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To Be a Pilgrim: Thanksgiving as a Pilgrimage

thanksgiving

      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)

Einstein’s God

einstein

Max Jammer valiantly tried to make sense of Einstein’s religious notions in his book Einstein and Religion, but few of his readers would contest the view that Einstein’s seemingly contradictory thoughts on religion prove difficult to fathom in a coherent way. As various scholars have noted, Einstein’s genius as a physicist did not carry over to philosophy and theology. In his infamous 1930 essay titled “Religion and Science,” Einstein disparaged the idea of a personal God. He never recanted this ... (Continue reading)

Of Severed Heads, Pronoun Wars and Canaries

head-transplant

An Italian neurosurgeon, Sergio Canavero, is planning to head up the first human body-head transplant, taking the head from a man, Valery Spiridonov, who is suffering from spinal muscular atrophy which confines him to a wheelchair, and putting it on the body of a 'brain dead' victim, I mean, donor. There are so many issues with this prospective $128 million operation, involving apparently 100 surgeons: There has never been a successful head transplant in any animal (at least one that ... (Continue reading)

Saint Caecelia, and What Church Music Should Be

saint-cecilia

Today is the feast of Saint Caecelia, a young virgin martyr in Rome, put to death either in the late second or early third century.  She was married, against her will, during which ceremony she 'sang in her heart to the Lord'.  For that one phrase, she was adopted as the patroness of music (her husband, by the way, according to the tradition, respected her wish to remain a virgin, being baptized himself after a vision of the angel protecting ... (Continue reading)

Laying Heavy Burdens of Carbon

trudeau-climate-change

John Robson is right, when he decries the hypocrisy of Prime Minister Trudeau and his entourage of 225 ‘delegates’ to the ‘climate change’ conference in sunny and warm Morocco.  Yes, you read rightly, that’s 200 plus 25, along with Trudeau, his whole family, and one may presume an in-law  and nanny or two, trailing one giant plume of exhaust, leaving a ‘carbon footprint’ worthy of a entire medium-sized African country.  Do not think these ‘elites’ will be dwelling in ... (Continue reading)

Albertus Magnus

albert-the-great

Saint Albert was called the 'great' even during his lifetime, rumoured to have known everything there was to be known, which may have been sort of possible in the early thirteenth century.  He certainly wrote on almost every subject, and his insights provided much of the basis of what we now know as ‘science’.  One of the first Dominicans, a preacher, scientist, philosopher, prodigious writer, indefatigable walker across thousands of miles of Europe (in their spirit of poverty, the Dominicans ... (Continue reading)

Will it be God or Mammon?

god-and-mammon

The headlines the other day declared in apocalyptic terms that one trillion dollars had gone up in smoke for the worldwide economy when Donald Trump was elected President of the good ole U.S. of A.  It makes one ponder about money, for, as I have written before on the current scale of our monetary system, no one can imagine one trillion dollars.  It would take you over 31,000 years just to count that high, in one second intervals.  And we ... (Continue reading)

Remember Saint Martin

martin

Today we celebrate Remembrance Day (in the United States, Memorial Day), commemorating the cessation of hostilities in World War I, on the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day, in the eleventh month, with the signing of the Armistice in Germany between 5:12 and 5:20 in the morning, their time (even though the war officially did not end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919). Again, in the mysterious designs of providence, on this day in the ... (Continue reading)

Robin Hood “telling his beads”: A Catholic reflection on the prince of thieves

robin-hood

  The legends of Robin Hood and his Merry Men exert a near universal appeal, and have done so for generations. From ballads to books to films, the daring rebel spirit of the Prince of Thieves who, over the course of many mythological transformations, came to be seen as a champion for the common people under an oppressive regime continues to inspire us to stand up for justice in our daily lives. As a figure of myth, he is most likely ... (Continue reading)

Honour and Ambition: Thoughts on the Requirements for Political Office

ambition

Politics is a curious business, and not just in the United States the Big Day approaches:  Here in Ontario, Canada, about a four hour drive from where I live, a nineteen year old Brock university political science student, Sam Oosterhoff, was just chosen as the upcoming candidate for the riding of Niagara West-Glanbrook, and could well be elected the youngest member of provincial parliament in the upcoming by-election. Students around the country still in their teens are now asking, ... (Continue reading)

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