Six sins that thwart God’s mercy

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?

The indiscretion driving up our debt

My father was a frugal man who categorically rejected going into debt. He warned me against this way of life more than I can recall. When he and my mother bought their modest home in Regina in 1954, they paid cash. Dad bought used cars, again always paying up front. 

Baking Joy at Our Lady of Sorrows

Pizzelle. Pizzelle?

I was intrigued. Is it a miniature pizza? 

No, it turns out, it’s a delicious Italian wafer, and was part of a joyful parish project that manifested God’s love and compassion during recently challenging times.

Listen to Pope Francis: stop cannabis poison

It all sounded so safe, so ‘progressive’. The 2018 Cannabis Act promised to “minimize harms” to Canadians as it enabled ‘recreational’ users to legally possess and consume cannabis without fear of a criminal record, which would stigmatize them for life.

God alone is Author and Master of life

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?” 

Hope, not violent protest, is the answer

In 1972, I joined a group of students who occupied the Dean of Arts’ office at the University of Regina. Our goal was to win parity for students on all departmental committees in the Faculty of Arts. After one night of sleeping on the floor of a crowded room, I had to leave the protest. I became sick and returned home to rest and recuperate.

A crushing weight and never-ending love

I was trying to decide if I wanted ice cream when I got a text from my sister: “Call mom or I when you can.” It was one of those moments where time stops and the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach knows that my world will never be the same. Someone I love lost their life to suicide. I had the honour of presiding at the Celebration of Life. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. And we need to talk more about this crushing weight – and a never-ending love.

New mace marks going forward together

Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.

Exodus: 14: 17

There is nothing quite so spectacular as a well-executed ceremony, replete with fanfare and ritual. This is arguably why we marvel at coronations even if we aren’t royalists and watch starry-eyed at award ceremonies even if we secretly feel they are testaments to vanity. Ceremonial rituals, however, sometimes point to moments of deep historical importance, and at such times we do well to pause and pay homage. A flag at half-mast, an award of valour, the sign of the Cross. So it is with symbolic objects that capture not just the splendour of the moment, but a long-term history that gives meaning to what they represents. The mace is one such object.

Maternal identity now a side hustle

How big a role do women’s fears about losing their identity play in low fertility rates? 

Louise Perry, author of The Case Against the Sexual Revolution and host of the excellent Maiden, Mother, Matriarch podcast, raised the question on a recent episode. Hearing women on TikTok and other social media talk about the issue of identity as a barrier to motherhood, she said, “I don’t get it. I can’t interpret what it means.” 

What makes you Catholic?

What does it mean to be a Catholic? The realities of the Church in the world today make it unfortunately quite complicated to answer this question.

Lara’s spirit walks on

Throughout the month of May, we have been responding to the call from Palestinian Christians to pray and walk in solidarity with them by making a “Ceasefire Pilgrimage” for peace. The idea is that people walk 42 km, either on their own or in combination with others, the distance it takes to traverse the entire length of Gaza. It is an ecumenical effort coordinated in Canada by KAIROS.