Articles from August, 2016

Nature and Poetry

Lion's Head, Bruce Trail

I apologize to my merry band of faithful readers for not posting for a bit.  I have been away, with limited time to write, and limited access to the internet (not a bad thing).  I took this last week, without much aforethought before students descend upon our humble campus and classes begin, , to help my brother and his father-in-law build a shed (which was more like a small, one room house, and will in the end be quite splendid) ... (Continue reading)

Good King Louis

louis ix

We celebrate today in the universal Church one of my own favorites (not least since I was baptized on this day in bonnie Scotland many moons ago) King Saint Louis IX, who ruled France during the golden era of the 13th century, and was a personal friend of one my other favorites, Saint Thomas Aquinas. There is an anecdote that at a royal banquet in the presence of his royal majesty, the good Dominican (who although Italian by birth, spent much ... (Continue reading)

Must We Believe that Islam is Peaceful?

islam peaceful

In another well-reasoned article by William Kilpatrick (we may disagree with some of his tone, but his points are good), he alludes to a curious exchange of late between Robert Spencer, who runs Jihad Watch, and Monsignor Robert Swetland, on the apparently peaceful nature of Islam, following upon the Holy Father's remarks to that effect.  There was some debate whether Catholics are 'bound' to believe that Islam is, by its nature, irenic.  I listened to the end of ... (Continue reading)

Enhancing the End of the Olympics

caster

Thus endeth the 2016 Rio Olympics, with their share of oddities, but without major mishap or terrorist attack, God be praised.  Canada finished in the top ten of medal winning countries, so, with all of the caveats I have mentioned in the previous few articles, congratulations to all the athletes. One final word on the future of athletics, as they already plan for the next conglomeration in Japan in 2020.  Maybe it is just me, but is there a certain ennui ... (Continue reading)

Clarifying Thoughts on the Olympic Ideal

sports

I suppose I am in the Olympic mood, but a couple of further thoughts on sports and athletics, which are on most people's minds, not least in Canada, which won a gold medal yesterday in high jump, when Derek Drouin leapt over 2.38 metres, or just a tad over 7.8 feet.  Impressive, if my anti-Olympic self might without hypocrisy say so. Which leads me into a clarification:  Please do be aware, dear readers, that I do consider sports as good, even ... (Continue reading)

Bodily and Spiritual Strength

Arnold

While we're on the theme of athletics, I came across an article claiming that men are 30% weaker now than they were even a scant 30 years ago.  Not surprising, one may assume, as the article itself attests, given the increased sedentary nature of our lives, dominated by technology.  Most jobs involve tapping upon a keyboard, or moving a virtual mouse over a screen, neither of which is exactly a strenuous activity.  The article claims that there were more ... (Continue reading)

Hydro Rates, Jet Set Ministers and Sid the Kid

It was reported the other day that it is now economically impossible for hydro rates to decrease in Ontario.  You may wonder why, and if I can find the article again, I will link to it:  The basic premise is that the Liberal government, under McGuinty and Wynne, have bound Ontarians to contracts with 'green' energy producers, so that we (the consumers) buy their so-called clean energy (wind, solar) at a rate many times higher than so-called 'dirty' energy (gas, ... (Continue reading)

The Neo-Pagan Limits of the Olympics

Rio Olympics

The much-awaited Olympics is now upon us in Rio, a city in a country in a continent mired in unmanageable debt and corruption.  Surrounded by poverty-stricken favelas, the city has poured billions into Olympic venues, security, advertisement, all to watch a few thousand overhyped young athletes strive to excel at their chosen sport. Don't get me wrong: I do not harbour any dislike, to say nothing of hatred, for athletics.  In fact, I have enjoyed many pleasant hours playing various kinds of ... (Continue reading)

Papal Reverence

pope francis jan 30

We are in the midst of an enigmatic papacy, and many Catholics know not how to respond to Pope Francis.  Well, some think they do, and are rather vociferous in their comments, on either side of the spectrum. Just to be clear:  When I write of the Pope, or the Church in general, my intent is not to criticize the Holy Father or undermine his authority, but to seek clarity in his sometimes ambiguous, or even his not-so-ambiguous, words. Many have an ... (Continue reading)

Pope Francis, Islam and World Youth Day

pope francis and islam

I suppose Pope Francis is correct that we should not strictly identify Islam with terrorism, but a lot depends on how one defines 'terrorism'.  What are we to make of Islam's decree of a death sentence on apostasy and blasphemy?  Would that not count as 'terrorism', nothing else but coercion by violence?  One does wonder.  The Pope further claims that all religions, even Catholicism, have 'fundamentalist' groups that (as he implies) are just as violent.  Does the Holy Father ... (Continue reading)

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