Columns

From the category archives: Editorial

Editorial

Church revitalized when Gospel challenges us to lives of holiness

WCR Logo

November 21, 2011

St. Anthony of the Desert was a wealthy landowner in the third century. Upon walking into church one day when he was 34, he heard Jesus’ words proclaimed: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19.21).

Anthony took those words literally. He gave away some of the family estate and sold the rest, giving the proceeds to the poor. He spent his remaining 57 years in the desert, living a life of asceticism and prayer, counselling people and inspiring the development of monasticism.

Read the rest of entry »

Teacher of the faith underlines Christian call to discipleship

WCR Logo

November 14, 2011

In his catechesis at the Oct. 27 Nothing More Beautiful session, Archbishop Richard Smith provided a succinct, thorough overview of Christian discipleship. The text of his talk, which consumed four pages in last week's WCR, might not seem concise. However, rare is the talk that would more concisely provide a thorough-going alternative to the faulty notion that being a Catholic means a life of following rules.

The archbishop hangs his hat on the Second Vatican Council's teaching that the meaning of Christ's revelation is expressed not only by his words, but also through his actions. When we try to live as Christ lived – that is, to be a disciple – we run up against our own hypocrisy. Our actions never measure up to what we say we believe.

Read the rest of entry »

Mystery of human person finds fulfillment in Absolute Love

WCR Logo

November 7, 2011

The interfaith prayer gathering at Assisi Oct. 27 draws attention to the mystery of the human person. There, holy people, people whose focus is on the Divine, gathered in startling diversity.

One might think devotion to the one God would inspire humanity with visible unity in worship and belief. Indeed, the Catholic belief is that such unity will one day be a reality.

Read the rest of entry »

Libya will need social virtues to nurture a democratic society

WCR Logo

October 31, 2011

Likely the first thing the new government in Libya will do will be to attempt to implement some form of democracy. Achieving that goal in a nation run for 42 years by a psychotic tyrant will be much more difficult than establishing new institutions with good procedures.

Psychosis at the top infects the entire society, creating a fearful populace and leaving people dependent on secretly whispered rumours rather than the free flow of information. A long history of decisions being made by cronyism and corruption has been established. Political opposition in such a situation is defined not by putting flowers in the gun barrels of tanks, but by taking up arms and killing thousands of people. There is no place for the reasoned, thoughtful consideration of alternatives.

Read the rest of entry »

We kneel in humility before the greatness of God

WCR Logo

October 24, 2011

During Pope Benedict's trip to Germany last month, he raised the question of who may enter the kingdom of God. In a homily during a Mass in Freiburg in Breisgau, the pope said some agnostics – those "who are constantly exercised by the question of God, those who long for a pure heart but suffer on account of their sin" – are closer to God's kingdom than are believers whose life of faith is routine and who see the Church as mainly an institution.

The pope raised this matter, not to incite our curiosity about who is going to heaven and who is not, but to challenge us to a deeper faith.

Read the rest of entry »

Eucharist helps us realize the fullness of our humanity

WCR Logo

October 17, 2011

Pope John Paul II's first encyclical in 1979, The Redeemer of Humanity, was devoted to the nature of the human person. The pope explored the fullness of what it means to be human.

In the encyclical, the new pope quoted the statement from Vatican II's document on The Church in the Modern World that became his hallmark, being included in nearly every major document he would write: "In reality, it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man becomes truly clear." It is only by understanding Christ that one can fully understand the human person.

Read the rest of entry »

Worshipping as one demonstrates unity among God's people

WCR Logo

October 10, 2011

Sixty-two years ago Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical, Mediator Dei, which encouraged the active participation of the faithful in the Mass. The pope was not enamoured with the common practice of people praying the rosary or other devotions during Mass, but he did make allowance for it.

The Mass then was in Latin and, to follow the Mass, one needed to have a missal with a translation of the Mass on a page facing the Latin. If one was illiterate or couldn't afford a missal, meditating on the mysteries of Christ's life was about the only way one could participate.

Read the rest of entry »

Alta. Government's moral blindness jeopardizes our future

WCR Logo

October 3, 2011

The longstanding attitude of the Alberta government that all of the province's petroleum resources must be developed as rapidly as possible remains one of its most morally dubious stances. Oil and gas are finite resources, resources that, however, will not disappear of their own accord. As well, the markets for those resources are not going away in the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, the residents of Alberta have been subjected to a boom-and-bust economy with a discouraging rhythm of a skyrocketing cost of living followed by unemployment and government cutbacks. As well, while environmental safeguards for the industry and oilsands development are improving, there is still vast room for improvements.

Read the rest of entry »

Bored at Mass? Give your soul a shake, rejoice at the miracle

WCR Logo

September 26, 2011

So the Mass is boring, is it? What would help? Perhaps a brass band marching through the church? Maybe replacing the praying with card or video games of one's choice? Or, might such new wrinkles also become boring once they had been tried a few times?

Complaints about the Mass being boring sound much like the whining of the Israelites after they had received the miracle of manna in the desert: "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food" (Numbers 21.5).

Read the rest of entry »

Give fighting, head shots permanent misconducts

WCR Logo

September 19, 2011

It is long past time for the National Hockey League to put an end to fighting and head shots, whether intentional or unintentional. The three former NHL "enforcers" whose lives ended this summer at their own hands underlines the fact that players are exploited in order to heighten a gladiatorial atmosphere in what is already a rough game.

As well, Sydney Crosby's slow recovery from a concussion resulting from a cheap head shot is only the latest in a long series of head injuries that seriously impair hockey players' ability to live full and productive lives.

Read the rest of entry »