Columns

Jay's Articles

Sinclair urges respect for native spiritually

Joe Gunn

July 11, 2016

One year ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its 500-page final report on Indian residential schools: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Most importantly, the TRC issued 94 calls to action. Several of these recommendations should directly impact the ways people of faith live out our covenantal relationship with the indigenous people of this land.

Religions responsible for building bridges of understanding, love

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June 27, 2016

The prayer Jesuit Father Patrick Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, offered at a prayer vigil for the victims of the mass murder at a gay nightclub was straightforward. Conroy called for peace and an end to "violence against populations of people who are identifiable for who they are, whom they love, what they believe or what race they belong to." He also called on God to give us the grace to "build a world where no person needs to fear violence."

Spiritual connection offered by a great hamburger

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 27, 2016

The spiritual writer, Tom Stella, tells a story about three monks at prayer in their monastery chapel. The first monk imagines himself being carried up to heaven by the angels. The second monk imagines himself already in heaven, chanting God's praises with the angels and saints. The third monk cannot focus on any holy thoughts, but can only think about the great hamburger he had eaten just before coming to chapel. That night, when the devil was filing his report for the day, he wrote: "Today I tried to tempt three monks, but I only succeeded with two of them."

Jesus walks with lambs in midst of wolves

John Connelly

June 27, 2016
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 3, 2016

In this week's Gospel, Jesus speaks these words to his disciples, "I am sending you out like lambs among wolves." This is an interesting image. Lambs are not normally sent among wolves. Wolves prey on lambs. They kill them and eat them. What is Jesus getting at? We live in a world filled with predators, a world where the innocent are preyed upon. A world where violence, abuse and war are considered normal.

New movements can thrive in the ordered world of the Church

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June 27, 2016

In the 13th century, the Franciscans and Dominicans would have been considered "new movements" in the Catholic Church. Not only were they new, but they also brought evangelical fervour to the Church which enabled her to respond to the signs of those times. Renewal in the Church rarely comes from the hierarchy. One central function of the Church hierarchy is to preserve pastoral and doctrinal order in the Church. However, the Second Vatican Council and the current pontificate of Pope Francis are examples of when renewal has come from the centre.

Shortness of life should spur us to make our dreams come true

Lasha Morningstar

June 27, 2016

Life is finite. Easy to read that little sentence, isn't it? It is true. It is factual. But it seems to be one of those realities that never apply to oneself - that is, until a close friend or relative dies. It can also come to the forefront when someone starts talking about their bucket list. These are things a person wants to do before they reach the end of their days. Usually their wishes delight their senses. Practicality usually is never included, things like trotting to the lawyer and making out a will that includes trust funds for children and/or pets.

Salvation depends on grace of God

Lydia Cristini

June 27, 2016
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 10, 2016

The law and the heart; Jesus had a lot to say about this topic. Some of his harshest words were to the spiritual leaders of the day, who followed the law "perfectly" . . . and then used it as a stick to keep the rest of the people under a heavy burden. It is an easy trap to fall into: to feel like we earn our way into heaven by doing good. It creates a false sense of security, this belief that we can earn salvation. Then, when that happens, we often look down on people who do not follow the rules as properly as we do.

Gov't priority on palliative care long overdue

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June 27, 2016

It is good to see leaders of various Canadian faith groups speaking out in unison in favour of greater availability of palliative care in this country (Faith leaders unite in call for palliative care). This call is especially timely with the advent of legal assisted suicide. One force that could drive significant numbers of people to seek assisted suicide is the lack of palliative care which meets the social, psychological, medical and spiritual needs of the dying. When people feel isolated and abandoned in their hour of greatest distress or when their medical needs are not being fully met, the temptation to turn to assisted suicide becomes stronger than ever.

Handwritten word still offers an intimate touch

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

June 27, 2016

There is a cute cartoon of a morose individual who complains that because he has such beautiful handwriting, no one believes he's an actual doctor. I'm certainly old enough to have gone to school when penmanship mattered, and my school reports always included devastating comments from my respective teachers about the appalling state of my letters. It could have been worse. The year before I started, left-handers were still having their offending hand tied behind their back in the hope that the true right-hander might emerge.

Pope's ecological spirituality provides grist for reflection

Bob McKeon

June 27, 2016

This month we celebrate the first anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si'. Over the past year, I have had the privilege of being part of many conversations about this ground-breaking encyclical with different Catholic, ecumenical and interfaith groups. In most discussions, attention is focused on the headline issues such as paying for costs associated with climate change, shifting away from fossil fuels to renewables, impact on poor communities and countries, and criticizing the functioning of global capitalism.