Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

Sr. Helena, fsp, is a Daughter of St. Paul. She holds a Masters in Media Literacy Education and studied screenwriting at UCLA.  Twitter: @srhelenaburns

A recent Sunday Gospel was about the puzzling “sin against the Holy Spirit.” Puzzling and terrifying because Jesus is clear about its consequence: this sin “will not be forgiven in this life or the next.” (Mark 3:20-25) How can an all-loving God, full of mercy, who will forgive our worse offences, also tell us there is such a thing as an unforgivable sin? Most of all, how can I make sure I never commit this sin?

Not long ago, I was presenting a Theology of the Body series at Emmanuel Reformed Church in Whitby, Ontario. I was teaching Catholics, but some elderly women from the Reformed congregation began attending the classes. One in particular was keen to understand what Catholics believe about many different issues. When she got to the topic of euthanasia, her reasoning went along utilitarian lines. “If people can no longer contribute to society, and they don’t have many more years in front of them anyway, it’s okay to choose to die a little sooner, isn’t it?” 

Do you feel helpless in the face of spreading global Communism? Fear not, Our Lord has already given us a spiritual gift to defeat Communism’s anti-God and therefore anti-human evils. This gift is His own Sacred Face. 

We’ve often heard that someone “read their way into the Catholic Church,” but have we ever considered that we can read our way out of something negative? I can attest to the possibility, because I basically read my way out of decades-long radical feminism.

How does one parent the media? What do the latest studies say about the influence of media devices on youth? What are the best ages to mete out access to media devices/platforms to young people? What kind of guidance do parents and children alike need? How can young people use media in a healthy way?

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.

The world can be a cold, unfriendly, even hostile and angry place — online and offline. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not supposed to be that way. God created an earthly paradise for us, but when we reject Him and His ways, we reject our true selves, each other and everything we’re actually longing for. We become prideful and selfish. Put a bunch of prideful and selfish people together and you have a recipe for guaranteed misery.

By now, my corduroy Levis were covered with snow from wiping out, and the snow was turning to ice against my skin. My brother looked truly sorry for my misery.

The hard part was sitting down properly on the T-bar ski lift, or rather not sitting down. If you sat down, the whole vertical pipe would swoop forward violently and dump you on your back in the middle of the track for the skier behind you to pierce you with their long skis. The object of the T-bar was to brace your knees in a slight crouching position, hang on to the pipe with your hands, and let the seat drag you to the upper altitudes by the back of your thighs. Whoever designed this lift deserved a sadistic engineer of the year award.

One winter when I was 13 and my brother was 14, we took a family trip to New Hampshire. To ski. Because my brother really wanted to. He promised he would teach me how to ski. My elderly dad, an avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast, had never, however, in his long life, skied, and was wary of its potential dangers involving bone protrusions and close encounters with trees. He agreed to take us despite.