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St. Francis de Sales is not the spiritual guide one would run to when burning with the fire of a recent conversion. At that point, one really believes that holiness and complete intimacy with God is possible. Now! Not only possible, but expected. And demanded.
Somewhere along the line, the penny drops. This business of being one with God is simple, but also demanding. It is not a matter of keeping an emotional fire stoked and raging. Try that and you become a problem, both to yourself and to others around you.
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In reading the history of the Second Vatican Council, one cannot help but be awestruck by the enormous trust Blessed Pope John XXIII had in the Holy Spirit. Elected pope at the age of 78, Angelo Roncalli was expected to be a caretaker pope, someone who minded the store for a few years after the long pontificate of Pope Pius XII.
Instead, three months after his election, Pope John called a council of the whole Church. Perhaps he had been waiting in the weeds, hoping for his chance to impose his agenda on an unsuspecting Church? This was nothing of the sort. Pope John had felt a glimmer of an insight, a little spark from the Holy Spirit and realized he must act.
Somewhere near his 75th birthday, Morris West wrote a series of autobiographical essays entitled, A View From the Ridge. In the Prologue of that book he suggests that at age 75 you need to have only one word left in your spiritual vocabulary, gratitude, and that maturity is attained precisely at that moment when gratitude begins to drown out and cauterize the hurts in your life.
As he describes it: Life has served me as it serves everyone, sometimes well and sometimes ill. But I have learned to be grateful for the gifts of it, for the love that began it and the other loves with which I have been so richly endowed.
A couple of days ago I witnessed the Confirmation of 78 children, my two grandsons among them, in the lovely Holy Trinity Church in Spruce Grove. It was a memorable evening and the green fields around the church and the flowers growing around it were a perfect setting for the youth and a symbol for growth.
Although this was a weekday evening and many people must have had a long working day behind them, the church was packed with families and friends of the confirmed. The atmosphere was so joyous, even my own old heart was dancing.
Canadian parishes will begin preparing soon for the new translation of the Mass, to be implemented in Advent 2011. Yet one decision needs to be made sooner; parishes must order their copies of the new Roman Missal (the book of prayers for Mass used at the altar).
The missal must be beautiful. Anything that is not beautiful should never be on the altar. Our supreme worship of the Lord requires beauty.
My dictionary defines apologetics as a "systematic and logical defence of Christianity against its detractors and unbelievers." In 1 Peter 3.15, Christians are told to be ready to give a reason (apologia) for their hope in Christ.
Apologetics can draw people to Christ as we read in the Acts of the Apostles with St. Peter at Pentecost. Peter's sermon was a classic example of apologetics. It drew 3,000 people to faith in Christ. St. Paul's witness in Athens was another example of apologetics. It is documented in Acts 17.17-34.
These are serious times for the ecumenical movement. We are experiencing new divisions, and people are wondering: Is the 'winter' of the ecumenical movement becoming a permanent season?"
So spoke the Rev. Dr. Robert Welsh, president of the Council on Christian Unity for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), in his keynote address at this year's National Workshop on Christian Unity in Pittsburgh, May 9-12.
As a child, growing up in Legal, Sister Dora Durand watched a French movie, I Have Chosen Charity.
The film featured sisters serving the aboriginal people in the Northwest Territories. They visited people’s homes, travelled from place to place via dogsleds and got to know the people closely.
EDMONTON — An economist and a philosopher got together with teachers and businesspeople to take steps toward building a civilization of love.
“One person at a time can make a difference in the world,” said Marc Sanscartier, a teacher enrolled in the May 28-29 workshop on economies of communion at Newman Theological College.
EDMONTON — A proposed all-boys academy for grades 4 and 5 in Edmonton Catholic Schools has been ditched for the time being due to low registration.
The program was to start in September 2011 at two different schools.