Columns

'Apologists' needed to respond to fervent atheistic critics

Fr. Robert Barron

July 4, 2011

The CNN Belief Blog, which has graciously featured a few of my pieces, just celebrated its first anniversary, and for the occasion, its editors reflected on 10 things they've learned in the course of the year. The one that got my eye was this: Atheists are by far the most fervent commentators on matters religious.

This completely coincides with my own experience as an Internet commentator and blogger. Every day, my website and YouTube page are inundated with remarks, usually of a sharply negative or dismissive nature, from atheists, agnostics and critics of religion.

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Reading the Bible inspires, reveals treasures

Ralph Himsl

July 4, 2011
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 3, 2011

Readers may remember when last fall, Pope Benedict encouraged us to read the Bible. As I remarked then on these pages, his urging came timely on for me and happily as I had not more than a month before started on that very mission.

Even so, it embarrassed me, because I should have done such reading long ago. I can almost hear a reproach - "And he calls himself a Catholic!"

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Senate reform should spark overhaul of Canadian democracy

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June 20, 2011

The Reform Party idealism of the 1980s and early 1990s that proclaimed Canada should have an equal, elected and effective Senate is pretty much dead. But that doesn't mean that Senate reform should be forsaken. It will have to be an ongoing task rather than a one bill fixes all solution.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's encouragement for more Senate elections and fixed terms is a positive move that is far from radical. Nevertheless, the Ontario and Quebec governments reacted with predictable outrage. They see elected representation in the Senate as something that would increase the Senate's legitimacy as a voice of regional representation and thus be a threat to their own power.

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Quest for meaning trumps our striving for happiness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 20, 2011

Am I happy? Is my life a happy one? Am I happy inside my marriage? Am I happy with my family? Am I happy in my job? Am I happy with my church? Am I happy inside my own skin?

Are these good questions to ask ourselves? No. They're questions with which to torture ourselves.

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Jesus' loving heart dwells in the Eucharist

John Connelly

 

June 20, 2011

The Church, which we love, is going through many trials. These trials remind us that we need Jesus to take charge of our lives in a new and profound way.

Pope Benedict, when he was a cardinal, said this: "The Church will be reduced in its dimensions; it will be necessary to start again. However, from this test, a Church would emerge that will have been strengthened by the process of the simplification it experienced, by its renewed capacity to look within itself. . . .

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Spirit's fire destroys, but can also spark new beginnings

Fr. Robert Barron

June 20, 2011

The Church has just celebrated one of the most important days on the liturgical calendar, the feast of Pentecost, the feast of the Holy Spirit. There are three great symbols classically associated with the third person of the Trinity, namely, water, fire, and wind. Each of these has a negative connotation, for the Holy Spirit is dangerous.

All of us who witnessed the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Katrina six years ago can testify to the devastating punch that water can pack. A major American city was brought to its knees by the inundation that came from the skies, from the sea, and from reservoirs that poured through broken levees.

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Tell politicians to target homelessness

Bob McKeon

June 20, 2011

On March 17, Archbishop Richard Smith joined with 22 other faith leaders to make a public "shared commitment to eliminate homelessness in our community" and "to support the challenging goals of Edmonton's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness."

Local congregations and faith organizations were invited to get more involved with the issues of homelessness and affordable housing. A Congregational Housing Action Guide has been prepared to assist local parishes. Several hundred copies have now been distributed across the Edmonton region.

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Loved one's death opens memory's door

Mark Pickup

June 20, 2011

This week I heard about the death of a family friend: Dr. Hugh Maclure. His passing marked the end of an era for me: He and my father were good friends beginning in the 1950s when I was a small boy. They shared similar Christian world views and general outlook on life.

Although my father died more than 40 years ago, being in the company of Dr. Maclure reminded me of that world.

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Quebec walks into darkness with systematic atheism

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June 13, 2011, 2011

To paraphrase the French philosopher, Jacques Maritain: The Quebec government cannot see that man must choose between two ways: the way of Calvary and the way of slaughter. Maritain's comment, made in 1938, was actually about the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

But it is appropriate to describing the current path of government in Quebec which, having abandoned the Catholic faith, is now on a path of militant atheism. The government no doubt blindly believes this is a path of liberation for its people.

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Press your ear to God's heart; remember you were kissed by God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 13, 2011

The Last Supper account in John's Gospel gives us a wonderful mystical image. The evangelist describes the beloved disciple as reclining on the breast of Jesus.

What's contained in this image? A number of things.

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