One of the capital sins recognized in the medieval Church was acedie (or accidie, the older spelling) which the Catechism misleadingly equates with sloth. Actually, acedie is worse than sloth. The Oxford dictionary defines sloth as “laziness or indolence” but defines acedie as “spiritual torpor” or “black despair.”

My life has been blessed by friendships with religious

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A heavenly joy filled my heart during a Mass last month at Toronto’s Holy Angels Church. My family had arranged our schedules to be there as Fr. Peter Gioppato, the pastor, celebrated 50 years in religious life.

Raising girls a challenge today

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My eldest child, my daughter, graduated with honours from high school this year and is about to head off to university. By the grace of God, her Catholic faith remains intact. In looking back at her school years, I can honestly say that raising a daughter in this culture is among the most difficult tasks I have ever undertaken.

Quebec’s Bill 52 is not about care, it’s about death

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On June 12, in another of the seemingly inexorable movements in the developed world to normalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, Quebec tabled Bill 52, “An act respecting end-of-life care.” Given that only 16-30 per cent of Canadians have access to comprehensive, quality end-of-life care, according to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, we ought to receive news of efforts to improve care at this crucially important and vulnerable time for dying persons and their loved ones with universal enthusiasm. But what vision of “end-of-life care” is presented here?

End-of-life ‘medical aid’ is euthanasia

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On June 12, the Quebec national assembly introduced a bill to legalize euthanasia that is rife with false claims, euphemisms and ambiguous language.

Disproving science when it comes to an afterlife

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In his first letter to Christian converts living at Corinth, St. Paul told them that death was “the last enemy” but, take heart, a defeated enemy. For two millennia the Church has proclaimed and pondered this message — but what does it mean? What happens to us after death?

Our new Pope is a servant of God unafraid to speak the truth

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The Catholic Church teaches that the selection by cardinals of a new pope is guided by the Holy Spirit. Despite this teaching, many pundits (including some Catholics who should know better) prepared lists of favourites, debated frontrunners, discussed the pros and cons of each and sometimes even proposed odds.

Benedict the innovator

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Liberals in the Church never warmed to the papacy of Benedict XVI.

It’s time that we reclaim Sunday as the Lord’s day

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I sometimes think God is trying to get my attention in the strangest places. For instance, I’ve sensed his presence a number of times while in line at a check-out counter.

The chair of Peter will be left in good hands

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On hearing of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, my first thought was of some lines from the Tennyson poem “Morte D’Arthur,” which my father often quoted in unanticipated circumstances:

Trusting God in uncertain times

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Trusting in God, as Henri Nouwen observed, is not an expression of powerlessness but rather a disposition of humility that is the beginning of spiritual life. A well-grounded Christian, Nouwen said, is deeply in love with Jesus, ready to follow Him wherever they are guided and trusting that with Jesus will come life in abundance.