Pam Driedger

Reflection – The Journey May Be Long But We Will Be Fed

“Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these 40 years in the wilderness …” These words from today’s reading from Deuteronomy struck me in a particular way this week.  I have driven across the Sinai Peninsula; even walking in family groups, you would need to go “the long way” in order to take 40 years to make the trip!  We are told that God chose this long way in order to humble the people and test what was in their hearts. ...

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Reflection – Why Are You Weeping?

I have listened to the story of Mary Magdalene’s arrival at the empty tomb every Easter Sunday for my entire life. But this year two aspects of the story are resonating in a new way.  The first is the image of Mary weeping as she looks into the tomb and sees two angels in white.  She does not pause to marvel at the angels or wonder why they are there.  Her grief and sense of powerlessness are all consuming:  “They have taken my Lord, and I do ...

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Stories of Faith, Bring Light in the Darkness

He was lying in a hospital bed on the palliative care unit.  His family was worried about his discomfort, his weakness and his approaching death.  His only concern was that everyone else would understand that there was nothing to fear. Where others were seeing the shadow of death, he was seeing the light of God’s promise; and he wanted to share that light. He asked if he could tell me a story that I could then tell to other people, so they would not be so ...

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And the Wolf Shall Live with the Lamb

“He shall not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness, he shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.”

There is an internet video clip that shows a large group of young adults lined up on a field to begin a running race. The winner of the race will be given one hundred dollars. The person who is organizing the race says that before the race begins, he gives a series ...

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God Does Not Need My Vote

“Oh Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? … Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.” Whether it is news about environmental degradation, or about the undermining of the democratic process, news about migrants dying as they try to reach a place of safety or news about the violence in Yemen or Syria or Hong Kong, news about increases in gun violence in Toronto or about the recent spate of suicides ...

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Boast in Suffering? Seriously?

In today’s second reading Paul appears to celebrate suffering: “we boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character …” Working in the hospital, I come face to face with suffering on a daily basis; but I cannot recall ever meeting someone who was glad for the suffering. Occasionally, people talk about offering up the suffering; and sometimes I hear people quote today’s scripture passage and comment on the fact that they already have more than enough character. But that is as far ...

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Death and destruction will not have the final word

Monday Paris, accompanied by the world, watched as the Cathedral of Notre Dame burned. In those hours so much seemed to be swallowed by flames, not just a phenomenal piece of gothic architecture, but also a tangible promise of hope, continuity and resilience. News image after news image showed the faces of people looking lost, bewildered and devastated … and it struck me that once again the Cathedral was serving the purpose for which it was built. It was helping people experience the many layers of ...

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Choosing Love

Over and over again I meet people in the hospital whose pain cannot be alleviated by medications, because even though they feel it in their body, it is soul pain. It is the pain of being out of synch with the world in which they live, the pain that grips when an important relationship (with self, with others, with nature or with God) has been severely damaged and a person can see no way past the brokenness.

One of the peculiar characteristics of this kind of soul ...

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The Holy Family

For most of my life I have associated the Feast of the Holy Family with homilies that emphasize the value of the traditional nuclear family in today’s changing world. For this reason, I approached today’s scripture passages with the assumption that I would be writing about the importance of celebrating the gift of family as ...

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Hear, O Israel

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!” These words, known as the Shema are the centerpiece of Jewish morning and evening prayer and the focus of all biblical teaching. Because there is only one God we are told: “Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your ...

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