Columns

Spirit's power came alive in surprising explosion of Pentecost

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June 6, 2011

In reading the history of the Second Vatican Council, one cannot help but be awestruck by the enormous trust Blessed Pope John XXIII had in the Holy Spirit. Elected pope at the age of 78, Angelo Roncalli was expected to be a caretaker pope, someone who minded the store for a few years after the long pontificate of Pope Pius XII.

Instead, three months after his election, Pope John called a council of the whole Church. Perhaps he had been waiting in the weeds, hoping for his chance to impose his agenda on an unsuspecting Church? This was nothing of the sort. Pope John had felt a glimmer of an insight, a little spark from the Holy Spirit and realized he must act.

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Forgiveness is the deep secret to joy, dispels bitterness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

June 6, 2011

Somewhere near his 75th birthday, Morris West wrote a series of autobiographical essays entitled, A View From the Ridge. In the Prologue of that book he suggests that at age 75 you need to have only one word left in your spiritual vocabulary, gratitude, and that maturity is attained precisely at that moment when gratitude begins to drown out and cauterize the hurts in your life.

As he describes it: Life has served me as it serves everyone, sometimes well and sometimes ill. But I have learned to be grateful for the gifts of it, for the love that began it and the other loves with which I have been so richly endowed.

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The Holy Spirit plants seeds in everyone

Maria Kozakiewicz

June 6, 2011
Pentecost - June 12, 2011

A couple of days ago I witnessed the Confirmation of 78 children, my two grandsons among them, in the lovely Holy Trinity Church in Spruce Grove. It was a memorable evening and the green fields around the church and the flowers growing around it were a perfect setting for the youth and a symbol for growth.

Although this was a weekday evening and many people must have had a long working day behind them, the church was packed with families and friends of the confirmed. The atmosphere was so joyous, even my own old heart was dancing.

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Canadians deserve a beautiful missal

Fr. Raymond de Souza

June 6, 2011

Canadian parishes will begin preparing soon for the new translation of the Mass, to be implemented in Advent 2011. Yet one decision needs to be made sooner; parishes must order their copies of the new Roman Missal (the book of prayers for Mass used at the altar).

The missal must be beautiful. Anything that is not beautiful should never be on the altar. Our supreme worship of the Lord requires beauty.

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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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Ecumenical movement risks fragmenting

June 6, 2011
FR. THOMAS RYAN, CSP

These are serious times for the ecumenical movement. We are experiencing new divisions, and people are wondering: Is the 'winter' of the ecumenical movement becoming a permanent season?"

So spoke the Rev. Dr. Robert Welsh, president of the Council on Christian Unity for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), in his keynote address at this year's National Workshop on Christian Unity in Pittsburgh, May 9-12.

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John Paul II celebrated humanity over economic systems

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May 30, 2011

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Centesimus Annus, arguably the greatest document in Pope John Paul II's magnificent body of writings.

Expectations for the encyclical were at first modest. Popes had written encyclicals of Church social teaching to mark the 40th, 70th, 80th and 90th anniversaries of Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum.

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We call for violence, revenge — not God

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 30, 2011

God is non-violent. God does not prescribe violence. Violence should never be rationalized in God's name. That is clear in Christian revelation. But that immediately poses the question: What about the violence in Scripture that is attributed to God or to God's direct orders?

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Ascension — Jesus sealing message of hope

Ralph Himsl

May 30, 2011
Ascension — June 5, 2011

Truth will out! And few better places for such an admission than in the text of an essay on the readings for Sunday Mass, you might say. Not a great truth though — merely an acknowledgement of a temptation to write a most trite introduction, "The feast of Ascension commemorates one of the most remarkable events in the life of Jesus."

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Friday's fish and chips say we are Catholic

Fr. Raymond de Souza

May 30, 2011

Fish 'n chips, anyone? It's either that or, given the preponderance of Indian takeout in England today, vegetable samosas and prawn curry for Catholics on Friday come this fall.

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