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Jay's Articles

Tragically Hip give a lesson on how to say 'thank you'

Lasha Morningstar

September 12, 2016

The Tragically Hip last month finished their Canada Man Machine Poem cross-country tour much to the bittersweet delight of their passionate fans. It is bitter because frontman Gord Downie is battling brain cancer which his doctors say is terminal. The Hip's emotion-packed performances in Canadian cities allowed us to say thank you to them, and they sang and strummed out their thank you to us.

Let God guide you in conquering idolatry

Lydia Cristini

September 12, 2016
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 25, 2016

Sunday's readings offer a difficult message. Through the prophet Amos, God admonishes the people for their wealth, ease and complacency. Then, Paul says to "keep the commandment without stain or reproach." Finally, Jesus lays it all out with the parable of the rich man and Lazarus: the rich man is tormented after death for not heeding God and the prophets by not helping the impoverished and diseased Lazarus suffering at his door.

Avoid simplistic assertions on 'gender theory'

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September 12, 2016

In their eagerness to combat ideologies that would obliterate all differences between men and women, Church spokespersons need to avoid facile references to "God's plan" as if everyone knows what that is. Indeed, when discussing issues of gender, such unexplained references are likely to reinforce the ideology of patriarchy. Scripture contains solid ground for asserting that patriarchy is not God's plan, as in Galatians 3.28: "There is no longer male or female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus."

Forgiveness essential to living in peace

Mark Pickup

September 12, 2016

An unforgiving spirit is corrosive to the soul. It can affect our relationships with others and how others relate to us. An unforgiving spirit darkens how we see the world and can even distort perceptions of reality. But most damaging of all, an unforgiving spirit affects human relationships with God. When Jesus gave us his model prayer, he included the phrase "And forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors."

Angus' book details tale of broken treaties and broken dreams

Joe Gunn

September 12, 2016

It was a truly impressive event on Parliament Hill - with barely a politician in sight. Young James Bay Cree students spoke on why they wanted a safe school for themselves, their sisters and brothers, and other northern Ontario communities. With them were some Ottawa-area grade school students, with their teachers and parents, happy to lend their support.

The air we breathe passes from one age to the next

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

September 12, 2016

Famed astronomer, the late Harlow Shapley, once ruminated on a remarkable notion. He explained that some components of our air, and especially the argon atoms that comprise one per cent of our atmosphere, recirculate indefinitely. Unlike ozone gases, these components of the air that we breathe never really disappear. They pass through the body virtually untouched and then re-enter the atmosphere.

Let the Olympic flame burn away darkness of corruption

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August 29, 2016

What should be said about the Olympics? They are the world's greatest sports spectacle. Nothing else comes close. Inspired athletic performances, both victorious and heart-breaking, are around every corner. Canadians, for example, were exhilarated over Penny Oleksiak's stunning performances in the pool. Yet, a blind eye should not be turned to the never-ending trail of doping scandals, endemic bribery in the host selection process and monumental waste of money by hosting countries that build fabulous facilities, some of which will rarely be used once the Games are over.

Image of good death ignores life's uncertain bounces

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

August 29, 2016

In the Roman Catholic culture in which I grew up, we were taught to pray for a happy death. For many Catholics at the time, this was a standard petition in their daily prayer: "I pray for a happy death." But how can one die happy? Isn't the death process itself excruciating? What about the pain involved in dying, in letting go of this life, in saying our last goodbyes? Can one die happy? But the vision here, of course, was religious. A happy death meant that one died in good moral and religious circumstances.

Remember the shortness of our lives

Brett Fawcett

August 29, 2016
Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 4, 2016

Today's readings hit me in a very personal way. One week before writing this column, my wife and I lost our baby. So many thoughts assail you at a time like this - why did God allow this? Why was her precious life so short The fact of the matter is that all lives are short, but we often trick ourselves into forgetting this. Today's psalm cries out to God, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart." Remembering the shortness of our lives, like the fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom.

Does Eucharist prevent suicide?

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August 29, 2016

For more than a century, it's been known that religious practice leads to better mental health. However, a recent 15-year study of the link between suicide and church attendance among women in the United States came up with an astonishing finding: Although the overall suicide rate among American women between 45 and 64 jumped 80 per cent between 1999 and 2014, not a single Catholic woman of the 6,999 in the study group who attend daily Mass committed suicide. The suicide rate of self-identified Catholic women in general is no different than the national average, said the study of nearly 90,000 women conducted between 1996 and 2010 and published recently by JAMA Psychiatry.