Columns

From the category archives: Opinion

Opinion

Sacred fire fuels all of life, infuses saint and sinner alike

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 12, 2011

See the wise and wicked ones, who feed upon life's sacred fire. That's a lyric from a song by Gordon Lightfoot that tries to interpret the struggle going on in the heart of Miguel de Cervantes' mythical hero, Don Quixote. Goodness separates him from the world, even as he understands that wickedness has the same source.

There's perplexing irony in this: Both the wise and wicked, saints and sinners, feed off the same, sacred source. The energy that fuels the dedicated selflessness of the saint who dies for the poor also fires the irresponsible acting-out of the movie star who proudly boasts of thousands of sexual conquests. Both feed off the same energy which, in the end, is sacred.

Read the rest of entry »

God's point of view can be life changing

Kathleen Giffin

September 12, 2011
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 18, 2011

There are singular events in every person's life that serve as both watersheds and points of reference in the years that follow. One such event for me was the birth of my daughter Ange. On the day she was born she was diagnosed with both a congenital heart defect and Down Syndrome.

My response, in the succeeding days and weeks, exposed the best and the worst in me. The best was that I did everything that I could to make sure that she was loved, nurtured and received the best medical care and early intervention. The worst was what I thought and felt about this event that had "happened to me."

Read the rest of entry »

Listen always for the tiny whispering sound

Fr. Robert Barron

September 12, 2011

I have long loved the stories in the first book of Kings dealing with the prophet Elijah. His name tells us all we need to know about him. "Elijah" is the Anglicization of the Hebrew Eliyahu, which means, "Yahweh is God."

People can be named from what they worship, what they hold to be of highest value. Thus, someone who values her work above all is a "company woman;" one who prizes his family above all is a "family man;" someone who seeks pleasure as his highest good is a "good-time Charlie," etc.

Read the rest of entry »

Christians condemn risky global warming

Joe Gunn

September 12, 2011

Global warming has been named as the most serious crisis of our time.

The highest levels of the Catholic Church have asked for our understanding - and action. As long ago as 1998, the bishops of Alberta wrote a pastoral letter entitled, Celebrate Life: Care for Creation.

Read the rest of entry »

Passport to Paradise demands sharing Jesus' death and resurrection

WCR Logo

September 5, 2011

There is the sin of presumption — the belief that death will surely take me to my rightful place in paradise. There is also a philosophy of presumption — the belief that everyone has a right to eternal life unless they do something drastically bad to blow it.

However, there is no right to eternal life. As sinful creatures, there is no natural way we can enter into paradise because entering paradise means sharing in the life of the Trinity. God would be denying his own nature if he admitted to Trinitarian life any creature who was not permeated with eternal life.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

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."

Read the rest of entry »