Lessons rung up from a spill off the ladder

The other day, I fell off a ladder. More precisely, a ladder I propped up on a snow-slicked deck so I could clean out eavestroughs, slipped out from under me, dropping me seven or eight feet.

    Merciful Father is always present

    One of the highlights of the year just ending was the canonization of the greatest pope and dominant religious figure of our times, John Paul II. Over the years I had attended many such events as a reporter or broadcaster in the media section, but I thought that this time I would take it in as a pilgrim. That meant arriving in St. Peter’s Square some four hours or so before the Mass began. How to spend those hours in a suitably pious and productive way? After all, the breviary and rosary don’t take that long, even at a leisurely pace. 

      Catholicism key to mystery of Shakespeare

      Before I became convinced that William Shakespeare was a Roman Catholic, I was one of those conspiratorially minded chaps who believed Shakespeare was not the person who wrote the greatest single cache of plays in the English language. 

        Christ is the one King who won’t be deposed

        The Feast of Christ the King was instituted in 1925, just as the age of kings was ending. The natural order of society — kingly rule — for millennia, was replaced by the modern state. Christians who may not have known kings were reminded that Christ was their king. 

          Religious liberty at stake

          It’s doubtful Janet Epp Buckingham ever dreamed the dream of a law school at Trinity Western University would turn into a crucial test case for religious liberty. 

            John Paul II opened gates to fall of European communism

            The 25th anniversary of the defeat of European communism, dramatically punctuated by the smashing of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, was a historical moment of biblical proportions. The peaceful dismantling of the Soviet empire — so much so that the Soviet Union ceased to exist altogether in 1991 — was never thought to be possible, let alone to be accomplished by the very workers and ordinary people in whose name communism ostensibly ruled. Rarely is it possible to see in history the finger of God so clearly at work.

              Non-celebrity is worth celebrating

              So often we hear and read about the lives of the rich, powerful and famous. Celebrity seems to rule our culture. 

              But reflection on the lives of the ordinary, the everyday, the taken-for-granted, is often far more illuminating. If we look beyond the glitz we can see the real stars, the real world, and answers to some of the real questions. 

                Our shared obligation to ensure everyone has a home

                Imagine for a moment that you have no home. 

                What would you do for meals today? Where would you shower? Where would you sleep? If you have children, how would you provide for them? 

                  A Catholic education is a unique education

                  Recently I had the opportunity to meet with some parents who were looking at enrolling their children in a Catholic school. They made that decision because of their own experiences of Catholic education, but also because of their participation in a program run by a number of our school boards called “We’ve Been Waiting For You.” 

                    Bonhoeffer’s conscience condemned him to a martyrs’ death

                    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor executed by the Nazis in the dying days of the Second World War, has been recognized (perhaps by Protestant more than Catholic theologians) as one of the leading Christian thinkers of the 20th century. He was that, but he was much more: visionary, prophet, spy and martyr. 

                      We are all His own

                      Two days before its crews tidied up the National War Memorial in Ottawa on All Souls Day, Public Works Canada issued an advisory that flowers and other mementos would be removed.