Jay's Articles

Is hell a physical place? Are we sent there by God?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

March 31, 2014

Is hell a physical place? Does God send us to hell? Does the resurrection signify physical movement to a place in space with physical dimensions? If so, space exploration must be penetrating that physical place we still call heaven.

Lent is more than 'giving up'; it also involves reaching out

Bob McKeon

March 31, 2014

On Shrove Tuesday, I was at a church pancake supper. The conversation quickly turned to Lent, which started the next day, and about fasting. Each of us started talking about the specifics of what we were going to give up during Lent. Different foods and activities were named. Every year, there is a Scripture passage (Isaiah 58) that talks about fasting that appears in the Liturgy of the Hours on Ash Wednesday and in the daily Mass readings two days later.

Ukraine deserves peace, justice and sovereignty

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March 17, 2014

Why did thousands of unprotected Ukrainian protesters remain in Independence Square on Feb. 20 as sniper fire rained down on them from above? Why did they not run for cover as did the foreign journalists who were reporting on the protests? Think first of the Holodomor of 1932-33, the forced starvation of millions of people suffering under Soviet oppression. Think of the attempted annihilation following the Second World War of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, a body most determined to stand for Ukrainian national identity, cultural expression and freedom. Think of the imprisonment and exile of poet Taras Shevchenko and numerous other 19th-century Ukrainian artists who passionately wrote against the repression of Ukrainians by the tsar and in favour of Ukrainian national identity.

Creative performers make love to the song

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 17, 2014

There are three kinds of performers: The first, while singing a song or doing a dance, are making love to themselves. The second, while performing, are making love to the audience. The third, while on stage, are making love to the song, to the dance, to the drama itself. Of course, it's not difficult to discern who the better performer is. The one making love to the song, of course, best honours the song and draws energy from some deeper place. He or she does this by entering into and channeling the energy of the song rather than by entering into and channeling their own energy or the energy of the audience.

Jesus wants worship to be in Spirit, Truth

John Connelly

March 17, 2014
Third Sunday of Lent
March 23, 2014

What is God, Our Father, looking for? What ultimately does God want from you and me? Jesus answers these questions in this week's Gospel: God is looking for worshippers. Authentic worshippers who will worship him in Spirit and truth. >Worship is the deepest calling of the Church. It is an act of total surrender and love which allows our inner being to enter fully the loving presence of God.

Ugandan law violates human dignity

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March 17, 2014

The Ugandan government's decision to punish those who engage in homosexual acts with life imprisonment should be opposed by every person concerned about the dignity of the human person. African politicians are resentful of what they see as attempts by Western nations to export homosexual behaviour onto their continent. The United Nations' support for advancing so-called sexual and reproductive rights is profoundly disturbing to societies that continue to respect human life and traditional family structures. Nevertheless, the rabid reaction of African politicians to UN and other Western initiatives could easily lead to acts of violence against homosexuals.

Prosecute Johns, see prostitutes as the real victims

Bishop Fred Henry

March 17, 2014

On Dec. 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a unanimous decision which struck down three Criminal Code provisions regulating prostitution: living off the avails of prostitution; communicating in public for purposes of prostitution; and keeping or being found in a bawdy house. Initially, I was not only saddened by this decision but perplexed by the reasoning behind it.

Authorities riled as Jesus heals blind man

Ralph Himsl

March 17, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Lent
March 30, 2014

My copy of the Sunday Missal gives two options for the Gospel for today in which Jesus cures a blind man of his affliction. When I see the marking for a shorter version of the Gospel in the missal, I often say to myself, and I shame to confess it, "I hope the priest reads the shorter excerpt, but he probably will go for the longer one."

When injustice takes root in a parish

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March 17, 2014

Traditionally, there are four marks of the true Church – it is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. However, the 1970 world Synod of Bishops added a fifth mark. By saying that justice is a constitutive dimension of the Gospel, the synod in effect said the true Church is also known by its proclamation and living out of God's justice. This is a good thing, but it can also be problematic. For just as the Church is not united and its members often lack holiness, relations among baptized believers are sometimes unjust.

Euthanasia advocates out to expand their throwaway culture

Lasha Morningstar

March 17, 2014

Look through the window of a neo-natal intensive care unit and watch as physicians, interns, nurses fight for babies' lives. Nothing else exists for them in those moments. Tubes, machines, intravenous, parents sobbing and praying in the chapel. That wee bundle of life matters. Just ask the medical team, the parents.