Columns

Pope's expansive vision meets closed minds in Bundestag

Fr. Raymond de Souza

October 3, 2011

It's not right to characterize a people by their elected representatives. Who among us would advise our visitors that the Canadian character is what one witnesses, say, in the House of Commons during Question Period?

So the fact that many members of the German federal parliament (Bundestag) boycotted Pope Benedict's speech in that chamber last week ought not be held against the German people.

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Alta. Government's moral blindness jeopardizes our future

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October 3, 2011

The longstanding attitude of the Alberta government that all of the province's petroleum resources must be developed as rapidly as possible remains one of its most morally dubious stances. Oil and gas are finite resources, resources that, however, will not disappear of their own accord. As well, the markets for those resources are not going away in the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, the residents of Alberta have been subjected to a boom-and-bust economy with a discouraging rhythm of a skyrocketing cost of living followed by unemployment and government cutbacks. As well, while environmental safeguards for the industry and oilsands development are improving, there is still vast room for improvements.

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Today's celebrity culture blinds us to true heroism

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 3, 2011

Among all the great stories in the world, the most common, best-known and perennially intriguing are those that deal with heroes and heroines. These are stories that describe someone, a man or a woman who has to journey through danger, suffering, opposition, misunderstanding and humiliation to achieve some noble goal.

These kinds of stories abound in classical mythology, Scripture, epic novels and popular movies. The details of the stories vary enormously, but they have a common pattern: For noble reasons, the hero or heroine must descend into some underworld of suffering and endure that suffering, usually in the face of fierce misunderstanding and opposition, so as to eventually emerge victorious, a conqueror, a hero, an object of admiration and as one who now somehow stands above others because of this achievement.

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Jesus' love heals the dark night of the soul

Maria Kozakiewicz

October 3, 2011
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 9, 2011

I still remember my first reading of the famous Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

I stumbled upon this text while browsing through the rich library of my priest-friend. The book of Psalms I was holding in my hands was small and tattered, with many notes and exclamation marks in the margins.

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A broken mind deserves compassionate care

Mark Pickup

October 3, 2011

My wife, LaRee, never knew her maternal grandmother. Her grandmother's name was Dora and she suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Dora was institutionalized in a mental hospital in 1932 at 34 years of age.

Seventy-five years ago the shame and stigma of having a family member in a mental institution was so great that few people in the family ever mentioned Dora. She never got out of a mental hospital and eventually died there. Life went on and it was as though Dora never existed. It seemed that everyone forgot about her — but my wife did not forget.

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Tuck an unwanted baby in Angel's Cradle

Lasha Morningstar

October 3, 2011

A sound like a cat crying came from the dumpster. The passerby stopped. He turned to walk away, but the cry came again.

So he went to the dumpster, hoisted himself up, looked into the mass of black and green garbage bags to see if he could find the yowling animal.

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Bored at Mass? Give your soul a shake, rejoice at the miracle

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September 26, 2011

So the Mass is boring, is it? What would help? Perhaps a brass band marching through the church? Maybe replacing the praying with card or video games of one's choice? Or, might such new wrinkles also become boring once they had been tried a few times?

Complaints about the Mass being boring sound much like the whining of the Israelites after they had received the miracle of manna in the desert: "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food" (Numbers 21.5).

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Passionate fire fizzles, but devout faith builds a solid, sufficient creed

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

September 26, 2011

Several years ago, a friend of mine made a very un-Hollywood type of marriage proposal to his fiancé: He was in his mid-forties and had suffered a number of disillusioning heartbreaks, some of which, by his own admission, were his own fault, the result of feelings shifting unexpectedly on his part.

Now, in mid-life, struggling not to be disillusioned and cynical about love and romance, he met a woman whom he deeply respected, much admired, and with whom he felt he would like to build a life. But, unsure of himself, he was humble in his proposal.

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God's vineyard demands righteous tending

Ralph Himsl

September 26, 2011
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 5, 2011

The English language and no doubt many languages have an expression that covers the trap implied in the words, "I don't mean to criticize, but . . ." The use of these words seeks forgiveness of those listening for what follows. I find myself about to step into that trap.

Today's Gospel plunges us into a serious discussion between Jesus and some Temple bigwigs, the chief priests and elders.

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Slam the brakes on distracted driving

Gordon Self

September 26, 2011

Alberta's new Distracted Driver Legislation came into effect Sept. 1. It is now illegal to use hand-held cell phones, text, manually input GPS data, read, write or engage in personal grooming while driving.

Alberta has one of the toughest laws in Canada, joining other provinces in clamping down on the growing trend of inattentive drivers behind the wheel.

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