Only prayer can open our eyes to our call to share in divine life

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 26, 2011

Familiarity breeds contempt. It also blocks the mystery of Christmas by breeding a view of life that cannot see divinity within humanity.

Yet all of us are hopelessly prone to see most everything in an over-familiar way, namely, in a way that sees little or nothing of the deep richness and divinity that is shimmering everywhere under the surface. G.K. Chesterton, reflecting on this, once declared that one of the deep secrets of life is to learn to look at things familiar until they look unfamiliar again. Alan Jones calls this a process of unlearning what's familiar.

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The roots of the feast of Mary, Mother of God

Ralph Himsl

December 26, 2011
Mary, the Mother of God
November 1, 2011

I have a lament of sorts: with the investment that society has made in the formal education given me, supplemented by decades of experience, travel, mistakes, reading, study and dare I say it, thinking (?), it grieves me that I should know so little.

I see for example, the note in my Sunday Missal that on Jan. 1, we observe the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on this World Day of Prayer for Peace.

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The Splendour of God's Word

Sr. Eileen Schuller

December 26, 2011

I still don't quite believe that I am standing here, in Edmonton, in this cathedral, to give this talk. When Archbishop Smith first wrote to ask me if I would do a presentation in the Nothing More Beautiful series, he anticipated that I might decline, claiming that I was too busy to take this on.

I replied by return email that I would not say no for that reason (because I was too busy) – but that my immediate, indeed spontaneous, impulse was definitely negative.

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Bullying's venom poisons lives, workplaces

Gordon Self

December 26, 2011

My vision for this column is to present the everyday face of ethics – how we relate to one another and strive to live a moral life. In Catholic health care, there are unique and sometimes challenging issues related to clinical decision-making, for example, when to withhold or withdraw burdensome and futile treatment at the end-of-life, or questions around allocating scarce resources.

This month I would like to consider an even more basic ethical concern that impacts the moral fabric of any organization – the responsible use of power. In particular, when people abuse power and resort to bullying.

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New missal triggers great parish mission

Fr. Raymond de Souza

December 26, 2010

I am eagerly looked forward to Dec. 18, the fourth Sunday of Advent this year. Since I have been ordained a priest, I have offered the following Opening Prayer:

Fill our hearts with your love,
and as you revealed to us by an angel
the coming of your son as man,
so lead us through his suffering and death
to the glory of his resurrection,
for he lives and reigns . . .

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Gay, Lesbian must be treated with dignity

December 26, 2011

In the form of Human Rights Day, agreement to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is celebrated each December. Adopted in 1948, the declaration begins by asserting that all human persons are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Dignity and rights are not conferred by governing bodies. Rather, to quote a recent speech by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, because we "are human we therefore have rights, and because we have rights (our) governments are bound to protect them." Clinton noted that while much progress has been made in making human rights a human reality, a great deal of work remains.

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Silence allows us to hear God's word

WCR Logo

December 19, 2011

It is curious that Bishop Murray Chatlain chose to devote so much of his catechesis at Nothing More Beautiful Dec. 9 to silence. After all, he was talking about Scripture, which is a veritable bounty of words. Despite that, for the bishop from the North, "In my experience, God is not chatty."

God may not be chatty, but Western society surely is. We assume that the more words we pile up, the more we contribute. The more we make our views known in conversation, the more others are convinced by our point of view. Our words increase our power the more we broadcast them. However, when there are too many words, we may not hear any of them.

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Surrender to God in prayer and you shall be answered

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 19, 2011

In her autobiography, The Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day tells of a difficult time in her life. She had just converted to Christianity, after a long period of atheism, and then given birth to her daughter.

During her season of atheism, she had fallen in love with a man who had fathered her child, and she and this man, atheists disillusioned with mainstream society, had made a pact never to marry, as statement against the conventions of society.

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Use your time, talent, treasure for Jesus

John Connelly

December 19, 2011
December 25, 2011

Imagine if Jesus were born anew in this world today. Imagine God being a baby in our midst. Imagine the Word Made Flesh here and now. Imagine the greatest light of human history shining in the darkness of our times.

Our world today has many similarities to the time when Jesus was born. Oppression. Fear. Spiritual darkness.

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Christmas message from the Canadian bishops

Archbishop Richard Smith

December 19, 2011

Stars give us a sense of direction, and brighten the night. In the Book of Genesis (22.17), they are also a sign of God's blessing. They herald God's promise to Abraham that his and Sarah's descendants will be countless.

In the Book of Numbers (24.17), a star is again a sign and promise of what is to come: "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near – a star shall come out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel."

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