School closures, business disruptions, stock market panic, grocery hoarding and widespread cancellations of Sunday Masses. Few if any of us have seen anything like this.

The Church in Quebec, many parts of Ontario and even in Rome appeared late last week to say “No Más” in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

It’s been a turbulent few months. Crowds blocking rail lines, protesters waving placards and RCMP officers barricading land are some of the dramatic images of discontent across Canada.

As I was driving to work this week, I saw a sign outside a neighbourhood church. It read: “Prayer is the original wireless form of communication.”

Railway blues

The Register gives de facto support to the protesters who shut down crucial rail lines and disrupted the lives of untold thousands as a nation was held hostage by illegal protests against a legal pipeline. Notably absent, as it was in the CBC or most regional rating-hungry TV news programs, was any interview with Indigenous Canadians among the 20 bands who support the pipeline. They support it because it represents a real opportunity to lift themselves out of devastating poverty.

A natural reaction to the new coronavirus is to ask how can I protect myself, but a Christian response is to ask how can I protect my neighbour.

The revelation of the grievous sexual misconduct by L’Arche founder Jean Vanier should awaken us all to the central importance of a well-founded moral conscience in the pursuit of holiness.

Erik Larson has a special talent for taking historical events and writing nonfiction books about people related to the main event but somehow slightly off the mainstream, on the periphery.

Temptations indulged, temptations resisted. On the first Sunday of Lent we heard about the devil’s tempting of Adam and Eve in the garden, to catastrophic effect, and the devil’s tempting of the Lord Jesus in the desert, to salvific effect.

Driving downtown, the weather forecast came on the radio: “The temperature tonight is expected to plummet to a low of minus-14 degrees with a windchill factor making it feel like minus-25. The health department has issued a warning that at these temperatures frostbite to exposed skin can occur within minutes.”

Vanier abuses

Re: Glen Argan: A lesson for all of us in Vanier’s fall (March 1):

Jean Vanier and L’Arche were a huge part of my formative years. As a child and again in my late teens I spent a year at L’Arche in Trosly, France.