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Author Archive
 

 
Doing What We Should Do

There are certain things that we should be doing right now but maybe don’t feel like doing. Like what? Forgiving, smiling, doing our duty, being agreeable. Some of us are getting sick of social distancing and staying at home. It’s the loving thing to do, but very sacrificial; it’s particularly hard for social people, like […]
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 5


 
Something Dying Leads to Something Coming to Life

Most of us are experiencing unusual suffering right now, and the human person needs to understand what's going on! On a human level, once we have clarity about how long this crisis will last and how to respond, we can go forward! On the deeper spiritual level, each of us needs to understand what's going on with me and my problems.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 29


 
Experiencing Transcendence

The Gospel today is centered on a mountain experience, and Pope Benedict says that, “The mountain is the place of ascent—not only outward, but also inward ascent; it is a liberation from the burden of everyday life, a breathing in of the pure air of creation; it offers a view of the broad expanse of creation and its beauty; it gives one an inner peak to stand on and an intuitive sense of the Creator” (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 1, 309).
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 8


 
Gentle and Judgemental Equals Perfection

You have to see the recently released movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood about Mr. Rogers. For those who are unaware, Fred Rogers had a very influential television show for children from 1968 to 2001, demonstrating remarkable kindness and gentleness, and teaching us the specialness of every person.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 23


Choosing a Better Way

 
Choosing a Better Way

Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs. He was teased and bullied as a child, and first thought about killing himself when he was eight. He didn’t know if he would get married, be independent, or if he had a purpose, so, at age ten, he tried to drown himself but stopped for his parents’ sake.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 16


 
Stopping 42 Million Murders

In elementary school, I remember being on a school bus going South on Granville Street, when we stopped at a light by the Chevron gas station. There was a homeless man in rags sleeping on the sidewalk, and some of the kids in the bus waved at him like he was spectacle and showed had no pity.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 9


 
Why Euthanasia is Wrong

The 2016 film Arrival asks the question if we would accept life knowing that it will involve suffering. Here’s the one-and-a-half-minute opening scene which shows the birth of Louise’s daughter time-lapsed to her early death. The great Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson asks why women would bring children into the world knowing they’re going to suffer (12 Rules for Life, 167. See also this video). Other questions of life include: “Why do you have so many children when you’re short on money?” “Why not choose a dignified death (euthanasia), rather than let someone suffer?”
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 2


 
Preventing Divisions in the Parish

Here are some things that may be dividing us at St. Anthony’s: A few people don’t think we should be using Alpha; a few didn’t want us to give 10% of our annual collection to those in need; some don’t like the one hour, 20-minute Masses; some disagree with our stance on moral issues like abortion, talking about mortal sin, getting drunk, etc.; some have even complained about my homilies (gasp!).
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 26


 
Spiritual Friendships

Let’s deal with two problems regarding friendships. First, what’s called being “unequally yoked,” a term from St. Paul (2 Cor 6:14), which now refers to a marriage or a couple dating where one spouse or person is spiritually stronger than the other. When two animals with a yoke over their shoulders are of different strength and speed, there can be injuries.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 19


 
How to Realize You’re Special

Bob was only 13 when his father left the family. Being the second oldest of seven children, Bob felt he had to become the man of the home. Weeks later, he was also devastated when his basketball coach tried to molest him. The pain continued a year later when his father eventually started a second family and when his family moved to Florida.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 12


 
The Best Time to Grow Spiritually

How do you want this year to be better than last year? I’ll ask again: How do you want this year to be better than last year? From my experience, it’s unfortunate that most of us will make the same mistakes, because we can’t break out of the cycle of our daily lives. Most of our lives have a momentum that we can’t stop.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 5


 
Overcoming Fear of Rejection

Once I was doing a video conference call with eleven priests, and the topic for discussion was: What’s your greatest fear in trying to renew your parish, make it spiritually alive? So I wrote down my answer.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 22


 
Welcoming Others as Christ Welcomed Us

Three weeks ago, we gathered donations for the seven people who lost their belongings in a fire that burned their three-storey apartment building in our neighbourhood. Two of them, Fernanda and Curtis, are part of our parish family, so, an e-mail blast about the fire went out to the whole Alpha team, of which Fernanda’s a part. If you got that e-mail, how would you respond? Who here would offer them sympathy in the e-mail? What about prayer? What about a place to stay for the next week?
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 8


 
The Gift of the Wake-up Call

God allows us to grow old to wake us up and get us ready for death. We’re called to eternal life, but get distracted by the good life we have here. So, in His goodness, He allows us to get stiff, put on weight, have wrinkly skin, and lose hair. Anyone here losing their hair? No one. God bless you.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 1


 
The Essence of Christianity

God is calling us to understand the big story of our faith, today. In other words, what’s the essence of Christianity? We’re going to answer this using a very practical scenario which builds upon years of talking about our relationship with God, the reality of free will, and consequences.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 24


 
A Call to Service

You know how we all say we’re busy? Can we be honest and admit that, despite our busy schedules, we still waste time? One survey found that seven in ten people admit to wasting time at work, mostly on social media, then online shopping, browsing travel, sports, and entertainment, and just scrolling down pages with no purpose (Michael Hyatt, Free to Focus, 212).
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 17


 
Spontaneous Prayer

I’ve said some foolish things in my life. One time I met a woman who said, “My name’s Sunday.” And I said, “And my name’s… My name’s Justin.” I hesitated because I was about to say, “My name is Monday.” She could see that something was wrong and wasn’t happy. I felt badly because she’d probably gone through that before.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 27


 
Parenting

A good young priest, Fr. Lucio Choi, once shared with me how he was discouraged, and it wasn’t because of his bad haircut. He said he now understood why some priests get cynical: You try so hard, do so much for people, and they don’t care or respond.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 20


 
Healing is Simpler Than Imagined

I know a man who’s got a lot of problems: He struggles with his closest relationships, with his work, and with his direction in life. He blames everything: God hasn’t helped him, people are jerks, the government’s full of morons, and everything he’s tried hasn’t worked. But when someone asks him to look at what he could change about himself, he refuses. He’s looking everywhere around him for a solution when it’s right at his feet.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 13


 
How do you spell faith? R-I-S-K

Many of you have said that you remember the story I told last year about Mother Angelica’s amazing faith!  After she, a nun, started a Catholic TV network in 1981, she felt called to expand it, and so, at one point, ordered a large satellite dish without having any money to pay for it.  When the delivery […]
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 6


 
How We Treat the Poor Matters

I have a happy announcement to make, one that reminds us to do some biblical reflection. Last year, we talked about solicitude for the needy, how Jesus had a heart for the blind beggar on the roadside and asked the disciples to be intermediaries; they were the ones who brought him to Jesus. And we […]
Publish date: 2019 - 9 - 29


 
Should There Be Separation of Church and State?

On December 1, 1955, a 42-year old black woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat when asked by the bus driver to do so, in order that white passengers could sit down. Because of racism, black people had to sit at the back of the bus. The driver said, “Y’all better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats.”
Publish date: 2019 - 9 - 22


 
The Value of One Person

Two years ago, I learned something funny about boys and girls. At the end of the school year, we said goodbye to some staff members at our school, some of whom had been here for over 15 years. We held an assembly, with the kids in a big circle, singing songs and giving gifts to the teachers, who stood in the middle. At the end, some girls went up to the teachers and hugged them. Many of the girls from Grades 4-7 were crying. I was amazed at their maturity
Publish date: 2019 - 9 - 15


 
Fruitful Discipleship

One of the last times I went to Confession, I wanted to make a really good Confession. Most of the time our confessions are sincere, but sometimes we’re filled with a particularly strong desire to change our lives. So, I called my friend, Fr. Anthony Ho, to hear my confession. I was looking for a […]
Publish date: 2019 - 9 - 8