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A Personal Reflection on Truly Accompanying the Dying


(The following letter was sent to Catholic Insight in response to my brief posting on the letter of the Bishops of Atlantic Canada in response to the sacraments and the suicide-euthanasia law, euphemistically termed 'medical assistance in dying'.  Ms. Ackford has kindly agreed to have her letter posted in full, which helps put what this all means into a real, living context.  Accompanying people towards the end of their earthly journey, especially those whom we love most, is difficult, the ... (Continue reading)

A Reflection for Christmas: God, Truth and Love


As Christmas rolls around this year, try not to be swept up with the hoopla of consumerism and economic materialism.  In our day and age, with the technology of smart phones, hi-speed internet, wi-fi access, iPads, new gaming systems, etc., it is easier than ever to get distracted from God, truth, and love. The significance of Christmas, irrespective of the historical origins of its celebration, is the idea that the Second Person of the Trinity invaded the space-time created order and ... (Continue reading)

O Antiphons


Tomorrow, we begin the proximate preparation for Christmas.  I try, in some small way, and not, I must admit, very well, to resist the celebration of Christmas before Christmas.  I know this is a weathered lament, but one that merits restating:  We prepare for Christ in the season of Advent, and we celebrate his arrival with Christmas.  The zeitgeist of the age, outside and, to some extent, even within, the Church, is difficult to resist, with everything from social events ... (Continue reading)

Canadian Pot Heads


The future of Canadian agriculture. Next spring, Trudeau, the only sitting Member of Parliament ever to admit to smoking a joint (and hence breaking the law), along with his majority Liberal government, plan to legalize recreational marijuana in Canada (medicinal/therapeutic use is already legal here in Her Majesty's Dominion); the 'task force' tasked with the weighty task of coming up with 'recommendations' concluded yesterday with various parameters within which this would work:  Only four ... (Continue reading)

The Modern Family and Their Tragic Children


Following upon my post the other day, on the young woman who drowned her newborn, and was let off with more or less a warning, here is another bizarre story, from the opposite end of the spectrum:  An actor, Nick Loeb, of whom I know nothing, is suing his former paramour,  Sofia Vergara, of whom I know now only that she is the highest paid actress on television (she earns $1 million per episode for some show of which ... (Continue reading)

And Thy Word Broke Their Swords: The Empowering Depth and Dimension of Advent and Christmas


There is more to Advent and Christmas than just waiting for and celebrating Christ's birth. It serves as the beginning of an epic, and Advent is the prologue whereby we prepare for the first spellbinding chapter. There's a thread running through Christmas that ties into so many other Christological elements, including Christ as Divine Lover, in concert with the poetry of St. John of the Cross, whose feast aptly coincides with the Advent season on December 14. But I feel this ... (Continue reading)

Sam alone Stands Against the Leviathan


Well, I must eat some of my words about the newly-minted nineteen-year old Member of Provincial Parliament, Sam Oosterhoff, here in Ontario, and I will give credit where credit is due, in short order. First, the background: On November 28th, here in Canada, the provincial government of Ontario voted into law Bill 28, the ominously titled “All Familes are Equal Act”, which, amongst other things, removed the terms 'mother' and 'father' from government documents, making the relation of 'parents' (now ... (Continue reading)

The Diamond of England: The Mission and Martyrdom of St. Edmund Campion


    St. Edmund Campion first became a major part of my life when I was assigned to read Edmund Campion: Hero of God’s Underground by Harold C. Gardiner, S.J. I was in 4th Grade at the time and already fascinated by England thanks to my earlier love-affair with Robin Hood. But the story of Fr. Campion opened up a whole new dimension of interest for me. The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales became my role-models for both their heroism and humanity, and the ... (Continue reading)

Cultural Divides


You may have read a couple of weeks or so ago of a Montreal housing complex here in Canada that was until recently moving in the direction of becoming more or less an Islamic enclave, fully compliant with Sharia law. For one thing, they would refuse to pay interest on their mortgages, which Nabil Warda, the mover and shaker behind this scheme, describes it in these terms: “A lot of Muslims have problems with the idea of interest, which in ... (Continue reading)

To Be a Pilgrim: Thanksgiving as a Pilgrimage


      Thanksgiving, for most people here in America, is something of a precursor of Christmas that initiates a deluge of holiday hits playing ad nauseum in public and private locales until sugar plum fairies dance in your worst nightmares. It is a day when family and friends gather together across a table laden with various delicacies erroneously claimed to be eaten by Pilgrims and Indians, trying their best to avoid ever-controversial politics and religious topics that just might start a ... (Continue reading)

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