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Terrorism in France: The Enemy in their Midst

The massacre in Paris yesterday marks the beginning, we may presume, of other tragedies to come.  Well over one hundred dead, hundreds more injured, with a bomb going off in the Stade de France where President Hollande himself was taking in the French-German football (soccer) match.   Our first response is to pray for the victims and their families, but there must also be a practical, this-side-of-eternity response also.  Mr. Hollande's promise to 'wage a war without compromise' sort of misses the ... (Continue reading)

The Salvific Power of Beauty

beautiful cathedral

Dostoyevsky wrote, through the voice of Prince Myskin in his novel, The Idiot, that ‘beauty would save the world’. I have often wondered about that quotation, and whether it be true. A month or so ago, our Schola choir traveled to a parish 2 hours from where I live, to sing Schubert's Mass in E flat minor, at an old rite ceremony, in honour of the parish's 75th anniversary. A glorious occasion, with music to suit, but the crowd was thin ... (Continue reading)

Heroism, Then and Now

standing guard

“Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, while others have greatness thrust upon them”.   So wrote Shakespeare in Twelfth Night .   ‘Greatness’ may take various forms, but I have been pondering of late the greatness achieved by heroism.   We may define a hero as one acts ‘above and beyond the call of duty’.  We may speak of heroic courage (the usual sort of hero that comes to mind), but also of heroic sanctity, heroic perseverance in scientific pursuits, heroic devotion ... (Continue reading)

Till We Have Faces: To Niqab, or Not?

***FREELANCE PHOTO - POSTMEDIA NETWORK USE ONLY*** MISSISSAUGA: FEBRUARY 16, 2015 Zunera Ishaq, who wants to be allowed to wear her Niqab during the Canadian citizenship ceremony, poses near home home in Mississauga, Ont. on Monday February 16, 2015.  (J.P. Moczulski for National Post) ORG XMIT: POS1502161205498161

In an interesting turn of events, the niqab, the face-covering veil worn by certain Muslim women, has become a defining election issue in Canada.  Just today, Zunera Ishaq, who had petitioned for the right to take her citizenship oath wearing the veil, took that very oath, yes, with her face covered (she received a court order allowing her to do so which, apparently, our elected government could do nothing to stop).   I wonder if they would let me take the ... (Continue reading)

Primal Rage


This morning, as I begin this column, ten people at a community college in Oregon were killed by yet-another loner gunman, seeking some kind of notoriety and/or settling some ill-defined grievance; the ultimate motive is really yours to choose.  We will never really know, besides the killer's confused on-line postings, for he was shot to death by the police, and has now been judged by God.  Apparently he asked at least some ... (Continue reading)

Political ‘Knifing’?

Political 'Knifing'?

I have been meaning to comment on a ridiculous article in the National Post at the end of August, but one which does pertain, at least indirectly, to the current election.  The article described the supposedly unassailable argument of Deputy Premier Deb Matthews against Patrick Brown on the subject of 'women's rights' and abortion.   Here are the words of Ms. Matthews, for your own consideration:   “Ever since Patrick Brown rose from obscurity to ... (Continue reading)

Liberal Complaisance


As this interminable election process lumbers on, like a dying African elephant stumbling through the savannah, only to curl up beside some fetid swamp, we, the electorate, are in the danger of ennui, and eventually not caring who becomes Prime Minister, nor who forms a government, just to get the whole interminable thing over with. The taxpayer-funded-and-supposedly-neutral CBC is replete with anti-Harper rhetoric, a significant portion of their precious airtime given ... (Continue reading)

Feminine Genius

The call-in show a week or two ago on the CBC, as I enjoyed my very first kefir smoothie (quite enjoyable, in fact, made more so as I thought it was not invented by, nor named after, Kiefer Sutherland...somehow, I connect him with the CBC, perhaps going back to that anti-Catholic CBC screed of a movie, Bay Boy, he was in in 1984...).  Anyway, I digress, the theme of today's CBC show was on women in politics, and in power ... (Continue reading)

Reason and the Refugee

Reason and the Refugee

Following on my last post on the 'refugee crisis': One danger in a situation like this, especially one of its global impact, is to act purely on the basis of emotion, a gut reaction which we later regret. Saint Thomas has an article on 'alsmgiving' (II-II, q.32, a.10), wherein he asks whether the 'giving of alms' (which we can apply to any work of charity) should be an act of reason, and he answers most definitively in the affirmative.  He states ... (Continue reading)

The Refugee Question


The lifeless body of the 2 year old Aylan Kurdi lying face down on a beach has caused outrage around the world (I have shown him here alive and laughing, as he may well be in heaven as I write).  Little Aylan was drowned with his brother and their mother as they tried to make their way across the Mediterranean from Syria to Greece in an overcrowded boat.  In ... (Continue reading)

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