We need to pray unceasingly throughout life

{mosimage}This year's theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 20-26) uses Paul's words “Pray without ceasing” from his letter to the Thessalonians (5:13b-18). This is sage advice, not only in the cause of Christian unity, but for life in general.

Beware children and the Internet

{mosimage}There is finally a growing awareness that, if the Internet is like the Wild West, children are exceedingly vulnerable to being targets of stray bullets. These may take the form of pornography stumbled upon, online bullying by peers, commercial exploitation by manipulative corporate marketers or even — at an extreme — sexual luring by adults.

Through the Holy Spirit unity is achieved

{mosimage}This January we mark 100 years of prayer for Christian unity. Fr. Paul Wattson, co-founder with Lurana Mary White of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement, had their attention repeatedly drawn to a particular verse in the Gospel of John: “That all may be one . . . that the world may believe” (17:21).

Community for all in housing developments

{mosimage}For many people in the earthly city, the first of January marked the end of the gift-giving season. The exchange of holiday presents was over, and the last chance to make a charitable donation for 2007 had passed.

It will cost us

{mosimage}The report released Jan. 8 by the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy is no more or less gloomy than the many other reports being issued these days by organizations given the task of assessing how real the crisis over greenhouse gases actually is and what should be done about it. Unfortunately, few political parties in Canada, with the possible exception of the tiny Green Party, appear ready to really grasp the nettle.

When children are off to school

{mosimage}I didn’t run the dishwasher today. Surprisingly, Veridian Electric didn’t come to the door to congratulate me for cutting down from three times a day most of last summer. Nobody left the porch light on all night, either.

Two sides of the condom coin

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In what came as a shock to some, U.S. First Lady Laura Bush promoted condom use “every time” in the pages of the Washington Post on Dec. 1. Writing on World AIDS Day, Bush urged: “Practise safe sex,” and advocated the “correct and consistent use of condoms” which, she said, “means not just occasionally, but every time.”

Democracy and natural law

{mosimage}Pope Benedict XVI told members of the International Theological Commission, in an October address, that the natural law must be the foundation of democracy, so that those in power are not given the chance to determine what is good or evil.

Muzzling religion

{mosimage}Outside a small circle of socially conservative Catholics, few people have heard of Catholic Insight magazine. Yet all of us — Catholic, non-Catholic, religious and nonreligious — should be concerned about its fate as it faces a complaint before the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Living together

{mosimage}The Bouchard-Taylor Commission, now finishing up its work on reasonable accommodation in Quebec, is only the most significant example of the struggle we have in Canada of finding ways to live together with growing ethnic, religious and cultural differences. There have been many others. And this will only intensify as the country continues to evolve thanks to growing immigration.

Come out against death penalty

For Catholics and other Christians concerned with the advancement of justice, human rights and peace, 2007 has hardly been a year of encouragement. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dragged on. The agony of Africa, afflicted by disease, war and famine, continued. And despite the pronouncements issued by the much-ballyhooed Bali conference, the world’s worst industrial polluters seemed as willing as ever to inflict long-term environmental damage in the interests of short-term economic gain.