Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
September 8, 2003
WCR Letters to the Editor
Hope shines eternal in heaven
The morning after Bob Hope died, I received a letter from a friend who lives in Palm Desert in the general area where Bob Hope had lived with his wife Delores for many long and happy years. One of the lines in the letter simply said, "Stay close to holy comedy." It seemed fitting to reflect on that in light of the passing of the great comic hope.
There are a number of ways to glean insight into how the life of any disciple resembles Jesus. With Bob Hope, one thing comes to mind namely his profound desire to reach out to the masses of people gathered either in theatres or outside where thousands of American soldiers had gathered for a brief moment of comic respite from the dread and terror of war. This had not been for only one war, but for several going back to the 1940s.
Bob Hope whose late mother was honoured by having a chapel named in her memory at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., didn't wear his Catholicism on his sleeve, nor did he his politics, except to the extent that he seemed to many to misunderstand the frustration of the young in the 1960s. Very simply put, Bob Hope went where there was an audience to receive him.
A friend to Democratic and Republican politicians alike, he walked a fine line; so fine in fact that it endeared him to thousands. Part of the reason for this is simply because part of the labour of good comedy is in putting your energy into being in those places overcome by sadness, fear and dread. It calls a person to liberate laughter from as many wounded and isolated places within the human spirit without trying to do harm to any person's self respect. It plays the role of holy mischief with our moods, self-righteousness, need for vengeance and frustration with other people.
Good humour is part of the sacred cloth that God wraps the world with each and every day; and how profoundly sad it really is that frequently we fail to see the humour in so much of human experience. Even present day moral crises that tear people apart, have within the depths of the experiences that bring them to our awareness some of God's humour.
The grace at work is costly for us and we are all challenged to pay attention. In the well of our grief is a humble ladder that takes us upward to the passageway of joy and hope. There are people there who we think might not merit such a privilege, but then ours is not the mind of God. After all, look how far God extended him/herself by sending us Jesus.
Bob Hope was part of Christ's revelation of love and humour. May we all continue to be humoured and loved on our journey; and to do our share in lightening the burden of others. Bob Hope, rest in peace and laugh in glory!
Kevin Jozef Krofchek
Shrine restores faith
While browsing the WCR website, I noticed an article of Ted Fitzgerald's visit to the Shrine of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre (WCR, July 21). I am rather pleased to see my own "spiritual home" in the Western Catholic Reporter. Thank you for the article, for the opportunity to see this story in the paper. I also have a testimony to share about this wonderful place.
It has been an honour to work here at the shrine for the past two summers as part of the youth pastoral team. (This team's main function is to help people meet God through their pilgrimage.)
I have had the privilege and the joy to participate in the various ministries, to be present at all the main liturgies, to be directly involved with all the events of the summer.
We are five young people, who help pilgrims meet God through different kinds of prayer: Holy Hours, the Way of the Cross, the rosary, serving Mass, welcoming groups. Our ministry involves being present with all kinds of people - the young and the old alike.
There is so much I can share about my experience here at the shrine, for so much has happened during my time here in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre.
I will soon return to Edmonton, with a new perspective of faith and the ardent mission to live my Catholic faith to its fullest.
Suicide despair refuted
Father Ron Rolheiser, in his Aug. 25 article, ("Soul's terminal illness ends in suicide"), states that suicide is not an act of despair, suicide is an illness, pure and simple; suicide ends the soul's terminal illness; when suicide victims wake on the other side, they are met by a gentle Christ.
This is definitely a new theology. Suicide is an illness; gluttony is a disease; alcoholism is a problem; homosexuality is a condition.
Every evil today is not an evil, but simply an illness.
"It's not my fault!
I've got an illness, a disease, a condition!"
No more sin! No more Ten Commandments.
Whatever you do, don't worry; don't feel guilty. Jesus loves you. Therefore, don't try to stop; just keep on doing it; there's nothing wrong.
The more I read about this new theology, this new religion, the more I like it. Whatever I do, when I die, I will be in the arms of Our Lord.
I thank Father Rolheiser for adapting our religion to the new modern psychology of self-esteem and total goodness.
If I feel like it, I'll do it. I want. I need. Me, Myself and I.
Whatever I do, Jesus will always love me.
Marriage is the holy union of man, woman
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien keeps asserting over and over that he will not let religious or people's objections alter his stand on same-sex marriage, come hell or high water. Why is Mr. Chrétien "reversing the course of our culture?" Is it a political ploy, does he think he will receive more votes at election time?
Where is Mr. Chretien's memory as we all know what happened to Brian Mulroney passing the free trade bill and also we remember what happened to his Conservative government? Are Chrétien and the Liberals going to travel down that slippery slope too at next election time?
Marriage is a holy union of one man and one woman in which they commit with God's help, to build a loving, life-giving, faithful relationship that will last for a lifetime.
On Nov. 15, 1972 Pope Paul VI said: "The devil is the enemy number one. He's the tempter for excellence."
Same sex marriage is similar to when Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets. The people who were waiting for him were caught in acts of lust having unnatural and abnormal sex and worshipping false gods. I'm sure at that time they tried to convince Moses that things had changed, that the people were not hurting anyone - it was love, and how could love be bad.
God taught us then that it was wrong. Why would it be different now?
History tends to repeat itself and we look at this the same way. We considered it wrong then and we must consider it wrong now for the same reasons.
I hope when the time comes to vote on this matter that good will win over evil.
Hypocrites cited for push for same-sex marriage laws
I'm responding to the tide of backlash to the proposed same-sex marriage legislation.
Can't you see what's happening here? Our fearless leaders are beginning to realize that they too are sinners. Because of the sins of these capitalists, they are beginning to understand that they mustn't condemn other people's mistakes. If they do, they would also have to condemn themselves.
Everyone is a sinner they see, so who should cast the first stone? It seems our bishops are willing to do just that. Nobody is going to go to hell for being merciful to sinners. In fact someone might go to hell for not being merciful to the sinners.
It was Jesus who called them "hypocrites" and said, "First take the log out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5). How many of you conservatives out there who condemn same sex marriage, also believe strongly in the supremacy of capitalism?
Don't you recall what Christ said at the great discourse of Luke 6:24-25? "Alas you who are rich: you are having your consolation now. Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry."
As a corollary to this I should say that as long as the Church is so lacking in wisdom, the desire to separate Church and state will continue to exist.