Columns

From the category archives: Mark Pickup

Mark Pickup

Abortion opens the door for euthanasia

Mark Pickup

August 29, 2011

Canada and the United States treat abortion as a right. This is a recent development and an aberration from the course of human history.

The Hippocratic Oath for doctors dating back thousands of years forbade abortion and euthanasia. Since the first century, the Catholic Church has unwaveringly maintained the moral evil of procured abortion. Ancient and persistent common law traditions dating back into the Middle Ages treated abortion as a grave crime. In 1802, England formally made abortion a criminal offence.

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Grieving parents: Your hope is not futile

Mark Pickup

July 18, 2011

Recently I was at a park with some of my grandchildren. A woman arrived with a couple of her grandchildren. We started talking. At one point, she revealed that she lost a grandson to heart disease when he was only seven. Needless to say, I was stunned.

As we talked further I discovered that she turned her grief into positive action through starting a charity to raise funds for research, education and to offer support to families of children with heart disease or who have lost children to it. This is a wonderful example of turning a negative into a positive — a terrible tragedy into something good.

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The poor in spirit look to God for hope

Mark Pickup

July 4, 2011

The Gospel reading for July 3 has a passage from Matthew (11.25-30). It is the beloved passage where Jesus says "Come to me, all you who weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Our Lord was extending an invitation to follow him and be obedient to his words.

From the writings of the saints and testimonies of countless Christians throughout the centuries, we know these words of Jesus are true. Although Jesus was addressing Jews suffering under the weight of unnecessary religious responsibilities of the Pharisees, his invitation was, and remains, open to all.

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Loved one's death opens memory's door

Mark Pickup

June 20, 2011

This week I heard about the death of a family friend: Dr. Hugh Maclure. His passing marked the end of an era for me: He and my father were good friends beginning in the 1950s when I was a small boy. They shared similar Christian world views and general outlook on life.

Although my father died more than 40 years ago, being in the company of Dr. Maclure reminded me of that world.

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Apologetics arms Christians so they can defend their hope

Gordon Self

June 6, 2011

My dictionary defines apologetics as a "systematic and logical defence of Christianity against its detractors and unbelievers." In 1 Peter 3.15, Christians are told to be ready to give a reason (apologia) for their hope in Christ.

Apologetics can draw people to Christ as we read in the Acts of the Apostles with St. Peter at Pentecost. Peter's sermon was a classic example of apologetics. It drew 3,000 people to faith in Christ. St. Paul's witness in Athens was another example of apologetics. It is documented in Acts 17.17-34.

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Ultrasound's image saves unborn lives

Mark Pickup

May 23, 2011

The city council of Rockford, Ill., was recently asked to vote on whether to allow a mobile ultrasound van to park near a local abortion clinic. It would offer free ultrasound services to women about to enter the Northern Illinois Women's Center.

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Peel back the facade of compassion

Mark Pickup

May 9, 2011

It amazes me that in the 21st century people still pose the ridiculous question: “When do you think life begins?” Quite frankly, it does not matter when you or I think life begins: Biology established long ago — before abortion on demand became legal in Canada — that human life begins at conception.

People who pretend otherwise must rely on sophistry and public ignorance about the reality of prenatal life to make abortion seem acceptable.

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Christ's resurrection heals broken hearts

Mark Pickup

April 18, 2011

Have you ever been so heartbroken and had your hopes so shattered that you could scarcely consider what your future holds or whether you even had a future? That is what it must have been like for the disciples the day after Jesus was crucified.

They had placed their faith in him and dared to hope he was the Messiah and now he lay dead in a tomb. The terrible events of the previous day left them numb and heartsick. The raw grief within the remaining 11 disciples must have felt like a gaping wound pulsating in their chests.

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Christ's dying to save me is more than I can comprehend

Mark Pickup

March 28, 2011

One of the great problems I have faced in my Christian walk is that of grasping the enormity of God's love. Quite simply, I can not internalize or understand the immense love behind the cross. For Christ to willingly suffer and die to save someone such as me is too much for my puny mind to comprehend. I must simply accept that it is true. It is a mystery that confounds me.

Easter breaks my heart. How can I possibly repay Christ for what he has done for me? It is impossible. All I can do in response by surrendering to Christ's perfect love is to try to love him in return.

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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.

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