Columns

Mary's spirit rejoices in God her Saviour

Maria Kozakiewicz

December 5, 2011
Third Sunday in Advent
December 11, 2011

There are few words of Mary, mother of God, preserved in Scripture. She is the quietest of biblical women and although she is Jesus' first and the longest-serving disciple and also the one who stood by him under the cross, we hardly hear her voice.

There is the simple question she asks the angel Gabriel: "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" and then comes her consent: "Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word."

Read the rest of entry »

So whose birthday is it anyway?

Bishop Fred Henry

December 5, 2011

An eight-year-old boy named Jason lived in the land of puzzling tales where the unexpected always happened.

Instead of football, they played knee-ball; instead of children going to school, the teachers went to homes. In the summer, it was not uncommon to see the water freeze; in the winter, leaves grew on the trees. It was a strange place.

Read the rest of entry »

Why does the Creed not mention belief in the Eucharist

Sr. Louise Zdunich

December 5, 2011

In the Apostles Creed, why is the Holy Eucharist not mentioned? Or is it understood to be in the "holy Catholic Church" or the "the Communion of saints"?

I would think it would be more specific as is the sacrament of reconciliation in "the forgiveness of sin."

Was this creed written by the Apostles?

Read the rest of entry »

No one needs to spend Christmas alone

Lasha Morningstar

December 5, 2011

Bodytext

Christmas comes with its predictable colours – red and green for the conventional secular world and purple and pink – the hues of Advent – for the Christian world.

But for some of us, another colour creeps into this season – blue.

Read the rest of entry »

Religious liberty threatened both by tyrants and in the lands of the free

Fr. Raymond de Souza

December 5, 2010

Last month the bishops of the United States gathered in Baltimore, their premier diocese, and protested the erosion of the founding liberties of the American republic. In their annual plenary meeting the bishops designated threats to religious liberty as a key pastoral concern.

The American bishops are right to be alarmed, but not only them. Religious liberty is under threat all over the world.

Read the rest of entry »

God bless us everyone, says Tiny Tim

Mark Pickup

December 5, 2011

Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love everything about it including the smallest details and traditions commonly associated with the season.

Throughout the last half of November my wife resisted my requests to put up the Christmas tree. She reminded me that it takes up too much space in the living room for my electric wheelchair to manoeuvre easily. She was right. The Christmas tree stayed in the basement until Dec. 1.

Read the rest of entry »

Push for euthanasia highlights crisis of the western world

WCR Logo

November 28, 2011

Two Canadian reports released in mid-November highlight the grave moral crisis facing Western society. First came the report of a committee of the Royal Society of Canada advocating the legalization of euthanasia, even for cases in which there has been no diagnosis of terminal illness.

The Royal Society report was followed two days later by that of a parliamentary committee calling for more effective palliative care, suicide prevention and elder abuse intervention across the land.

Read the rest of entry »

Entry to heaven requires reference letter from the poor

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 28, 2011

I doubt that any of us would have the raw courage to preach this, just as it is written in the Gospels, from any pulpit today. Yet Jesus meant it. Nobody gets to heaven without a letter of reference from the poor.

Now there's a whole series of challenges in this.

Read the rest of entry »

Celebrate the virtue of each Advent week

Ralph Himsl

November 28, 2011
Second Sunday in Advent
December 4,2011

Some traditions assign particular, how shall I say – virtues to each Sunday in Advent: hope, peace, joy, love for each of the first to the fourth respectively.

Memory tells me that we mark the Third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday, quite in line with the tradition. As Catholics, we have a leaning toward historical roots that prefer Latin for an idea when we wish to assign it a special elegance. So we refer to the Third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday, always with the explanation, "Gaudete means rejoice".

Read the rest of entry »

New missal offers courtly upgrade to enrich liturgy

Fr. Robert Barron

November 28, 2011

Commencing the First Sunday of Advent, the Church will be using a new translation of the Roman Missal. I would like to emphasize that this in no way represents a return to "the old Mass," for the Latin texts that provide the basis for the new translation were all approved after Vatican II.

So why the change? What had come increasingly to bother a number of bishops, priests and liturgists over the years was that the translation of the liturgical texts, made in some haste in the late sixties of the last century, was not sufficiently faithful to the Latin and was, at least in some instances, informed by questionable theological assumptions.

Read the rest of entry »