More than a week has passed since Easter and there is still chocolate sitting in the Easter baskets. We are gradually learning that joy can be spread over many days in small doses, rather than trying to consume it all at once. Though the Easter baskets appear on Sunday morning, the resurrection in my life rarely arrives overnight. New life is emerging more than arriving suddenly.

An excerpt from Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi Message on Easter Sunday, 2024.

Quinton Amundson’s recent cover story “Cash no longer king” made for essential reading. The driver seems a mix of technophilia, fear and alienation turbo-charged during the pandemic.

PROVERBS 28:13 ~“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses...”        

Confessionals: Our family called them “confession boxes.”

As a boy in the mid-1960s growing up along the Gaspé coast, I was intrigued by our Catholic church’s confession box. There were three entrances: the centre compartment for the priest to enter through an actual door, and two side compartments (one on each side of the priest’s compartment) for the penitents, but no actual doors for them. There were, however, ornate embroidered curtains covering both entrances, which deterred curious but innocuous parishioners (I mean, was the person confessing good fodder that could be passed along to a neighbour or two, or was it a lesser, venial-type, sin?). The heavy curtains also dulled sound and the penitents knew to speak in a hush audible only to the priest, and he reciprocated. The result in the pews: indistinguishable voices in English and French. 

St. Philip Neri once had a penitent confess to indulging in gossip. He advised the contrite soul to bring him a chicken, and to pluck its feathers as he walked the streets of Rome. When the man showed up with the chicken, his penance fulfilled, the great saint told him, “Now, brother, gather up all the feathers you’ve strewn about the city.”

In an opinion column published during Easter weekend, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan offered a message not just for the ages but for our specific moment of darkness.

“Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it,” wrote Norman Maclean in his classic novella, “A River Runs Through It.” The river “runs over the rocks of the basement of time…. Under the rocks are the words, and the words are theirs.” This leads to Maclean’s stark confession, “I am haunted by waters.”

Much has been written in a short time on Fiducia Supplicans issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on Dec. 18, 2023. The backlash it has provoked is unprecedented in the post-conciliary Church. I wish to respond here to those who suggest that the faithful ought to absorb its teaching by evoking three perspectives.

Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Calgary recently hosted a Theology of the Body Conference at which I spoke. My assigned topic? “Authentic Femininity.” Collectively, we were going to talk more about gender ideology, but Antifa, yes Antifa, was threatening for weeks to shut the whole conference down. Inside a Catholic church. These are the times we’re living in. However, this opposition got us thinking: Why not turn away from addressing the woes of gender confusion and toward positively outlining what authentic masculinity and femininity are? To boot, we got a free police detail who put the protesters on notice that if they went into a house of worship and disrupted the goings on, they would be arrested for hate crimes.

We who celebrate Easter are those who have died and risen with our Lord.

The reality of life-giving sacrificial love is at the core of our 2,000-plus year existence as the community of believers. How we are called to live this existence together has been a matter of reflection from the very beginning. The first fruits of this reflection are famously captured in Acts of the Apostles, “Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned they held in common” (4:32).

A letter from Toronto Archbishop Francis Leo on the Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord.