Columns

Jesuit makes writers 'gold' available to average Catholics

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 28, 2011

One reason why we don't often find a good Christian apologetics today is because so many of our best theologians write at such a level of academia that their thoughts are not accessible to the ordinary person in the pews. Apologists like C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton are rare. We have great thinkers in theology today, but unfortunately many of them cannot be profitably read outside of academic settings.

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Blind man has personal epiphany

Ralph Himsl

March 28, 2011

If we confine our acquaintance with the Gospels to the readings set out for the Masses, we run a risk of missing an interesting something, namely the difference in the writing style of the evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

By way of example: Reading the complete Gospel of Luke and that of John makes the point. Luke's Gospels, often so spare in their details can occasionally read like a police report, like a response to Sgt. Joe Friday's challenge to witnesses in Dragnet, that TV series of long ago. "All we want are the facts," he would growl.

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Christ's dying to save me is more than I can comprehend

Mark Pickup

March 28, 2011

One of the great problems I have faced in my Christian walk is that of grasping the enormity of God's love. Quite simply, I can not internalize or understand the immense love behind the cross. For Christ to willingly suffer and die to save someone such as me is too much for my puny mind to comprehend. I must simply accept that it is true. It is a mystery that confounds me.

Easter breaks my heart. How can I possibly repay Christ for what he has done for me? It is impossible. All I can do in response by surrendering to Christ's perfect love is to try to love him in return.

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Face it — there is no such thing as a free lunch

Gordon Self

March 28, 2011

In this column I raise everyday ethical issues. Occasionally, unique ethical quandaries trigger reflection as in last month's column around boundary setting without judging or abandoning people living with addictions.

But certainly all of us can relate to managing another moral boundary — accepting gifts that come with strings attached. In this case, how do we ensure gift-giving practices do not cause us to abandon our own integrity?

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Pope melds theology with literary elements

Fr. Raymond de Souza

March 28, 2011

Why does Pope Benedict bother to write books? Long before his election to the See of Peter he was established as a leading theologian of his generation. Being universal pastor of the Church is a crushing job, so why add to it by embarking on a massive scholarly project?

Evidently the pope enjoys writing theology. The deeper reason though is that Benedict knows, with all humility, that he is better at it than anyone else. Just as the soon-to-be-Blessed John Paul II knew that he had a special gift for leading massive, history-changing public manifestations of the faith, Benedict likely concludes that if the Lord wanted him as pope then he should do what God gave him the talent to do.

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Evolution — a theory, but not everything

March 28, 2011
BR. JOACHIM OSTERMANN, OFM
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Often, I am asked whether I believe in evolution or whether evolution is a fact. These are complicated questions, but most who ask them expect a clear and simple answer. So I have learned to simply say "yes, evolution is a fact."

However, I quite disagree with those who think that evolution is the answer to all there is to ask about life. Evolution is a theory of something, but not everything.

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Incarnate Word shines through Mary at the birth of her Son

March 28, 2011
ANNE MARIE POSELLA
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

At the birth of my first child, I experienced in a personal way the fulfillment of God's promises. I remember how close I felt to the Lord during my pregnancy, despite the physical difficulties of childbearing.

Very early on Christmas morning, I travelled to hospital and laboured through the dark hours to deliver my daughter. In the gift of Hannah's birth, I came to a deeper understanding of the events of the Nativity, when God's promise of salvation is fulfilled in one tiny, human baby.

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Pope's new book calls us to know and love Jesus

WCR Logo

March 21, 2011

In the Foreword to the new volume of his book Jesus of Nazareth, Joseph Ratzinger says he wants to lead his readers to both a personal encounter with Jesus and to "sure knowledge of the real historical figure of Jesus." The two goals are compatible, a fact that Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) has long striven to articulate and defend. It is possible to both know and love Jesus.

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Jesus' death on the cross ricochets through history

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 21, 2011

We are saved by the death of Jesus. All Christians believe this. This is a central tenet within the Christian faith and the centre of almost all Christian iconography. Jesus' death on a cross changed history forever. Indeed, we measure time by it. The effect of his death so marked the world that, not long after he died, the world began to measure time by him. We are in the year 2011 since Jesus was born.

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God's spiritual food may be bittersweet

John Connelly

 

March 21, 2011

In this week's Gospel, Jesus says of himself, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work."

Jesus came to do the will of his Father. This was the spiritual food that he ate. His entire life was dedicated to this purpose.

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