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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.

The Church is a home for everybody


As by now everyone knows, Pope Francis offered a lengthy and wide-ranging interview to the editor of La Civilta Cattolica, which was subsequently published last month in 16 Jesuit-sponsored journals. As we’ve come to expect practically any time this Pope speaks, the interview has provoked a media frenzy.

Summer’s here and now is the time to Make Today Count


Summer is under way and it’s time for road trips. Whether it is a short trip from a small town to a big city for the weekend, a coast-to-coast marathon to see Canada in an over-packed car or a backpacking Euro-rail adventure, a road trip is often an adventure — and maybe even a first step in finding our own unique life path.

A God-shaped hole resides within the human heart


The German philosopher Nietzsche once described Christianity as a religion of the weak. He argued that religion, especially Christianity, denied the human person free will because it removed the freedom to make choices by relying on a God who, he argued, does not exist.

No yellow brick road leads us to God


The Wizard of Oz is a true classic movie. One of my favourite scenes is when Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion arrive to see the Wizard.

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