The rise of the new monastics

{mosimage}In the years since the Second Vatican Council, the various traditions of Christian faith have participated in an ecumenical gift exchange for their mutual enrichment. Catholics have embraced Protestant strong points like singing the faith and closer familiarity with the Word of God. Protestants have increased their celebrations of the Eucharist and rediscovered helpful practices like spiritual direction.

A shocking lack of decency abounds

My mother and I had just settled in front of the television to watch a movie. Foolishly (at least it seems so, afterwards, to my teenage self), I mentioned that the movie had been condemned by the Legion of Decency. I promptly found myself looking for something else to do. There wouldn’t be any TV for me that night.

Traditional seven deadlies apply to environmental ethics

{mosimage}The bellwether of the Canadian consensus, The National with Peter Mansbridge, recently played up the story of the Vatican allegedly proclaiming a new list of deadly sins. The implication was that the old seven — pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth — just didn’t cut it today, so Rome had invented new sins to lay upon gullible believers.

Heaven forbid we have religion in public realm

The role of religion in the public realm continues to command the attention and stir the fears of countless numbers. John Waters, the Irish biographer and music columnist, recently observed during an interview over his new book, the autobiographical Lapsed Agnostic, that there are only two subjects in contemporary Ireland that are politically incorrect: Eamon de Valera and God. Has it come to this?

Faith needs to be learned at home

{mosimage}"But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and  to your children’s children." Deuteronomy 4:9


This forthright biblical injunction could also be called the great challenge of faith in our time and in our place. This beautiful little passage from Deuteronomy is the First Reading for Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent. In this text, Moses gives the people the statutes and ordinances to follow so that they can live in the promised land. He makes it clear that the people have a special relationship with the Lord because of the exodus, the liberation of the people from slavery in Egypt.

St. Thomas warns of the perils of bling

{mosimage}The Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas has its fun parts. Buried right at the end of Part Two, in Question 169, Article 2, Thomas addresses the controversy of “Utrum Ornatus Mulierem Sit Sine Peccato (Whether the Adornment of Women is Devoid of Mortal Sin).”

What Latimer ruling means to Catholics

As a father of a severely mentally disabled and autistic 21-year-old son (Justin) who suffers from a rare and incurable neurological disease, I would like to share a few reflections on the highly publicized Robert Latimer case and its implications for us as Catholics in our local parishes. 

Generosity fills a genuine need

{mosimage}During Lent, we are called as Catholics to renew our commitment to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. In the archdiocese of Toronto, the Catholic community comes together to support the most vulnerable and needy in our communities through ShareLife.

No fudging words on moral teaching

{mosimage}There is a letter by Dr. Frances Cole in the Dec. 22/29 edition of The Tablet, in which the writer claims that the absolute nature of certain official Catholic moral teachings makes her work as a Catholic GP and cognitive therapist impossible.

Self care helps us to better serve God

At the beginning of Lent I read an article about the adverse effects on our spirituality of the achievement- and consumer-oriented North American lifestyle and how to counteract them.

Blessed are the peacemakers

{mosimage}We love to talk about peace and what it means or may mean, and yet we know how elusive the definition and the experience can actually be. I suspect that is why we look for people who embody the “reality” of peace, individuals who have given themselves over to a life of creating a culture of peace, people who understand directly the costs of peace.