Columns

From the category archives: Opinion

Opinion

Face it — there is no such thing as a free lunch

Gordon Self

March 28, 2011

In this column I raise everyday ethical issues. Occasionally, unique ethical quandaries trigger reflection as in last month's column around boundary setting without judging or abandoning people living with addictions.

But certainly all of us can relate to managing another moral boundary — accepting gifts that come with strings attached. In this case, how do we ensure gift-giving practices do not cause us to abandon our own integrity?

Read the rest of entry »

Pope melds theology with literary elements

Fr. Raymond de Souza

March 28, 2011

Why does Pope Benedict bother to write books? Long before his election to the See of Peter he was established as a leading theologian of his generation. Being universal pastor of the Church is a crushing job, so why add to it by embarking on a massive scholarly project?

Evidently the pope enjoys writing theology. The deeper reason though is that Benedict knows, with all humility, that he is better at it than anyone else. Just as the soon-to-be-Blessed John Paul II knew that he had a special gift for leading massive, history-changing public manifestations of the faith, Benedict likely concludes that if the Lord wanted him as pope then he should do what God gave him the talent to do.

Read the rest of entry »

Evolution — a theory, but not everything

March 28, 2011
BR. JOACHIM OSTERMANN, OFM
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Often, I am asked whether I believe in evolution or whether evolution is a fact. These are complicated questions, but most who ask them expect a clear and simple answer. So I have learned to simply say "yes, evolution is a fact."

However, I quite disagree with those who think that evolution is the answer to all there is to ask about life. Evolution is a theory of something, but not everything.

Read the rest of entry »

Incarnate Word shines through Mary at the birth of her Son

March 28, 2011
ANNE MARIE POSELLA
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

At the birth of my first child, I experienced in a personal way the fulfillment of God's promises. I remember how close I felt to the Lord during my pregnancy, despite the physical difficulties of childbearing.

Very early on Christmas morning, I travelled to hospital and laboured through the dark hours to deliver my daughter. In the gift of Hannah's birth, I came to a deeper understanding of the events of the Nativity, when God's promise of salvation is fulfilled in one tiny, human baby.

Read the rest of entry »

Pope's new book calls us to know and love Jesus

WCR Logo

March 21, 2011

In the Foreword to the new volume of his book Jesus of Nazareth, Joseph Ratzinger says he wants to lead his readers to both a personal encounter with Jesus and to "sure knowledge of the real historical figure of Jesus." The two goals are compatible, a fact that Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) has long striven to articulate and defend. It is possible to both know and love Jesus.

Read the rest of entry »

Jesus' death on the cross ricochets through history

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 21, 2011

We are saved by the death of Jesus. All Christians believe this. This is a central tenet within the Christian faith and the centre of almost all Christian iconography. Jesus' death on a cross changed history forever. Indeed, we measure time by it. The effect of his death so marked the world that, not long after he died, the world began to measure time by him. We are in the year 2011 since Jesus was born.

Read the rest of entry »

God's spiritual food may be bittersweet

John Connelly

 

March 21, 2011

In this week's Gospel, Jesus says of himself, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work."

Jesus came to do the will of his Father. This was the spiritual food that he ate. His entire life was dedicated to this purpose.

Read the rest of entry »

God says the sun sets, but it also rises

Mark Pickup

March 21, 2011

Do old men have dreams?" asked Jeanette as she watched her 88-year-old father through the window of the cottage they rented for a week in the Rockies.

Bill Richards was standing alone on the deck looking at the natural majesty around him. It was dusk. The last vestiges of daylight were slipping behind a snow-capped mountain in the distance. It was the end of another day of more than 32,000 previous days that had passed in Bill's long life. There was something sad yet symbolic in the scene.

Read the rest of entry »

How can I pray better during Lent?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

March 21, 2011

Lent is a time for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I can understand fasting and almsgiving. But how can I pray?

Read the rest of entry »

We help the needy because we are Catholic

Bob McKeon

March 21, 2011

Last month, the Nothing More Beautiful presenters at the basilica spoke a powerful social justice message. One quote from Lesley-Anne Knight, the secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis, struck a special chord with me.

She said: "I am sometimes asked why, as a Catholic organization, we (Caritas) deliver aid to people of other faiths, Muslims and Buddhists. My answer is always that we help people not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholics."

Read the rest of entry »