Guest Faith Columns

In the Catholic Church I found solid ground

This Easter I became a Catholic.

What was a long and sometimes circuitous journey culminated, in a way, at the Easter Vigil as I was confirmed, received into the Church and shared in the eucharistic celebration.

Still astonishing good news 2,000 years later

Through the powerful Scripture readings of the Triduum, and especially the Gospels of the Easter Vigil and Easter morning, we catch glimpses of the profound meaning of the Paschal mystery. How can we give expression to the conquest of death and the harrowing of hell? We must honestly admit to ourselves that we have no words.

Who am I on the Via Dolorosa?

This year on Palm Sunday, we listen attentively to Mark’s Passion story of Jesus’ final days and hours on Earth — a story of striking contrasts. In Mark’s jarring story, we witness the anguish of Jesus who has been totally abandoned by friends and disciples. He is resigned to His fate. He makes no response to Judas when he betrays Him, nor to Pilate during His interrogation. In Mark, Pilate makes no effort to save Him, as the Roman procurator does in the other three Gospels.

The transforming light of Christ’s face

The Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year B) invites us to consider John’s Gospel story from Chapter 12 — a fitting climax to Jesus’ public ministry. It is the last official act before the events of His passion next Sunday.

The Spirit makes rebirth possible for us

The Gospel for the fourth Sunday of Lent (Year B) features a nocturnal conversation between two important religious teachers: on the one hand a notable “teacher of Israel” named Nicodemus, and on the other, Jesus, whom Nicodemus calls a “teacher from God.”

Opening the hearts of the people

John’s account of Jesus’ cleansing of the temple is in sharp contrast to the other Gospel accounts of this dramatic story. In the Synoptic Gospels, this scene takes place at the end of the “Palm Sunday Procession” into the holy city. 

Before the light, there must be darkness

Today’s Old Testament and Gospel readings take place on two important biblical mountains — Mount Moriah and Mount Tabor. Both readings give us profound insights into our God and His Son, Jesus, our Saviour.

Church cares for her 'wounded children'

Below is an edited version of Assumption University’s Christian Culture Lecture delivered by Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., Nov. 23 in La Salle, Ont. Rosica, who attended the Synod of Bishops in October as English language spokesperson, gave a personal account that addressed some misconceptions about what actually happened at the Synod.

Windsorite taught us how to live the Bible

With the sudden death of my Basilian confrère Fr. Ulysse (Bud) Paré on March 25, many tributes and accolades will rightly be heaped upon him for his academic accomplishments, first at the University of Toronto, then at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute and at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. His many former students at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon, the University of Toronto, Assumption University in Windsor and most recently at St. Peter’s Seminary in London will fondly recall his clear, dynamic presentations on exegetical methods and hermeneutical interpretation of the Bible.

Make fasting prayer, almsgiving

For Catholics, the practice of fasting has by and large fallen off the screen, due in large measure to the minimalistic interpretation of what Church members are told “fasting” means: “Take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted as necessary, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.”

Make this a year of prayer, patience

Someone asked me recently, “After the Year of Faith, what will be the Church’s theme in 2014? How does the Pope designate a theme for the year?”

Keep Christ as the reason for the season

In a report on the eve of the 2012 Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., gave a brief but stinging assessment of the impact of secularism in our time. He noted a dramatic reduction in the practise of faith among the baptized from so called First-World countries. In addition, he said entire generations have become disconnected from such “foundational concepts” as marriage, family, common good and right and wrong. Secularism, he said, has created Catholics who are unable to recite the Church’s foundational prayers, who see no value in Mass attendance and who ignore the sacrament of Penance.

In the Lord, there is always healing

This past weekend I re-read A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis’s personal account of dealing with the death of his wife from cancer. I searched the book for some words of comfort to help deal with my own pain at the loss of a family member.