Heartfelt forgiveness trumps vengeance

Maria Kozakiewicz

September 5, 2011
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 11, 2011

All of this Sunday's readings are about one of the most important aspects of human life, the healing of the soul through God's forgiveness and what follows as natural consequence of it — our forgiveness of others.

While we all, consciously or not, crave God's mercy and annihilation of our sins, it is not always easy to forgive the other.

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Confession calls for us to shed light on the darkness within

St. Francis de Sales

August 29, 2011

In 1984, Pope John Paul II wrote, "The sacrament of Penance is in crisis." The World Synod of Bishops held the previous year was an attempt to respond to that crisis and, among other things, encourage a greater use of the sacrament.

Now, 27 years later, one might ask whether we have made our personal contribution to ending this crisis.

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World Youth Day begins harvest from Second Vatican Council

WCR Logo

August 29, 2011

The Second Vatican Council, held almost 50 years ago, has borne many fruits. Those fruits include the revision of the liturgy, better relations with other Christians and with non-Christians, a new respect for religious liberty, a deeper sense of the world's bishops forming a college rather than being local managers for the Vatican, and an expanded role for the laity in the life of the Church.

When Pope John XXIII opened the council in 1962, he said, "The greatest concern of the ecumenical council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously." Pope John wanted Church teaching to be taught in a way more in keeping with modern ways of understanding. He wanted doctrine to be lived by all so that it would permeate not only the life of the Church, but of the whole of society.

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God gifted us with hearts as deep as the Grand Canyon

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 29, 2011

It's common, particularly among religious commentators, to describe the human heart as small, narrow and petty: How small-hearted and petty we are. I find this distressing because religious thinkers especially should know better. We are not created by God and put on this earth with small, narrow and petty hearts.

The opposite is true. God puts us into this world with huge hearts, hearts as deep as the Grand Canyon. The human heart in itself, when not closed off by fear, wound and paranoia, is the antithesis of pettiness. The human heart, as Augustine describes it, is not fulfilled by anything less than infinity itself. There's nothing small about the human heart.

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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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