Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Lasha Morningstar

Retreat is a way to defend one's spirit

Lasha Morningstar
April 4, 2016

Retreat is a powerful word. Certainly it bears the connotation of failure - of backing away from the enemy, of losing the battle. But there is another meaning to this word. Catholics turn it into a time of restorative power. To go on retreat means to withdraw from the everyday world to a place of seclusion, connect not only with your own inner voice but to also listen for God's whispers. Businesses use time-away retreats for their employees as a corporate tool focusing on team building.

Read the rest of entry »

Easter more than a reason to make merry

Lasha Morningstar
March 21, 2016

The art history prof clicked the remote and a new slide flooded the screen. As always, my heart gasped, but not as much as it did the first time I saw the Pietà. The professor related how a friend had told her that when she saw Michelangelo's poignant Carrara marble statue of Mary cradling her son Jesus' broken body in St. Peter's Basilica, she burst into tears. I so understand that.

Read the rest of entry »

Stand up for your physician's conscience

Lasha Morningstar
March 7, 2016

We depend on them. We usually only turn to them in times of trouble. Too often, we don't say "Thank you." These are the men and women who serve as physicians. To become a doctor takes time, study, a sound working ethical philosophy, compassion and hard, slogging work. Canada is blessed with medicare (thank you Tommy Douglas). Certainly there are glitches. Mistakes are made. But the foundation is there.

Read the rest of entry »

Mother Earth offers a garden to be cultivated

Lasha Morningstar
February 22, 2016

Oh, oh. My eyes could hardly believe it. This year's seeds are here. To me, like so many others, it is like showing a hungry bear a beehive laden with honey. So much promise. Images of heavy heirloom tomatoes, green acorn squash, pollen-laden buzzing bees spring to mind. There is also the eminently practical side too. The tumbling loonie, roller coaster stock market, rampaging storms and drought from climate change are sending fresh produce's prices sky high.

Read the rest of entry »

Starvation of Syrians demands that the world swing into action

Lasha Morningstar
January 25, 2016

Journalists, seasoned reporters, are horrified by what they are seeing in Madaya, Syria. Children are so decimated by malnutrition they are walking skeletons. Doctors Without Borders says 23 patients have died of starvation at its Madaya health centre since December. Television reports show valiant physicians, weary and hungry themselves, pleading with the powers-that-be for food, water, medical supplies, blankets and other humanitarian needs.

Read the rest of entry »

Two chances every year to take responsibility for your life

Lasha Morningstar
January 11, 2016

We have two New Years. The first of course is the New Year celebration on Jan. 1. The second is the day after our birthday. These are the days when we traditionally make resolutions - vows almost always are targeted at changing some habit or pastime that twigs our conscience. About four or five weeks later, our resolve melts like a dripping spring icicle and we break that resolution. So we add guilt to our shame. Stomp on the brakes. Why do we set ourselves up to fail?

Read the rest of entry »

Gratitude is spark that ignites joy

Lasha Morningstar
December 21, 2015

Joy. A little three-letter word. But this forgotten emotion packs a heck of a wallop. So often we blank out joy from our life. No wonder, given the fact we are bombarded with negative stories each and every day. It is so easy to develop that Eeyore mindset - always gloomy, waiting for the other shoe to drop. A wise receptionist shared this story with me. A dinner guest was regaling fellow diners with tales about what he would do if he won the lottery.

Read the rest of entry »

Canadians defy counsels of hate with actions that foster hope

Lasha Morningstar
December 7, 2015

The words are grim. "France is at war," said the country's President Francois Hollande. That declaration is also understandable. Terrorists had just slaughtered 130 people. People sitting in a café. People gathered in celebration at a restaurant. People at a concert. People on the street. People the cowardly murderers did not know. Innocents. No words can describe such a massacre.

Read the rest of entry »

Co-op living holds promise for seniors

Lasha Morningstar
November 23, 2015

Brisk. The bite of winter pushes homelessness to the forefront of many people's lives. Flyers appear in the mailbox urging people to upgrade their insulation. My 112-year-old home creaks and groans. Winter wind pokes his fingers through hidden holes and chills feet and paws.

Read the rest of entry »

Political intrigues threaten Pope Francis’ work

WCR Logo
November 9, 2015

Pope Francis is affectionately called the People’s Pope by both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Stories abound of how, as a parish priest, he lived an austere life. This is a shepherd who guides his flock while walking in the shoes of Every Man, Every Woman, Every Child. He walks into the villa miseria, Argentina’s notorious slums, to see his lost sheep. Francis went there because that is where his people are. Yet the danger is so great with hardened criminals and drug lords living there, even the police give the threatening shanties a pass.

Read the rest of entry »