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Saturday, 18 February 2012

A red evening in Toronto, February 18, 2012

     The maples outside the window turned a bright red this evening, just before sundown. I could not see the sun becasue we face south west, but I could see the red glow.
     In much the same way, I could feel the glow from Rome as Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto donned the red robes of a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. It is truly a very proud moment for Torontonians and for all Canadians.
    May the angels surround him and may St. Michael protect him. May St. Brother Andree shed his graces on him and may all Canadian Catholics feel the red glow from Rome.
     The are no cardinals in the maple tree yet, but we have our own who will soon be home from Rome, bringing with him a warmth better than any spring has to offer!
     Congratulations Cardinal Collins, and may God Bless you and keep you.

Justin Trudeau's Canada is not my Canada

     Justin Trudeau seems quite miffed by Stephen Harper's boogey-man, right wing government. He claims that Mr. Harper is bent on abolishing abortion rights and same sex marriage. I wish!
      But that's beside the point. What Justin Trudeau fails to grasp is that there are thousands and thousands of people (Christians, Muslims and Jews) out there who would be very happy to see these changes happen as soon as possible. Just because these Canadians are not as vocal as the liberal elite does not mean that they do not exist. They are quiet, but they are committed to the truth about respect for human life, and they will never give in, least of all in the face of threats of separation from a pseudo-intellectual liberal who believes the world revolves around his philosophy.
     If one were to listen to Mr. Trudeau, one might come to the conclusion that he actually believes that his notion of Canada is the one and only one to which any red blooded Canadian might subscribe. This type of tunnel vision is very typical of the liberal upper crust. They have a vision which is entirely made up in their heads, and they defend that vision to the hilt. It almost become a religion in its own right.
     To add insult to injury, Justin Trudeau threatens to join the ranks of the Quebec separatists like a spoiled child who runs home with his ball when things do not go his way. If he thinks Quebec is all that liberal, or should I say 'progressive,' he is dead wrong.
     Quebec is a distinct society, which has shown its xenophobia on many occasions. Just because it has left the Catholic Church in droves, many people assume that Quebec has dropped many so-called archaic views. If we take a closer look, we will see that Quebec will allow immigrants, but they had better follow the rules or else. We have no such attitude here in Ontario. Perhaps Mr. Trudeau should have chosen Ontario as the province to secede from Confederation because the government in Ottawa does not live up to his ideals of an egalitarian society.
     Mr. Trudeau should love Ontario. It is secular, most 'progressive' when it comes to abortion and gay rights, and it treats its immigrants fairly and equally.
The only problem is Ontario does not want to leave Canada, and there goes the threat he loves to shake over Canadians' heads.
     The most difficult part of all of this for me to swallow is the fact that Justin Trudeau is Catholic. Perhaps he should go back and read his cathechism. There is a new version, which has just been released for young people in search of the truth. It would be most suitable for him.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Boys in front of Jesus

     Friday evening, the Milton Conquest boys' club, sponsored by Regnum Christi, attended a mass and exposition of The Blessed Sacrament at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Milton. The night was organized by Marvin Duarte, leader of the Milton Conquest club.
     I attended the evening with my wife, my son-in-law, and my two grandsons. There were about thirty Conquest boys present, all wearing their club t-shirts emblazoned with the Conquest crest proclaiming the very catchy motto: "Forged in Virtue, Born to Serve."
     So there they were in the two front rows, attending a mass on a Friday night when most other boys were either watching television, poking away at computer games or roaming the streets. As I stood and watched Father Paul and Father Thomas LC begin the mass, I could not help but look around at the large crowd in attendance, at this first Friday of the month celebration. And it was not difficult to notice the looks of curiosity, and slight anxiety in peoples' faces as I scanned the crowd.
     It was also very refreshing to see the two front rows of benches taken up by young  boys, some of whom were slightly fidgety, but who, for the most part, seemed very happy to be where they were. After all, attendance at a Friday evening mass is exactly the place to start the formation of our young Catholics. And therein lies the strength of the whole Conquest concept.
     Most Friday nights, my grandsons can be found playing indoor soccer, listening to Bible stories and putting on skits related to those stories, praying a decade of the Rosary, and learning about the virtues which help young boys grow up to be reliable, honest and faithful Catholics, and strong, trustworthy citizens.
      I beamed with pride as my grandson Justin helped bring the Offertory gifts to the altar, and bowed deeply and reverently as he handed the wine to the priest. Other boys served the mass, while another helped with the readings. After the mass, the boys had the option of going to confession and then sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament. And as always, there was a snack served in one of the church halls.
     As we left the church, Justin asked my wife, "Why does the priest mix water into the wine?" My wife answered,"The water represents us, the faithful at the consecration, as we too are united to Jesus in His sacrifice. Also, the wine represents Christ's divinity, and the water represents His humanity."  I could see Justin's gleaming smile in the moonlight as we headed for the car. He had just learned some important things about the deeper meaning of the mass, and he seemed pleased to have that knowledge, now that he had the experience of this very special event in which he had participated.
     The Catholic Church will profit in many ways from the formation of these boys through the valuable guidance of Conquest. Many will become more knowledgeable and more devoted Catholics because they have put in the time and effort to be closer to Jesus on a given Friday night in Milton Ontario, Canada, and in many other towns and cities across the country, and across the United States. And as we all know, Jesus does not forget those who spend time with him when most of the rest of the world is doing something else, especially on a Friday night, after a long week of school.
     But probably the most important gain for the Church will be the new priests who come out of Conquest, forged in virtue and born to serve for the rest of their lives. And new priests there will be. You can count on it.
     I have seen the light in their eyes and the hope which is springing up in their hearts, as they recognize the power of the Lord, and bathe in the unbounding energy of faith, hope and love.
     Thank God for boys. Thank God for Conquest.