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McLuhan Amongst Moralists: A Retrospective

mcluhan

This retrospective column, from the great professor David Dooley, no stranger to readers of these pages, is curiously prescient in its view of technology, and how it would affect our world, and ourselves, in ways we could not begin to imagine.  (Editor) In an interesting “Mermaid Inn” column in the Toronto Globe and Mail (21 Jan. 1984), my colleague Derrick de Kerckhove suggested that Marshall McLuhan could be one of the best answers to George Orwell’s unsettling novel 1984. Orwell predicted ... (Continue reading)

Euthanasia Death Panel: Harbingers of Doom

euthanasia

Yes, a cheery title for an article, but we are in a serious business, for unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise, Parliament must come up with a law for 'physician-assisted suicide' by this February.  The government has petitioned the Court for a six month extension, but one way or the other, a law is coming down the pipe, it seems.  Unlike the 'question' of abortion, about which there are no federal or provincial laws, even the morally-deficient legislators running our ... (Continue reading)

Theological Notions Simplified for Children

william lane craig

William Lane Craig, a world renowned Christian philosopher, theologian and apologist has written many works at the scholarly level. He has tackled deep issues within the philosophy of religion such as arguments for the existence of God, God’s relationship to time, the compatibility of divine foreknowledge with human free will and, most recently, the problem of God’s relation to abstract objects. On the theological side he has dealt heavily with the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. He has sought, as C.S. Lewis ... (Continue reading)

Saint Raymond, Pope Benedict and the Code of Canon Law

Today is the feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort (1175-1275), one of the first Dominicans (officially known as the Order of Preachers) eventually becoming the third Master General of the Order (after Saint Dominic himself, and Jordan of Saxony), and a fellow Dominican with his even-more famous confrere, Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), encouraging him to write his Summa Contra Gentiles for the conversion of the 'Moors' (Spanish Muslims). Saint Raymond was one of the first modern compilers and codifiers of the ... (Continue reading)

Phil Lynott in retrospect & the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy: from tragedy to Christian hope

Pope Francis has declared that from December 8th, 2015 until November 20th, 2016 will be the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. In the pope’s letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella he states that he wishes “that the Jubilee be a living experience of the closeness of the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible, so that the faith of every believer may be strengthened and thus testimony to it be ever more effective.” The thirtieth anniversary of Phil Lynott’s death gives us the ... (Continue reading)

The Serendipity of Marriage

happily ever after

I attended a winter wedding this past weekend, something I have the honour and privilege of doing more often than most (attend weddings, that is, not specifically winter ones), as many of my former students make that bold and hope-filled move of tying the irrevocable knot. I don't think you will take it as news that there is a crisis of marriage, but even my cynical self was struck by a report that in Italy, not just in the number ... (Continue reading)

Holy, or False, Innocence?

holy innocents

Marc Bauerlein has an insightful essay on false innocence in the recent issue of First Things, describing those who feign an innocence that, perhaps at some level they think they have, but, deeper down, in their heart of hearts, in that still, small voice of conscience I alluded to in my last post, they know they do not. Today we celebrate true innocence, and true innocents, on this blessed feast of the Holy Innocents, a commemoration of all the 'male ... (Continue reading)

How to Receive Gifts, by František Nepil

(translated by Peter Hala) So you see, it’s Christmas again, as if one painted it. Above all, you are smarter and wiser. Now you know what to do next year. You will get your gifts much sooner. Yes, that is the best. To buy gifts in September or October, when you still have plenty of money. But you must also remember that merely buying gifts and placing them under the tree is not enough. You can disappoint the giver, and take ... (Continue reading)

Thoughts on Life and Death on the Feast of Saint Stephen

saint stephen

A very merry, holy and joyous Christmas to all our readers!  The twelve days of Christmas traditionally goes until the solemnity of the Epiphany, on January 6th (in Canada, as with so many of our feasts, transferred to the nearest Sunday).  But Christmas began yesterday, so continue the celebration! But to the point at hand:  Quebec makes one more giant step towards its own cultural and demographic suicide just in time for Christmas, with the top court of the province siding ... (Continue reading)

The Art of Giving and Receiving Gifts

The Art of Giving and Receiving Gifts

The highlight of Christmas is the Midnight Mass. There is an aura and smell of festivities, the church is beautifully decorated, elegantly dressed people are filled with joyous expectation, the choir is at its best singing angelic carols, and children ceremoniously start the mass by placing Baby Jesus into an empty crib.   The sermon about the Good News is usually magnificently simple and direct, but this year Father Joseph used two props, two gifts, which he had hidden under the tree ... (Continue reading)

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