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Sunday April 10, 2022
The world changed last Friday. Pope Francis asked Canada’s indigenous peoples to forgive his church.
Indigenous leaders have kept the residential school issue before the public. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission headed by Justice Murray Sinclair heard more than 6,500 testimonies from survivors. Ground-seeking radar identified close to a thousand bodies buried in unmarked graves on lands around those schools. Court cases documented physical and sexual abuse.
So we were kept well informed about the need for an apology.
But we have not heard how – or if – theological understandings have been changing in the Vatican.
And that, to my mind, is the overlooked news from the papal apology.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Pope Francis, apology, confession
Thursday March 31, 2022
A summer evening, in beautiful Butchart’s Gardens, near Victoria. B.C. On a grassy meadow, people -- young, old, and in-between -- sprawled on blankets, listening to entertainment from the Gardens’ open-air stage.
The singer was belting out a Barry Manilow piece.
I write the songs that make the whole world sing.
I write the songs, I write the songs.
Several people got up and left. I felt sorry for the performer.
It must be discouraging for any performer to watch people leaving. It would have been discouraging for Barry Manilow himself, if he’d been there. No matter how many million songs you’ve sold worldwide, it hurts when people don’t want to hear your song.
Who are you, when what you’re good at doesn’t appeal anymore?
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Losses, Manilow, somebody
Sunday April 3, 2022
I won’t offer excuses for General Jonathan Vance, Canada’s former chief of defence staff. Earlier this week, Vance pled guilty to a single charge of obstruction of justice. He was under investigation for sexual misconduct with a subordinate officer.
There’s no question about the sexual liaison with Major Kellie Brennan.
After their affair became public, Vance tried to get Brennan to deny their relationship.
There’s no question about that, either. Because Brennan recorded his phone calls.
Vance’s attempts to protect his reputation indicate that he knew he had done wrong. So why did he do it?
Tags: sex, macho, Gen. Vance, army
In her semi-memoir Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert describes being taught Balinese meditation. She had just spent four months in India learning -- sometimes painfully -- Yoga meditation. It involved physical postures that had to be practiced. And memorized texts that must be repeated precisely. Over and over.
But her guru in Bali simply said, “Smile.”
It was the Balinese attitude -- Smile. Always smile. Always face the world cheerfully.
It seems to me there’s an underlying truth there. We receive what we’re tuned to.
Tags: Eat Pray Love, resonance, Bali, smile