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From the category archives: Opinion

Opinion

Silence allows us to hear God's word

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December 19, 2011

It is curious that Bishop Murray Chatlain chose to devote so much of his catechesis at Nothing More Beautiful Dec. 9 to silence. After all, he was talking about Scripture, which is a veritable bounty of words. Despite that, for the bishop from the North, "In my experience, God is not chatty."

God may not be chatty, but Western society surely is. We assume that the more words we pile up, the more we contribute. The more we make our views known in conversation, the more others are convinced by our point of view. Our words increase our power the more we broadcast them. However, when there are too many words, we may not hear any of them.

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Surrender to God in prayer and you shall be answered

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 19, 2011

In her autobiography, The Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day tells of a difficult time in her life. She had just converted to Christianity, after a long period of atheism, and then given birth to her daughter.

During her season of atheism, she had fallen in love with a man who had fathered her child, and she and this man, atheists disillusioned with mainstream society, had made a pact never to marry, as statement against the conventions of society.

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Use your time, talent, treasure for Jesus

John Connelly

December 19, 2011
Christmas
December 25, 2011

Imagine if Jesus were born anew in this world today. Imagine God being a baby in our midst. Imagine the Word Made Flesh here and now. Imagine the greatest light of human history shining in the darkness of our times.

Our world today has many similarities to the time when Jesus was born. Oppression. Fear. Spiritual darkness.

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Christmas message from the Canadian bishops

Archbishop Richard Smith

December 19, 2011

Stars give us a sense of direction, and brighten the night. In the Book of Genesis (22.17), they are also a sign of God's blessing. They herald God's promise to Abraham that his and Sarah's descendants will be countless.

In the Book of Numbers (24.17), a star is again a sign and promise of what is to come: "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near – a star shall come out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel."

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Christ came to bring Good News to all

Mark Pickup

December 19, 2011

A tiny heart beat steadily within the baby boy's mother. The blood circulating through that tiny heart would save us and change millions of human hearts across the centuries; hearts of stone and violence would melt into hearts of flesh and peace and joy.

The infant's birth was like no other birth. It had been prophesied hundreds of years earlier. The prophet Isaiah prophesied the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7.14) and of the Davidic line (11.1-2). Micah identified Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born (5.1). People like Simeon and Anna waited expectantly for him.

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Invest in research, not oil lobbyists

Bob McKeon

December 19, 2011

Climate change is very much in the news these days. A decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has been delayed by President Obama in the U.S. The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline through Northern B.C. is experiencing strong opposition from aboriginal leaders and environment groups.

The European Union is proposing to penalize oil coming from Alberta oilsands because of environmental concerns. Canada's position at the UN Climate Change talks in Durban, South Africa, is being widely criticized, both internationally and within Canada.

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How can I find the meaning of Christmas

Sr. Louise Zdunich

December 19, 2011

Christmas was so exciting when I was a child. But sadly, I have lost the meaning of Christmas. I have heard others voicing the same opinion. How can I find Christmas again?

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Advent gives us a sacred place to prepare for Jesus' birth

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December 12, 2011

It is a good thing we have Advent, that season of joyful expectation. Advent becomes more precious every year as the Western world increasingly uses December (and November) to denigrate the human person into a consumption machine whose main social purpose is to prop up a flagging economy.

In Advent, we celebrate anticipation, an anticipation that can never be sated by material possessions. It is only through the coming of God that men and women can be fulfilled. It is only through the divine life with which we are graced by participation in Word and sacrament that we gain a slight taste of the gift that transcends all consumption.

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Surrender to prayer and release yourself from paralyzing fear

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 12, 2011

One reason we need to pray is so that we don't lose heart. We all do sometimes. We lose heart whenever frustration, tiredness, fear and helplessness in the face of life's humiliations conspire to paralyze our energies, deaden our resiliency, drain our courage and leave us feeling weak in depression.

Poet Jill Alexander Essbaum gives us a poignant example of this in her poem Easter. Reflecting on the joy that Easter should bring into our lives, she shares that Easter can instead be a season of defeat for us because its celebration of joy can highlight the shortcomings of our own lives and leave us with the feeling that everyone I've ever loved lives happily just past my able reach.

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God will answer prayers in his own way

Kathleen Giffin

December 12, 2011
Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 18, 2011

There is a pink pencil in the pen holder on my husband's desk. It is 23 years old now, and holds special significance to us because it is the last of those handed out to our friends on the occasion of the birth of our second child.

The days and weeks after her birth were a difficult time for us, for she was diagnosed with a heart defect and Down Syndrome the day she was born. Airlifted to the city, medical interventions, developmental supports, more hospitalizations all followed in the succeeding months.

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