28 February, 2013

A dread article which portends to war that echoes of recent conflicts in the past.

Here is a worrisome article from Time Magazine in which the author lays out 'the path to war' with Iran. I say worrisome because it was articles such as this one that marked the beginnings of the drumbeat to war with Iraq for similar reasons: to halt an Arab nation from possessing nuclear weapons.

Irrespective of one's convictions as to whether such an aim constitutes a sufficient casus belli for war, I trust that all people of good heart, mind, and soul would accept that a peaceful resolution to such conflicts between nations is preferable to an armed conflict. Let those of us who believe in prayer renew our commitment to dedicate ourselves to praying for peace and love to triumph over war and hatred in this world. Together with all people who yearn for peace to prevail here and now, let us commit to work to attain that cherished goal by whatever means we can legitimately use to that end.http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2137429,00.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+timeblogs%2Fswampland+%28TIME%3A+Swampland%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2137429,00.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+timeblogs%2Fswampland+%28TIME%3A+Swampland%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Full text of Benedict XVI’s last address | CatholicHerald.co.uk

Full text of Benedict XVI’s last address | CatholicHerald.co.uk

Ancient Lost Continent Discovered in Indian Ocean - COOL!

Ancient Lost Continent Discovered in Indian Ocean

B16 given credit for cleaning up (out?) the episcopacy

http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/World.php?id=7089

Pope Benedict XVI promises obedience to his successor | CTV News


Goodbye Pope B16. On this, your last day as Bishop of Rome, may you be filled with peace, love, and joy as you leave office.

Pope Benedict XVI promises obedience to his successor | CTV News

27 February, 2013

Benedict: The Quiet Pope, the Scholar - an insightful article by Michael Novak

Benedict: The Quiet Pope, the Scholar

A good article on the rising tide of social hostility faced by religious folks in Canada

My apologies for the paucity of articles these past few days. I'm currently on vacation in the Caribbean, trying to recover my health after the flu put me into hospital last month. I've only today been able to access a wireless service. I plan to resume updating, writing, and posting articles as of today.

I start with this one from the National Post by Matthew Block examining the increasing hostility people of faith are experiencing in the public square. He expresses well the experience that many of we believers face - at least in our online lives. We have not yet reached a point of social decay in our Canadian society where people would be so openly offensive and insulting as they can be hiding behind the anonymity afforded by the internet. It's harder to have to insult one face to face where they can be held immediately responsible for their impoliteness than it is to insult someone digitally... and there's no guarantee that such hostility as we encounter online will ever necessarily translate into the real world. But it is worth noting at least the undercurrent of hostility and malice towards believers which is growing in the digital world so as to keep watch to see if it does begin to manifest in a more concrete and dangerous form.

http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/02/26/mathew-block-disagree-with-christians-thats-fine-but-do-not-silence-them/

19 February, 2013

The Pope’s Muffled Voice - NYTimes.com

The Pope’s Muffled Voice - NYTimes.com

Papabile of the Day: The Men Who Could Be Pope - Today's candidate: Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana

CARDINAL PETER TURKSON OF GHANA

Papabile of the Day: The Men Who Could Be Pope | National Catholic Reporter

Disgraced US prelate could be asked to skip conclave: cardinal

Disgraced US prelate could be asked to skip conclave: cardinal

The hunt for the strongest candidate begins: Choice needs to be unanimous - Vatican Insider

The hunt for the strongest candidate begins: Choice needs to be unanimous - Vatican Insider

The Rise of Evangelical Catholicism: George Weigel's latest column

The Rise of Evangelical Catholicism

The Faculty Lounge: The Catholic Church as a Business?

The Faculty Lounge: The Catholic Church as a Business?

Office of Religious Freedom to be announced by Stephen Harper | Canadian Politics | Canada | News | National Post

Office of Religious Freedom to be announced by Stephen Harper | Canadian Politics | Canada | News | National Post

17 February, 2013

A little Lenten humor


Cardinals Seek Identikit for New Pope - NYTimes.com

Cardinals Seek Identikit for New Pope - NYTimes.com

My homily for the 1st week of Lent


Let's ask ourselves a tough question today: am I a better Christian now than I was a year ago?  Am I holier?  Am I more like Christ?  Am I really becoming the saint that God created me to be?
It's uncomfortable to ask questions like that.  That's good. 
  • Lent is a time for us to feel uncomfortable. 
  • Jesus loves us too much to let us be lazy.
  • He is like a good coach, always encouraging us to grow, to improve.
Unfortunately, many of us aren't growing as quickly or as constantly as we should
  • Professionally we are moving up, maybe.
  • Academically, athletically we are making progress, but as Christians?
  • Not really. We're still stuck where we have always been. On a plateau. 
  • The same temptations, the same falls, the same sins. We're still mediocre Christians.
One of the reasons for this is that we don't go to the real roots of our selfishness. 
We try to follow Christ more faithfully, but we don't do so intelligently.
We keep trying to cut off the branches of impatience, or greed, or lust, or dishonesty, but the roots are still intact, so the branches just keep growing back.
In Jesus' temptation in the desert, the devil makes the mistake of exposing the three roots of all our sins.  In each one of us, one of these roots is bigger and stronger than the others (though we all have all three). 
If we can identify which is our main root sin, we can direct our spiritual work more intelligently, and really start making progress as Christians.
Getting to know our root sin and its most frequent manifestations arms us for spiritual battle.  The better we know where we are weak, the better we will be able to resist temptation.
We are all tempted
  • Every day we are invited to rebel against God in little things and big things.
  • The patterns of behavior around us, our own self-centered tendencies, and the devil himself are always inviting us to trust more in our own flawed judgment than in God's wisdom.
But temptation is not sin.  In fact, every temptation is a chance to exercise our trust in God, to reclaim territory for Christ's Kingdom, just as Jesus did when he was tempted. Because Jesus was tempted, he redeemed temptation.  With his grace, his victory over sin can become our victory. That's why he came to earth in the first place!
The message Christ has for us today is a message of hope
  • We can conquer sin, in our lives and in the world around us. We just need to stay united to Christ.
  • That's what the Eucharist is for - that's why God gave it to us.
  • And that's also what the Bible is for. Jesus parries the Devil's attacks by quoting from the Scriptures, the inspired Word of God.
Today, let's renew our confidence in Christ and our determination to fight for the advance of his Kingdom, to cut back our root sin and make more room for his grace to grow in our lives.
When we receive him in Communion,
  • let's promise to do our part to stay united to him, to trust in him and seek our happiness in our friendship with him,
  • and let's ask him which tactic he wants us to use this Lent: whether to spend more time with him in the Eucharist, or more time with him in the Scriptures.

This week in religion history: The age old persecution story | Holy Post | National Post

This week in religion history: The age old persecution story | Holy Post | National Post

Pope blesses tens of thousands at St. Peter's Square - World - CBC News

Pope blesses tens of thousands at St. Peter's Square - World - CBC News

ALEX SCHADENBERG, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition: Untruths used to push for euthanasia law

ALEX SCHADENBERG, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition: Untruths used to push for euthanasia law

What is the history behind papal resignations? |Blogs | NCRegister.com

What is the history behind papal resignations? |Blogs | NCRegister.com: In the wake of Pope Benedict's announcement that he is resigning from the papacy, I thought I would… 

16 February, 2013

Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet is a "cardboard cutout" of Benedict XVI | Canada | News | National Post

Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet is a cardboard cutout of Benedict XVI | Canada | News | National Post

Conclave's rituals, oaths and secrecy explained - News - Boston.com

Conclave's rituals, oaths and secrecy explained - News - Boston.com

The End of a Catholic Moment - NYTimes.com

The End of a Catholic Moment - NYTimes.com

B16's renunciation and the wolves within the church - An interesting editorial of the papal abdication

Benedict’s renunciation and the wolves within the church | LifeSiteNews.com: Monday

The kingmen who will influence the next Conclave - Vatican Insider

The kingmen who will influence the next Conclave - Vatican Insider

Radical NY abortion bill could close Catholic hospitals, Church warns | LifeSiteNews.com

Radical NY abortion bill could close Catholic hospitals, Church warns | LifeSiteNews.com

Quebec’s euthanasia proposal means 'active killing by doctors': leading bioethicist | LifeSiteNews.com

Quebec’s euthanasia proposal means 'active killing by doctors': leading bioethicist | LifeSiteNews.com

6 Liturgical No-No's During Lent |Blogs | NCRegister.com

6 Liturgical No-No's During Lent |Blogs | NCRegister.com

11 February, 2013

George Weigel on Benedict: “Realities of World Where People Live Much Longer” » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

Weigel on Benedict: “Realities of World Where People Live Much Longer” » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

An Evangelical Looks at Pope Benedict XVI | First Things

An Evangelical Looks at Pope Benedict XVI | First Things

New Advent: Watch video of the moment Pope Benedict made his announcement to a gathering of cardinals

New Advent: Watch video of the moment Pope Benedict made his announcement to a gathering of cardinals

Complete translated text of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation statement | CTV News

Complete translated text of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation statement | CTV News

Pope Benedict to resign at the end of the month, Vatican says - CNN.com



Pope Benedict to resign at the end of the month, Vatican says - CNN.com

09 February, 2013

False Comfort: There is NO ALTERNATIVE to evangelizing. Never was... Never will be!

There is no alternative to evangelizing. There never was. No rearguard defense of Catholic “tradition” or “values” can staunch all the bleeding. In crass Canadian ice hockey terms: we are going into the next period down five goals, and while better defensive play might be indicated, it is not going to win the game. More fundamentally: Christ did not send out his apostles to sit on their lead, either. 
Click the link below to read entire article: 

False Comfort

Vatican Council Examines Problem of Low Emotional Intelligence | Daily News | NCRegister.com

This is not only a problem among the young - which is the target audience for this Vatican initiative - but is pretty evident among quite a few of her clergy. For example, studies have demonstrated that one of the most common items listed by families as being responsible for a 'difficult grief' is the indifferent attitude they have encountered from the clergy responsible for the funeral services. An inability of priests and bishops to relate emotionally to others in stressful times has wrought great pain and suffering to many.   

Vatican Council Examines Problem of Low Emotional Intelligence | Daily News | NCRegister.com

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