Stories for the Right Column of the Columns Page
Theoretically, the Eucharist is one of my favourite topics. Ever since I attended a Youth 2000 retreat the summer before my Grade 12 year, the Eucharist has been a central, if not the central, focus of my faith life. Until then, no one had told me the meaning of the wafer and wine I took at Mass, at least not in a way I really understood. At 17, when the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal told us about the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it changed my life.
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We planted some seeds in the garden a few days ago, my granddaughter and I. She carefully laid the pea seeds one after another in a row all by herself. Together we scattered the tiny carrot and lettuce seeds. She has been over to the vegetable patch a few times since then to check on their progress; the spinach peeked through yesterday but still no sign of the peas, which of course she is most interested in.
Pentecost is one of the most powerful and mysterious feasts in the liturgical calendar. It is also the least understood. Unlike Christmas and Easter, Pentecost lacks visual symbols that would make it easier to comprehend. It does not appeal to non-Christians, and thus (thankfully) it does not yield to commercialism. Pentecost is about what is "within" us, not "without." Can the unbelieving world capture the wind of the Spirit rushing through the world? Can even we, the baptized, visualize what really happens in the coming of the Spirit?
All of us came from a family. Our family may have been less than perfect. It may have been broken or it may have seemed ideal. One thing is certain: Our family has a profound effect on us all. Authentic family life is one of the deepest longings of the human heart. This weekend we celebrate Trinity Sunday. This is a call to reflect on family. God is a family. A Trinity. Three distinct persons in one God. A communion of life and love.
In a few weeks, in Ottawa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) will come to a close. On June 1 the TRC will present its final report. There will be formal closing ceremonies at Rideau Hall on June 2. These events will mark an important moment in the long, challenging story of the Indian residential schools, and of everyone associated with the schools.