Columns

Light of the World is brighter than torches, lanterns

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
June 1, 2015

What's the use of an old-fashioned, hand-held lantern? Well, its light can be quite useful when it's pitch dark, but it becomes superfluous and unnoticeable in the noonday sun. Still, this doesn't mean its light is bad, only that it's weak. If we hold that image in our minds, we will see both a huge irony and a profound lesson in the Gospels when they describe the arrest of Jesus. The Gospel of John, for example, describes his arrest this way: "Judas brought the cohort to this place together with guards sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, all carrying lanterns and torches."

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Eucharistic presence transforms hearts

Lydia Cristini
June 1, 2015
Corpus Christi
June 7, 2015

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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Today's culture of freedom calls for Church's enlightened response

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June 1, 2015

Anti-religious secularism would appear to have won the game in Western civilization. The highest value today, a value which cannot be questioned, is that of human freedom. The autonomous individual is king (or queen) in our culture, and any societal force which attempts to limit that autonomy is playing a reprehensible game. The Church - the Catholic Church above all - is, not without reason, cast as the main opponent of the culture of individualism. It is the Church, so the theory goes, that "imposes" moral obligations and duties on its flock and would like to do so for the whole of society.

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Focus on royals diverts attention from negative news

Lasha Morningstar
June 1, 2015

I once wondered why my mother kept a scrapbook of photos of the royal family. She would cut out the candid and posed shots from newspapers and magazines and paste them in big, blue scrapbooks. The scrapbooks were for her eyes and hands only. But I would catch glimpses of the pages when she would sit at the library table in the living room, gluepot and scissors at the ready, leafing through The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Life Magazine.

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We plant seeds and God makes them grow

Kathleen Giffin
June 1, 2015
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 14, 2015

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.

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Musical interlude dropkicked me through the goalposts of life

Dr. Gerry Turcotte
June 1, 2015

The role of a university president is varied and always interesting. I can truly say I was prepared for the bulk of the issues that have come my way, but there are still some that have caught me by surprise. Sometimes an issue can emerge that is so unexpected that it leaves me speechless. One of the most unusual matters I dealt with last year was a formal complaint about our answering service.

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Taxes contribute to the common good

Joe Gunn
June 1, 2015

Canadian politicians are now watching the polls more closely than my kitten watches her food bowl. This is a federal election year, and political parties are hungrily attempting to offer tax cuts as the solution to all the world's problems - and to winning power. The Conservative budget, released on April 21 and furiously advertised on TV at our expense ever since, did not even mention the word "poverty." It highlighted income splitting and almost doubling tax free savings account limits (that is, tax benefits that predominantly benefit the well-off).

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Four principles to guide the new gov't in serving the common good

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May 18, 2015

The election of Alberta's first New Democratic Party government promises to usher in a period of political change which will be both exciting and uncertain. We have heard many times in recent weeks that business does not like uncertainty, but uncertainty is a normal part of democracy. While thanking all those MLAs defeated in the May 5 election for their years of public service, we also congratulate Premier Rachel Notley and her new government. That government, we hope, will be guided by four basic principles:

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Eucharistic Prayer should include prayer for other churches

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
May 18, 2015

Dear Bishops:

I write to you as a loyal son of the Catholic Church, with a particular request: Could you make an addition to our present Eucharistic Prayers to include an explicit invocation for other Christian churches and for those who lead them? For example, could the prayer for the Church and its leadership in our various Eucharistic canons have these additions: "Remember, Lord, your entire Church, spread throughout the world, and bring her to the fullness of charity, together with N. our Pope and N. our Bishop, together with all who help lead other Christian churches, and all the clergy." Might our Eucharistic Prayers have this kind of inclusivity?

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The Spirit's truth brings new life

Maria Kozakiewicz
May 18, 2015
Pentecost
May 24, 2015

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?

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