Columns

Acquire the wisdom of humility in daily life

Ralph Himsl

August 29, 2011
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 4, 2011

In an earlier column on these pages, it proved desirable to refer to the work of the Anglo-American poet and 1948 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature T.S. Eliot, specifically, his words in Four Quartets, "The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless."

Those words read well and lofty. While I often measure the thought they express and admire the insight, my own day to day encounter with humility and wisdom has a simple, homely form.

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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."

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We deserve a caring end of life journey

Gordon Self

August 29, 2011

In my ethics classes I often tell "the grizzly bear story," illustrating how our outlook on life can change when confronted by new information or experiences.

A hospital social worker once went hiking in the mountains with her son and sister. The son was a park ranger and knew all the backcountry trails. They decided to tackle a grueling hike but, despite being physically fit, the sisters huffed and puffed trying to keep up with the younger son.

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'Hooking up' diminishes who you can be

Fr. Robert Barron

August 29, 2011

From the 1950s through the late 1970s, Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) was a professor of moral philosophy at the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland, specializing in sexual ethics and what we call today "marriage and family life."

He produced two important books touching on these matters, The Acting Person, a rigorously philosophical exploration of Christian anthropology, and Love and Responsibility, a much more accessible analysis of love, sex and marriage. These texts provided the foundation for the richly textured teaching of Pope John Paul that now goes by the name "theology of the body."

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Abortion opens the door for euthanasia

Mark Pickup

August 29, 2011

Canada and the United States treat abortion as a right. This is a recent development and an aberration from the course of human history.

The Hippocratic Oath for doctors dating back thousands of years forbade abortion and euthanasia. Since the first century, the Catholic Church has unwaveringly maintained the moral evil of procured abortion. Ancient and persistent common law traditions dating back into the Middle Ages treated abortion as a grave crime. In 1802, England formally made abortion a criminal offence.

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What is the stained glass window story?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

August 29, 2011

Please tell us the story of stained glass windows.

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Interfaith dialogue leads to truth, peace, evangelization

WCR Logo

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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