Faith in a Wounded World

A Canadian’s Perspective on America

A Canadian’s Perspective on America

We deal with personal issues in the larger context of our particular community, nation, and the world. The violence of terrorists, the crisis of hunger, the tragedies of addictions, the mass movements of people, and the uncertainties of political leadership create unease and anxiety on the big stage of the world. As a response, there is a constant temptation to focus attention on personal well-being, family, and friends. These more immediate relationships provide most of our joy and meaning. Among… Keep reading

Personalizing the Psalms (Psalm 83)

Personalizing the Psalms (Psalm 83)

I shared with my spiritual director that I was finding that some of the Psalms resonated in a new way with my heart. She suggested that I go a step beyond my reading and reflection. She advised me to re-write certain Psalms in my words in order to express personal emotions of anguish, anger, joy, and gratitude. Over the past weeks I have tried to incorporate this spiritual discipline into my times of contemplation. My approach is guided by a… Keep reading

Things that Make for Peace (Luke 19.42)

Things that Make for Peace (Luke 19.42)

The images of Syrian children struggling to breathe were horrifying. Their young lives were threatened by an attack using Sarin gas dropped from warplanes. The local hospital was ill equipped to respond to the emergency. To make matters worse, it was bombed in the same attack. The Syrian  civil war is entering its seventh year. The statistics are staggering; 465 thousand killed, over 1 million injured, and over 12 million displaced people and refugees. Syria is not the only place… Keep reading

Reflections After a Heart Attack

Reflections After a Heart Attack

I did not anticipate that the main artery of my heart was about to be blocked. I was about to go out for a walk when I felt an intense pain across my chest. This was the first sign that my life was threatened. I was both fortunate and privileged. Regine drove me to the emergency ward of a hospital. Medical professionals attended to me. I underwent surgery and was placed in intensive care. I am now at the beginning… Keep reading

The Long Journey to Advent

The Long Journey to Advent

There are two major periods on the annual calendar of people that follow Jesus. The first is Advent-Christmas; the second is Lent-Easter. During Advent we prepare our hearts to celebrate the good news of the incarnation – God enters the world as a fragile and vulnerable child in a country occupied by foreign armies. Lent-Easter is dedicated to dedicated to reflections on faith in a broken and wounded world. We are summoned to walk with Jesus and to face the… Keep reading

Lenton Reflection 7: The Meaning of the Cross Mark 15.21-32

Lenton Reflection 7: The Meaning of the Cross Mark 15.21-32

We have travelled with Jesus to Jerusalem during the days of Lent. Today we stand before the cross. We want to understand its meaning. Why have we journeyed so far from Galilee? Was it simply for the death and defeat of our Lord? Our reflections on the cross have a context. There are three influences with which I want to deal. The first is the trivialization of the cross. Some people wear the cross as an ornament or a good… Keep reading

Lent #6: The Freedom to be a Dissident: Luke 19.11-27

Lent #6: The Freedom to be a Dissident: Luke 19.11-27

Introduction   We are traveling with Jesus during this period of Lent. Today we arrive at the outskirts of Jerusalem. Many people believe that we are on the edge of a moment of great triumph. However, Jesus has warned that Jerusalem represents death at the hand of powerful people. Let me start by taking you back to an earlier point in the gospel of Luke. Jesus sent out 70 disciples on a mission. He told them that the harvest was… Keep reading

Lent 5: Freedom from Fear: Luke 8.22-39

Lent 5: Freedom from Fear: Luke 8.22-39

Today’s Lenten reflection is on the theme of freedom from fear. We journey with Jesus on a small boat in Lake Galilee. A sudden storm assaults us with howling winds and large waves. Later, we land in the country of the Gerasenes. There we come face to face with a violent man named Legion. The storm and Legion both provoke emotions of fear for our safety and well-being.   I suggest we begin by thinking about fear. Fear can be… Keep reading

Lent 4: Freedom to Risk. Luke 9.18-27

Lent 4: Freedom to Risk. Luke 9.18-27

We are all familiar with the tension between risk and safety. When we choose our investment plan for retirement we are specifically asked about our risk tolerance. High risk investments can have wonderful financial results when the market is good. They can also have heartbreaking losses. A conservative portfolio offers security but not the possibility of remarkable growth. We navigate the risk-safety tension in different ways depending on age and other factors. Let me ask you a question: How would… Keep reading

Lent #3: Freedom from the Past John 21.1-19

Lent #3: Freedom from the Past John 21.1-19

This Lenten reflection is devoted to the theme of freedom from the past through forgiveness received and forgiveness offered to those who have wounded us. We are never fully comfortable with the past. We carry broken bits and pieces in our memories and our emotions. There are times that we may unexpectedly meet people from the past. Our happiness in seeing them again is coloured by difficult memories of painful events that we can never quite forget. We bring the… Keep reading