Columns

Despite imperfections, calendars bring us to moments of celebration

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

December 23, 2013

The end of one year and the beginning of another is strange in anyone's language. Enormous energy is expended preparing for a transition time that is, let's be honest, fictional at best.

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Mandela chose peace; Mugabe opted for the path of division

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December 16, 2013

Nelson Mandela is rightly being eulogized as a great world leader who endured imprisonment and brought about a peaceful end to South Africa’s apartheid regime. Mandela’s greatness should be seen in contrast with the corruption of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe. Their early lives and political situations were similar; the fruits of their political stewardship could not be more different.

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Set your spiritual alarm clock and embrace life

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 16, 2013

In his autobiography, Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis recounts a conversation he once had with an old monk. Kazantzakis, a young man at the time, was visiting a monastery and was very taken by a famed ascetic, Father Makarios, who lived there. But a series of visits with the old monk left him with some ambivalent feelings as well.

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Advent – a time of waiting for the Divine Physician

John Connelly

December 16, 2013
Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 22, 2013

The last few days I have not been feeling well. Some sort of winter flu in my chest, causing the usual aches and pains. I am always amazed how our perspective changes when we are not well. We become lethargic, withdrawn and generally miserable with the thoughts looped in our brain. I hope I get better soon.

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Why is St. Barnabas rarely mentioned?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

December 16, 2013

In reading Church history, I found that Barnabas was the only educated disciple among the early followers of Jesus. Barnabas was well-versed in Hebrew and Aramaic, the languages in which Jesus preached. I find it surprising that little is mentioned of his own account of Jesus' preaching.

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Say 'no' to gaps between rich and poor, writes Francis

Bob McKeon

December 16, 2013

Last weekend, I took the time to read Pope Francis' new apostolic letter Evangelii Gaudium. It is a demanding read (85 pages, single spaced). It is a joyful, exciting, surprising and hope-filled text that continually challenges the reader.

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Francis exhorts us to unite faith and life

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December 9, 2013

Pope Francis has produced a marvellous apostolic exhortation in Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of Evangelization). There was a time when one might have expected that such a document would be about turning "pagans" into crisp new Catholics. That day is long gone.

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Every tear brings the messiah closer

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 9, 2013

People are always impatient, but God is never in a hurry!" Nikos Kazantzakis wrote those words and they highlight an important truth: We need to be patient, infinitely patient, with God. We need to let things unfold in their proper time, God's time.

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Advent offers space to surrender hearts, trust God's mystery

Kathleen Giffin

December 9, 2013
Third Sunday in Advent
December 15, 2013

In the early years of our marriage, I was often frustrated by the differences between my husband and me.

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Christ's light wraps the sorrowful world in his healing peace

Mark Pickup

December 9, 2013

In the First Reading for the Dec. 8 Mass we read from Isaiah 11: "The wolf will live with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the kid, The calf and the lion and fatling together, And a little child shall lead them."

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