Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Word Made Flesh

Jesus is the gardener of our souls

Kathleen Giffin
February 22, 2016
Sunday
February 28, 2016

The rhubarb patch in my garden began as a transplant from the one at my previous house; I dug up a piece when I moved and got it started in a part of the yard where I thought it would do well. Rhubarb can be slow to get established, so I was patient the first couple of years, knowing it needed time to spread and strengthen. But then I began to notice it simply wasn't doing what I had expected.

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Prodigal son offers a most selfish apology

Brett Fawcett
February 22, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 6, 2016

The old confessional aides used to have the penitent ask herself questions like, "Have I omitted my daily prayers?" That sort of query has a legalistic ring to it, and it is probably not the right way to approach the subject, as though prayer is an onerous duty we need to clock in and fulfil every day. On the other hand, consider today's Gospel: the story of the prodigal son, which Charles Dickens is said to have called the greatest and most beautiful story ever told. But it has a painful (and realistic) edge.

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Jesus' cross calls us to battle against evil

John Connelly
February 8, 2016
First Sunday of Lent
February 14, 2016

Lent reminds us all that we are on an interior journey that does not end until the day we die. This journey takes us through deserts. It is a journey that brings us into a battle with our ancient and sinister foe. It is a journey that ultimately leads to victory through the cross. I do not enjoy suffering. I do not enjoy the desert days where God's presence seems far away. I do not enjoy the internal battles when the powers of darkness cause temptation, stress and anxiety.

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Peak experience can sustain you

Lydia Cristini
February 8, 2016
Second Sunday of Lent
February 21, 2016

It is pretty safe to say the Transfiguration was a mountaintop experience for the apostles. Peter, John and James literally went up the mountain with Jesus and saw things they could not have imagined: Christ's divine glory revealing itself in blinding light, impossible visitors and the voice of God proclaiming Jesus' true identity. The Transfiguration happens in the middle of Jesus performing great miracles, but it also happens between two of the times Jesus warns his apostles of his coming betrayal and death.

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Love less popular than one might think

Brett Fawcett
January 25, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 31, 2016

Love isn't as popular as we want to think. This may not ring true at first. After all, doesn't our culture celebrate love? The Beatles' All You Need is Love is one of the most popular songs in history; Romeo and Juliet is probably Shakespeare's most popular play; and more and more people are supporting same-sex unions on the grounds that true love should conquer all. Indeed, today's Second Reading - "love is patient, love is kind" - is one of the most widely quoted passages of Scripture.

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God's call comes when least expected

Maria Kozakiewicz
January 25, 2016
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 7, 2016

Today's Gospel recounts Simon hearing the words "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." The message is cryptic and unexpected. Simon was not even part of the crowd listening to Jesus. Jesus entered his boat uninvited when Simon was preparing to go home, frustrated after a night of futile fishing. His life changed forever the moment Jesus stepped into his boat. He became a disciple, a priest and, eventually, the first pope.

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Mary's role is to point us toward Christ

Lydia Cristini
January 11, 2016
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 17, 2016

Mary and I have never been close. Don't get me wrong; I really respect her. I know her prayers are incredibly powerful. Whenever I need to pull out all the stops, prayer-wise, the rosary is my go-to. The Hail Mary, and especially the Memorare are my favourite prayers in a pinch. Not only that, but she is the ultimate Christian. Her "yes" to God in the Magnificat is a beautiful expression of perfect humility, faith and trust in God.

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Anxiety rampant due to society's confusion

Kathleen Giffin
January 11, 2016
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 24, 2016

We live in interesting and difficult times. I spoke to a young man today who told me how life is harder for young people now because things are more "open"; the imperative to find one's own truth, to determine one's own course and meaning in life has been broadened to include all possibilities. The result is bewilderment and anxiety in the face of infinite choices and parameters. Truth has been declared relative, biological sex has been declared irrelevant, ultimate meaning is denied and the power to define has been conferred upon the individual. No wonder anxiety is rampant.

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Ancestral traditions shallow without foundation of faith

Maria Kozakiewicz
December 21, 2015
Christmas Midnight Mass
December 24, 2015

You will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." I need Christmas - as most of us do - and I need it in winter. We, dwellers of the Northern Hemisphere who have been slipping into darkness for weeks, crave light and joy.

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Seed of faith grows into eternal destiny

John Connelly
December 21, 2015
Holy Family
December 21, 2015

What do you and I really believe deep down in the depths of our heart and soul? Do we believe the words in this week's Sacred Scripture? Do we believe in the story of the virgin who conceived and bore a divine-human son? Do we believe the whole world will one day bow before this great king who came to be born in a stable?

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