Columns

Death can surprise with either agony or simple peace

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
June 13, 2016

'A common soldier dies without fear, yet Jesus died afraid." Iris Murdoch wrote this. It's a truth can be somewhat disconcerting Why? If someone dies with deep faith, shouldn't he or she die within a certain calm and trust drawn from that faith? Wouldn't the opposite seem more logical, that is, if someone dies without faith shouldn't he or she die with more fear? Perhaps the most confusing of all: Why did Jesus, the paragon of faith, die afraid, crying out in a pain that can seem like a loss of faith?

The problem lies in our understanding.

Read the rest of entry »

The heart is an ever-bleeding wound

Brett Fawcett
June 13, 2016
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 19, 2016

Today's readings reminded me of when I recently witnessed someone snickering that a Catholic parish was named "Most Precious Blood." It was a good reminder of how counter-intuitive our redemption is: The Gospel defies the world by saying that life can come out of death. The First Reading describes how Jesus will be despised and rejected. Reformed theologian Jurgen Moltmann says that being despised is not the worst part; a successful person can handle being hated.

Read the rest of entry »

Partnership with indigenous people must be based on new attitudes

WCR Logo
June 13, 2016

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has apologized to Aboriginal people in her province for "the abuses of the past." Wynne then got more specific in apologizing for "the policies and practices supported by past Ontario governments and for the harm they caused." The Ontario premier's words highlight the ambivalence in the apologies coming from Church and state for more than a quarter-century about the evils inflicted on indigenous societies in Canada - we will apologize for the past, but not so often for the present.

Read the rest of entry »

Stop frittering and make a plan

Lasha Morningstar
June 13, 2016

Fritter is perhaps an old fashioned word (except for those yummy apple fritters). That is sad because it is what so many of us do with our lives. It is that feeling that creeps up at the end of the day when you are lying in bed trying to get to sleep and the nagging realization seeps in that your day, or at least part of it, has been wasted. I call it squirrel time.

Read the rest of entry »

Jesus gives freedom to be a 'failure'

Maria Kozakiewicz
June 13, 2016
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 26, 2016

Most of us fear poverty, especially in old age. Western Civilization is rooted in comfort of possessions and we instinctively strive to achieve it. Success in life is measured by what we own, not by what we are, because few people know what it means simply "to be." The standard minimum is a house with nice backyard, a good car, decent food and a vacation once in a while, preferably abroad. Not much - yet these things create our comfort zone. We tend to believe that this is what life owes us.

Read the rest of entry »

Church faces long rode to convert society

WCR Logo
June 13, 2016

If you hadn't noticed, the Church has lost the culture war. Not that it is losing, but that it has lost. It is likely to be a long time before the Church's values achieve a position of major influence in Western society. A central Catholic principle is that of the common good. Perhaps, the common good was never the principle by which societies made crucial decisions. The logic of power is ever-present. However, since the rise of capitalism which claims "the greatest good" - whatever that might mean - is achieved through the pursuit of self-interest, the good of society as a whole has taken a back seat.

Read the rest of entry »

Climate change a revolution calling for changed lifestyles

Joe Gunn
June 13, 2016

June 18 marks the first anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical letter on the environment, Laudato Sí. Please resolve to spend some quiet time with this text, thinking about how your family and your congregation can rise to the challenge of creating the new, more environmentally-just world the pope envisions. Author and activist Naomi Klein spoke at a Vatican press conference after the release of Pope Francis' encyclical.

Read the rest of entry »

Celebrating Church's 'birthday' portrays her as too institutional

WCR Logo
May 30, 2016

Following the celebration of Pentecost, the Church moves abruptly into Ordinary Time. Prior to Vatican II, this lengthy season was referred to as the Sundays after Pentecost, and the continuity was clear. There were as many as 27 such Sundays, followed by the Last Sunday after Pentecost, which is now the feast of Christ the King. Today, we often call Pentecost the birthday of the Church, which on one level is accurate. On another level, it can be seen as trivializing this great feast by surrounding it with an aura of birthday cakes, party hats and streamers.

Read the rest of entry »

Young people wait unconsciously for God's embrace

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
May 30, 2016

A seminarian I know recently went to a party on a Friday evening at a local university campus. The group was a crowd of young college students and, when he was introduced as a seminarian, as someone who was trying to become a priest and who had taken a vow of celibacy, the mention of celibacy evoked some giggles in the room, some banter and a number of jokes about how much he must be missing out on in life. Poor, naïve fellow!

Read the rest of entry »

Jesus wants to bring healing to our lives

Lydia Cristini
May 30, 2016
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 5, 2016

As someone who is fairly well acquainted with death, stories of Jesus bringing people back to life do not sit well with me. Perhaps it is because of a rash of deaths in the lives of several friends in the last six months. Perhaps it is because I would like to see people I love, again, even though they are long dead. Perhaps it is because they remind me of old hurts in my faith and prayer life when my 21-year-old friend died of cancer, despite a year's worth of prayers from many, many faithful people across our country.

Read the rest of entry »