Leah Perrault: Soften our hearts to believe in hope

As the world feels like it might give way into dust, I’m clinging to a promise of hope. I can still feel the faint dry spot on my forehead where it was marked with ashes. We haven’t been promised permanence, and that annoys me. And still. The eternal Word promised to be with us always. Hope is falling, even here.

Charles Lewis: Facing up to the Cross in Ukraine

A close friend of mine had a friend who was dying of cancer. When this man got his diagnosis his wife left him. She had never envisioned a life in which she would have to care for a dying husband. I have no idea whether she was incredibly shallow or had some severe phobia about disease and death.

Glen Argan: Waging spiritual warfare against war itself

The carnage has begun. Is there any way it can end without the annihilation of Ukraine? NATO has (rightly) refused to enter the fray, fearing that its participation will lead to the further spread of war and possibly to nuclear war. Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are having no effect on the fighting. It may be months before economic sanctions bring Russia to its knees. Ukraine’s heroic defence is no match in the short run for Russia’s military might.

Cathy Majtenyi: Let’s be precise about freedom’s meaning

The world sits on the edge of its collective seat as the horror of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to unfold.

Sr. Helena Burns: No call to re-Lent on penance or joy

When I first met Jesus at age 15, I was gung-ho for penances, self-sacrifice, offering up little sufferings, practicing mortifications, etc. In fact, I had picked up somewhere along the line that agony was the essence of Christianity and sanctity.

Robert Kinghorn: Everyone has a ‘once upon a time’

There is an old saying, “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” The truth is that we are all a complex blend of saint and sinner whose scales of sanctity teeter on a delicate balance throughout life.

Charles Lewis: Lenten lessons in the 'Divine Comedy'

In February I decided to read Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. It was written 702 years ago and remains an exhausting, thrilling ride of the imagination. In essence, it’s one long poem that reads like an adventure novel, though few novelists have ever written a story so rich and holy.

Luke Stocking: Truckers needed a lesson in civics

Word of a “Freedom Convoy” first reached my ears while I was still far away in Rome. Weeks later, much ink has been spilled, arrests have been made, a $306-million class-action lawsuit is underway, the federal Emergencies Act was invoked for the first time and Angus-Reid published poll results with the headline, “Three-in-four Canadians tell convoy protesters, Go Home Now.” What is a Catholic to think?

Sr. Helena Burns: Ignoring an earthquake in the Church

On Feb. 2 an earth-shaking event occurred in the Catholic Church and barely a peep was peeped. Of course, we’re kind of getting used to the fact that the media often ignore major happenings that would be of interest to, oh, say, 1.2 billion people or more. And this was huge. Unpreceded. Shocking.

Glen Argan: The search for solidarity within the rule of law

Three cheers for the more than 30 million Canadians who chose to be vaccinated against the COVID virus. You have played an invaluable role in limiting the virulence and death toll of a disease which ravaged many nations much more than Canada.

Gerry Turcotte: Opening windows into the soul

The opening to Luis Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou is predictably impossible to watch. An eye is open, observing the viewer, and then a razor blade is sliced across its surface. Few could watch this without blinking or looking away, something the director depended on as he “cut” from a human to a cow’s eye. And yet, as I lay on the operating table, with a mask covering my entire face except for my exposed right eye, I remember thinking, as I watched the scalpel move towards me, and then felt it press on and into my eye, that this was one of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen. I hoped it wouldn’t be my last.