Tom Scotus

Dangerous Distractions

By Saint Gabriels Newsroom / March 25, 2012

The purpose of life on earth is to prepare for eternal life. Distractions are anything that take our minds off that all important purpose. Life is full of these distractions. Many of them are necessary. Some, in small doses, are basically harmless. While others are deadly.

We spend a third of our lives sleeping. Many adults spend at least 40 hours a week working. The average Canadian spends three to four hours a day watching TV. Many others spend their leisure time playing lottery tickets, reading the newspaper, chatting on the phone or shopping. While none of these things are necessarily sinful, how much time do they leave for praying, doing charitable work or going to Mass? 

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The Dangers of Success

By Saint Gabriels Newsroom / March 19, 2012

The Dangers of Success

The gossip magazines are full of stories about famous, beautiful and rich people who have been victims of their own success. Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson are perfect examples. In spite of this, the majority of people persist in believing that fame and fortune guarantee happiness.

No one wants to fail. Yet God often allows failures in our lives to draw us closer to Himself. The completely successful person often gives himself the credit. He often becomes puffed up with pride. He may acknowledge God’s supremacy, but may never humble himself before God and may never admit his need of God’s mercy.

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Why Worry About Hell Now?

By Saint Gabriels Newsroom / March 10, 2012

In 1990, my friend and I drove from Toronto to Florida in my three-year-old Mustang. I asked him, “Do you think I should spray the underside of my car to keep it from rusting?”

“Why worry about that now?” he responded.

Twenty-two years later, I’m still driving that car. It hasn’t rusted out, because I did worry about it, and spent the time and money to rust proof it every fall.

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“I’m my own God”

By Saint Gabriels Newsroom / March 4, 2012

Religious people are often comforted by statistics which show that the vast majority of people still “believe in God.” However, let’s take a closer look at the nature of this “belief.” A tiny minority believes in God according to the traditional Catholic faith. Many more are “cafeteria Catholics” who pick and choose which parts of the faith they will accept and which they will reject. Many cafeteria Catholics will still warm a pew on Sunday mornings. However, they tend to reject aspects of the faith that “don’t make any sense” to them. The next type represents the vast majority of “believers.” They claim to believe in God, but are uninterested in or hostile to all organized religion. “I keep faith in my own way,” they say.

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Pancakes for Lent

By Saint Gabriels Newsroom / February 26, 2012

Several years ago, just before Lent, I received a phone call from a friend. “My mom’s disappointed that I’m not practicing my faith,” he said. “So I ate some pancakes.” Knowing him well, I knew that was all he was going to do for Lent. He wasn’t going to fast, give alms or pray, much less go to confession or frequent communion. Did he really think that by indulging in some pancakes that he was returning to the practice of “his faith” and that somehow God would be pleased? It’s hard to believe that an otherwise educated, responsible, sane adult who attended a Catholic school and went to church most Sundays as a child could be so casual and ignorant about the faith. Unfortunately, I fear that the great majority of “Catholics,” at least in the affluent nations, are a lot like him.

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Another Catholic web Site?

By Saint Gabriels Newsroom / February 23, 2012

A few days ago at a Robin’s Donuts in Thunder Bay, I met with Stewart Rathje and Gilles Daigle. We gathered to discuss the “resurrection” of the Saint Gabriel’s website. About two years ago, they, along with Gille’s daughter, Danielle, had enthusiastically designed and launched the site. They had visited me to show off their site when I was still Director of Communications for the Catholic Diocese of Thunder Bay. I had voiced support for Saint Gabriel’s because there was much good about it. However, privately, I felt that the site attempted to be all things to all Catholics and seemed to lack focus. 

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