Charles Lewis

Charles Lewis

Charles Lewis is a freelance writer and former religion editor at the National Post.

For a number of years there was a panhandler standing outside St. Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Toronto. His name was Francis. I liked him quite a bit. Which should not be thought of as a given since there are some panhandlers who, over the years, have gotten on my nerves. I know it is not a Christian thing to say but there it is.

Consider this a non-poetic, nonrhyming ode to St. Augustine’s Seminary. I love the Toronto school and I want to explain why. And then I hope you will love it, too.

Years ago I lived in Wakefield, Que., a rural area about 40 minutes north of Ottawa in the Gatineau Hills. Many of the people who lived there plied a trade — carpenter, potter, painter and such. 

I am writing this for all who suffer and for those of your family members and friends who suffer with you. In particular, I am writing this for those who, like myself, realize that their suffering may not end soon, or ever end.

Donald Trump has become a hero of the pro-life movement and the darling of conservative Christians. But there is ample evidence to question whether he is worthy of that mantle or even of our respect. Does he really live up to a Christian ideal of respecting life? 

One of the great joys of dealing with chronic pain is that I can read books about the faith all the time without feeling guilty. 

I often admonish my brother for labeling too many things he dislikes as “stupid.” That word should be reserved for that which goes beyond the merely foolish or inane to the really, really stupid.

I love making lists. It is how I fall asleep at night. Sometimes I try to name every baseball club and at least one player from each team, or think of 10 music albums I would bring with me should I ever be sent to an offshore penal colony or to the opera.

There is something about distance, numbers and repetition that I have always found peculiar in terms of evoking reaction. I find this is especially true when thinking about anti-religious persecution.

On rare occasions I get clear signals of what needs to be done in my life. When it comes, it arrives through people I respect. Each gives me the answer I need but I did not know I needed till I heard it.