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The Blessings of Monotony


(As we all enter back into our 'ordinary' routines after Chrismas holidays, it is good to reflect upon the blessings of monotony, upon which I myself have been pondering of late, the praise of doing small things well, by doing them often. We have much to learn from children in this regard, for they are rarely ever bored. Hence, I thought this article from our archives, originally published in 2012, would benefit us once again. Editor).... (Continue reading)

Apostasy in Shusaku Endo’s Silence


A recent article in First Things by J.D. Flynn reflects upon Shusaku Endo’s 1966 Japanese novel Silence, now being released as a film directed by Martin Scorcese (which should tell you something). The tale follows an idealistic Jesuit missionary who, towards the end of the story, well, in Flynn’s words: At its pivotal moment, Silence’s protagonist, the Jesuit missionary Sebastian Rodrigues, faces a terrible choice: He can hold fast to orthodoxy, or he can repudiate it and thereby alleviate the serious, immediate, and temporal sufferings of a ... (Continue reading)

A Chrismas Poem, by G.K. Cheserton


There fared a mother driven forth Out of an inn to roam; In the place where she was homeless All men are at home. The crazy stable close at hand, With shaking timber and shifting sand, Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand Than the square stones of Rome. For men are homesick in their homes, And strangers under the sun, And they lay their heads in a foreign land Whenever the day is done. Here we have battle and blazing eyes, And chance and honour and high surprise, But our homes are ... (Continue reading)

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)

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