Robert Brehl

Robert Brehl

Robert Brehl is a writer in Port Credit, Ont., and can be reached at bob@abc2.ca or @bbrehl on Twitter.

As we approach the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, it is not difficult to find him top of mind.

The key to the great illusionist Harry Houdini was the art of misdirection. Houdini could do things like make elephants on stage disappear by misdirecting the eyes and ears of the audience so their minds believed something quite different.

It is official: Pope Francis is a rock star. Or, at least that is what Rolling Stone magazine is announcing to the world by putting the Pontiff on its current cover.

With the Christmas season behind us, so begins the “season of re-gifting.” The other day, my lovely wife was thinking about passing along a Christmas present she didn’t want until I reminded her of a story.

The Christmas holidays tend to be a time to catch up on reading around our house, when the hustle and bustle is over and before we gear up to return to work or school.

Like many families, for years the Brehl Christmas centred on dad and mom corralling as many of the seven kids as possible and going to Midnight Mass at Holy Cross Church in East York.

As a young lad, I remember coming home after being teased at school and my mother immediately asking me what was wrong.

As quickly as human nature can leave you discouraged, it can turn around and uplift you.

Three atheists got me thinking about Pope Francis the other day.

The other day, I lost my so-called smartphone. It was kind of dumb of me. But the episode set off a range of emotions; from the pit-in-my-stomach initial feeling to panic and stress at figuring out what to do next, including a little prayer to St. Anthony, to contentment realizing life without that digital albatross around my neck actually feels pretty good.