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.

There's hope for the pro-life cause

{mosimage}Charles Moore wrote a column not long ago in England’s Daily Telegraph so politically incorrect as to take my breath away.

Freedom of expression can go too far

I believe firmly in freedom of speech, but I do draw the line. Incitements to violence and murder are illegal in Canada, and well they should be. Libel, treason and sedition are also illegal. It is also wrong to pass off another’s words as one’s own. Meanwhile, I am not at all interested in freedom to create images — especially pornographic images.

Wrong solution

{mosimage}Until Liberal MP Keith Martin tabled a private members’ motion in the House of Commons on Jan. 30, the problem of human rights commissions dabbling in censorship of free speech had really not hit the political radar screens. Now, however, the politicians have been forced to take note and, predictably, they wonder what the fuss is all about.

The good, bad, ugly of Valentine's Day

It is only days away, that fatal day, that day with the power to cast single women into abject gloom and to send married men into a frenzy of procrastination; that day that crushes the joy out of men who love and rarely fails to disappoint the women who love them; that day that sends boys and girls hand in hand to their local Catholic college campus to watch The Vagina Monologues. Yes, my friends, Valentine’s Day is upon us again.

Follow Christ's sacrificial example

I have a friend, a fellow writer, whom I’m here calling Peter. That’s not his real name, but I can assure you he’s real.

Spiritual battle

{mosimage}In his 2008 Message for Lent, Pope Benedict XVI refers to the “spiritual battle” of the Lenten season, a time when we use the tools of almsgiving, fasting and prayer to strengthen our inner selves against those forces, internal and external, which prey on our human foibles.

Jesus paves our path to salvation

{mosimage}Lent is both a question and an answer. It is the Christian’s way of asking the fundamental human question of why there is evil if God is good. But in the asking the answer is found.

'I'm not listening'

{mosimage}Canada recently “celebrated” — “mourned” would be more appropriate if not, unfortunately, accurate — the 20th anniversary of the Morgentaler decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, which demolished our laws restricting abortion. Away from the main events of public marches, protests and university symposia, there were several sideshows that revealed how threatened mainstream opinion makers are by the fact that the subject refuses to die.

Lessons can be learned from illness

Next week (Feb. 11) the Catholic Church will observe World Day of the Sick, instituted in 1992 by Pope John Paul II.

As a medical social worker, I’ve been privileged to journey with sick people and learn from them the lessons serious illness can teach those who are receptive. I would like to share some of these insights.

Change our ways for changing days

The pastoral arena or terrain in the Greater Toronto Area is considerably changing every year. The latest numbers from the 2006 Census show quick and dramatic changes in the demographic composition of the metropolis. There were reports that one out of four Torontonians is foreign born. What does this mean? What are the pastoral implications of these data?