While love can conquer fear, fear can drive out perfect love

We are often rudely awakened to our insufficient response to the voice of need.

Mother Angelica was called to greatness

The death of Mother Mary Angelica, the American Poor Clare who founded EWTN, has produced much commentary puzzling over an apparent contradiction. An orthodox and traditional nun was at the same time an entrepreneurial pioneer in Catholic television and did not blanch from charting a path independent of Catholic bishops. How could this be? She had conservative ideas but seemed to operate like a liberal.

On a rescue mission

Writing and speaking out against euthanasia is a blessing. There is something bracing about standing up for the truth.

A little girl, a potato and the President

A long-anticipated trip to Ireland, researching ancestors, a poignant story about children playing with a potato, even the name Barack Obama, all eventually led me to pondering the plight of Syrian refugees and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

A question thousands of years in the asking

Standing recently inside one of the oldest tombs in the world, with about 200,000 tonnes of stone above and around me, strange thoughts manifested in the darkness. The thoughts were not of fear but of perplexity about today’s materialistic, even hedonistic, culture.

Seeing Christ in the face of all: we are worthy of love

It was a sight of beauty. Perhaps as beautiful a thing as I have ever seen. I saw it during morning rush hour on a freezing cold day in front of a busy Toronto bus stop. I was driving and fortunately the light turned red, allowing me to look more closely at what was taking place.

Long shot worth taking

After years writing about euthanasia as the religion reporter for the National Post, followed by two years of public talks to convince Canadians that government-sanctioned killing would be a disaster, I think I have finally figured out what bothers me the most about what is taking place in our country: the disturbing lack of imagination that has taken over the public psyche about how to deal with people who are suffering.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is the star of the new evangelization

It was a good idea that didn’t work. Before the reform of the Roman calendar in the 1960s, the octave day of Christmas — Jan. 1 — was celebrated as the feast of the circumcision and holy name, as Jewish boys were named on the eighth day after birth. There was a minor feast of the divine maternity of Mary in the calendar on Oct. 11, which St. John XXIII chose for the opening of Vatican II, and now serves as his feast day.

This is Christ

In the final week of Advent, I was in an Ottawa sandwich shop having coffee with two photographer friends when a man behind us pitched himself into our conversation.

My most memorable Christmas gift

At a recent dinner party, talk turned to most memorable Christmas gifts received. There was a first bicycle, some jewelry and a couple “bucket-list” trips mentioned.

Prayer is the answer

It seems unimaginable that America’s incomprehensible deadlock over gun control could become any stranger. Yet somehow the quasi-ritualized mass slaughter of citizens by other citizens with high-powered weapons has produced the unfathomable effect of making prayer a victim.