Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Jesus gave us the Beatitudes to remind us that we are called to show compassion to our brothers and sisters in Christ. The eight Beatitudes, from the Gospel of Matthew, provide an opportunity to reflect on how we live out these values in our daily lives.

Compassion for vulnerable, not death

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In a presentation made Feb. 3 in Ottawa to the Special Joint Committee on Physician-assisted Dying, Cardinal Thomas Collins, appearing on behalf of the Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience, opposed physician-assisted suicide and urged lawmakers to protect the conscience rights of health-care providers. Here is a text of his submission.

For the irrational, there will always be a never-ending battle

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I was surprised recently to read that defunding Catholic schools was the leading piece of advice the Ontario Government had received so far in its budget consultations. And I couldn’t help thinking that just because you have a thought, an idea, a proposal, it doesn’t mean you have to say it out loud. And even if you feel compelled to utter it, forcing the rest of us to listen, it doesn’t mean we have to pay serious attention.

Building Catholic education through the domestic Church

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The strength of Catholic education is founded on an alliance between families, parishes and schools which work together towards a shared objective. Together they comprise the domestic church.

Peace is the only solution

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During recent travels in Beirut I met Kamal and his family, Syrian-Armenian Christian refugees. They told a harrowing tale.

Called to be different

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The Christian response to terror attacks

In response to the violent acts of terrorism which have recently shaken France everyone and his conservative grandmother has an opinion on how we ought to respond.

Withered family

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What is closer to home than the family? It is the blueprint of who we are and, often, what we hope to become. It is from the family that we derive our personal and social identity. Family shapes and moulds our moral values and disciplines our behaviour.

Restless hearts and the thrill of the chase

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For weekends on end now in the tiny western Cape Breton seaside community of Inverness, more and more people have been seeking a bonanza of easy money by chasing the ace.

World hungers for ‘rock star’ Pope’s leadership

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Pope Francis’ trip to the United States next week, including speeches to Congress and the United Nations General Assembly, will almost certainly put a spotlight on how the leader of the Catholic Church proposes to solve the global problems challenging human security in the world today.

It would do us well to ‘look higher’

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Conservation International has sponsored a series of videos that have become YouTube sensations. They feature famous actors — Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Robert Redford and others — voicing different aspects of the natural world, from the ocean, to the rain forest, to redwood trees. The most striking is the one that presents Mother Nature herself, given voice by Julia Roberts.

Future is in our hands

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In the early 1940s, as a barefoot-in-summer lad in Ireland, I had my introduction to the natural environment. My family had a small store and pub on a gravel coast road in The Burren, a barren karst limestone district on Galway Bay.

My father had built a small windmill, using the dynamo from a Ford car, with a wooden wind direction indicator, on an eight-metre pole. The constant winds from the ocean kept three “wet” batteries charged, which provided enough electricity for four light bulbs and a wireless radio. Every night, my father and the neighbours from miles around gathered around the wireless to listen to the news/propaganda from the war fronts.