From the category archives: Columns

Columns in the WCR

We are responsible for our own health

Gordon Self

April 25, 2011

I have seen a growth in public service announcements over the years promoting physical fitness and health. The ParticipACTION commercials of the early '70s (that is, Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod of BodyBreak) stand out in my memory among the first, followed by anti-smoking cartoons, agricultural producers endorsements, UV Index reports and consumer tips based on Canada's Food Guide.

While these all serve to educate Canadians about healthy lifestyle choices, proponents of preventive medicine argue more can be done to wake people up that you and I — not doctors, or "the health care system" — are ultimately responsible for our health.

Read the rest of entry »

Words of consecration will change to provide a truer translation

Fr. Raymond de Souza

April 25, 2011

Many Catholics are reading the pope's most recent book, Jesus of Nazareth, Holy Week, as spiritual reading this Holy Week. Does many mean all?

Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI sheds light on a matter that English-speaking Catholics will encounter later this year. The new translation of the Roman Missal, which will take effect in Advent 2011, changes the words of institution, the words the priests says to consecrate the bread and wine, transubstantiating them into the Body and Blood of Christ. Holy Week is a good time to examine that.

Read the rest of entry »

Living the virtue of chastity is a step-by-step process

Bishop Fred Henry

April 25, 2011

Our faith takes with joyful seriousness the mystery of the Incarnation: that the Son of God took flesh for our salvation. Jesus' body scourged, crucified and risen for us, tells us that God uses the human body to make his love present in our world. The body is our doorway to salvation, and so how we treat it matters.

Sexuality is a gift from God and a fundamental part of what makes us human. Each of us is called to acknowledge this gift and the One who gave it.

Read the rest of entry »

Government ignores Easter's sanctity with advance poll dates

WCR Logo

April 18, 2011

It apparently is not a matter of great concern to Canada's political leaders that advance polling for the May 2 election will be conducted on Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Monday. A Christian nation would surely find a way to avoid having the electoral process trampling on the most holy season of the year.

Christians are perhaps more accepting of this situation than we would have been a few decades ago. After all, just about any religious holiday has been open season for shoppers for some time.

Read the rest of entry »

Life's unquiet frontiers mask a hunger for faith

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 18, 2011

Few books have garnered as much respect during the past five years as has Charles Taylor's A Secular Age.

That respect is well deserved. Given secularity's convoluted history, there isn't any one, normative study that traces its evolution; but, if there was, Taylor's analysis might apply for the distinction. Deeply versed in history, philosophy, literature, theology and spirituality, Taylor has a deep well within which to dip to make his analysis. Few scholars, to my mind, bring so wide and deep a scholarship to the area of history and faith.

Read the rest of entry »

Easter brings a sunrise of hope and joy

John Connelly


April 18, 2011
Easter — April 24, 2011

When I think of Easter I think of a sunrise. A sunrise like no other. Light, happiness, peace. Joy that fills our entire being. A hope that will never fade. A new beginning for all who desire truth, justice and love to reign.

We Christians need to meditate on Easter and its meaning for our lives today. It is the great miracle of re-creation. The song that brings life to the world. The moment when the veil of human sorrow is lifted from our hearts.

Read the rest of entry »

Christ's resurrection heals broken hearts

Mark Pickup

April 18, 2011

Have you ever been so heartbroken and had your hopes so shattered that you could scarcely consider what your future holds or whether you even had a future? That is what it must have been like for the disciples the day after Jesus was crucified.

They had placed their faith in him and dared to hope he was the Messiah and now he lay dead in a tomb. The terrible events of the previous day left them numb and heartsick. The raw grief within the remaining 11 disciples must have felt like a gaping wound pulsating in their chests.

Read the rest of entry »

Why is the servant in Isaiah suffering?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

April 18, 2011

Tell me about the Suffering Servant in Isaiah.

Read the rest of entry »

Catholics support the dignity of labour

Bob McKeon

April 18, 2011

The Jesuits in the United States have published a book on Catholic social teaching with the title Our Best Kept Secret. I am dismayed how often this turns out to be true, even with Catholics highly committed to practising their faith.

Twice in recent weeks I have sat down with Catholic men who over a period of many years have lived out their personal commitments to social justice though active involvement in their trade unions. In each case, they said they had never heard about Church teaching that addresses issues of human dignity in the workplace and that affirms the vital role labour unions play as agents for justice. In each case, they regretted not learning about their Church's social teaching decades earlier.

Read the rest of entry »

Mary's 'pondering' at Jesus' crucifixion is a show of strength

April 11, 2011

As we enter Holy Week, and journey through the events of Christ's passion and death, we find ourselves once again beneath the cross with Mary. At first glance, she doesn't appear to be doing anything there. Scripture doesn't record any of her words or cries of protest.

However, Father Ron Rolheiser notes that her presence at the crucifixion is a Hebrew show of strength. She is standing firm and "pondering" in the biblical sense, beholding the work of God.

Read the rest of entry »