to my faith and the Church, my mother asked me to choose a favourite Scripture passage for her to stitch on a wall hanging for me. I don't remember the process I went through in choosing the reading, but the end result still hangs on my wall, "God makes all things work for good for those who love him."

That Scripture, over the intervening years, has anchored me in hope, courage and trust in a way that no other passage has done. I think I am not alone in my esteem for those words and that truth, for it is a Scripture that nourishes the faith of many people.

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Grieving parents: Your hope is not futile

Mark Pickup

July 18, 2011

Recently I was at a park with some of my grandchildren. A woman arrived with a couple of her grandchildren. We started talking. At one point, she revealed that she lost a grandson to heart disease when he was only seven. Needless to say, I was stunned.

As we talked further I discovered that she turned her grief into positive action through starting a charity to raise funds for research, education and to offer support to families of children with heart disease or who have lost children to it. This is a wonderful example of turning a negative into a positive — a terrible tragedy into something good.

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Sponsoring a child honours Mother Teresa

Lisa Persche

July 18, 2011

Recently our mail included the annual status report on the child our family supports through Chalice, formerly Christian Child Care International. She lives in Haiti, the poorest and most densely populated country in the Western Hemisphere.

Our family learned about Chalice, a Canadian Catholic organization, several years ago when a visiting priest spoke at Mass about its projects. Chalice's mission is to "support local initiatives in developing countries, primarily through the sponsorship of children and elderly in need." In doing so, it gives witness to Christ's love and provides hope for the future.

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