From the monthly archives: December 2014

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'December 2014'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

We are called to be God's beloved children

John Connelly

December 29, 2014
Baptism of the Lord
January 11, 2014

In Matthew 3.17, we read these words about the moment John the Baptist baptized Jesus: "Suddenly there was a voice from heaven, 'This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.'" The Baptism of the Lord is a profound moment, not only for Jesus, but for each one of us. It speaks to us of the reality that Jesus was and is the beloved Son of the Father. As Christians, we share in the deepest possible level with that identity. We too are now beloved sons and daughters of God our Father. It is easy to say that this idea of being God's sons and daughters is true. It is another thing to live this truth in our lives.

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Parishes urged to take up missionary call

WCR Logo

December 29, 2014

The call for parishes to move from maintenance to "the reinvigoration of the missionary calling" is not new. But, in Canada at least, it has never been put forward with as much fervour and detail as one finds in the Canadian bishops' statement, The Missionary Dynamic of the Parish Today. (See story on Page 7.) A "profound conversion" is needed in how parishes are run and parishioners need to move beyond their comfort zones to spread the faith. Nevertheless, most parishes are not sitting idly by waiting for everything to be made right at the parousia. They are beehives of activity. Some activities might well be termed "maintenance"; many others, even if not explicitly missionary, have a mission component.

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Acts of kindness make for a world that is peaceful and healthy

Lasha Morningstar

December 29, 2014

Kindness is a word that evokes one of two emotions. Warmth and feeling society is on the right path. Or a sneer that being kind means you are weak and a pushover. I recently misplaced my car and house keys. Tore the house apart. No keys. But it was time to go. I could not call anyone because my phone – of course – was locked in the car. So my dog and I walked down to the corner gas station to call for a cab. We stood outside and waited. And waited. No cab would take my dog. I could feel tears and called out and asked if anyone eating breakfast in the gas station's restaurant was going near where my dog's daycare was.

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Christmas season a trial for those with mental illness

Austin Mardon

December 29, 2014

I dread the holidays. It's supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but yet we know that more people attempt suicide during the holidays. We all want the perfect holiday, with the perfect tree surrounded by professionally wrapped presents. What we usually get is something closer to a crooked tree with half the lights out, and some presents wrapped in newspaper because we ran out of the pretty stuff. We want to host the most talked about Christmas party, but not because it led to news cameras and a police chase.

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Feast of Mary, Mother of God, had wild origins

Visits with Mary Logo – Small

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The beginning of each new year is marked in Catholic churches around the world as the feast of Mary, the holy mother of God. While this feast is generally a quiet one, its peacefulness betrays the excitement that surrounded the declaration of the Council of Ephesus in 431 that Mary is mother of God, Theotokos. The movement that led to that declaration might be seen as having begun with the Edict of Milan in 313 which legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire and brought an end to the era of persecution of the Christian faith.

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Sisters' foundation seeks ecological balance

Bob McKeon

December 29, 2014

In recent weeks, there has been much in the news about the latest UN climate change conference in Lima, Peru. Articulate Catholic voices were raised during the conference. Pope Francis sent a personal message with a sense of urgency saying "the time for seeking global solutions is running out" and that there exists "a clear, definitive and unpostponable, ethical imperative to act."

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Questions surround genetically modified food

December 29, 2014

This is in response to "Petition opposes modern agriculture" (WCR letters, Dec 15) and in defence of CCODP. The current issue of Turning Point (Fall 2014, page 8), the publication of Physicians for Global Survival, raises some pertinent questions concerning genetically-modified foods. Although the aim of GM food is to provide enough food to feed the world's ever increasing population and to improve the quality of our food, has the safety of this food in humans been thoroughly researched? Why have many countries in the world banned GM foods? If it is so safe, why in North America is it allowed in our food chain without labeling so that consumers cannot identify genetically modified products?

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Returning Catholics get frigid response

December 29, 2014

Does the media hype overstate the propensity of Pope Francis to revisit some formerly rigid positions? Some of the suggested cage-rattlings are obviously sensationalist. But his refreshing overtures towards the Orthodox Church are most encouraging, as is his decision to allow Eastern Catholic churches to ordain married men. Perhaps he may also have a more welcoming attitude than some high-ranking officials have had to former Catholics returning home, after having spent much of their lives believing they were good Catholic priests under an Anglican jurisdiction that professed the Catholic faith and lovingly celebrated a traditional Catholic liturgy.

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Mainstream media turns its back on pro-life voices

December 29, 2014

One reason I write to the WCR is because it is one of the few papers in this country which still publishes pro-life letters. There is more freedom of speech and assembly in other countries, like Russia (letters to newspapers) and the United States (that is, bubble zones around Canadian abortion mills). I could write to The Edmonton Journal or Edmonton Sun, but my pro-life letter would likely go unpublished.

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Hidden behind the veil is a new heaven, new earth

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Over the last 500 years, writes the Canadian Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor in his book A Secular Age, the Western world has been transformed into a society of "disenchantment." By saying that society is disenchanted, Taylor does not mean that it has become fed up or disillusioned. Rather, he means the widespread sense that spiritual forces are at work which will protect us and ultimately triumph over evil has been lost. Prior to the onset of disenchantment, Taylor argues, people naturally assumed there was a thin veil between the material and the spiritual, and that the material world, including human persons, was constantly being affected by the actions of spiritual beings.

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