Opinion From Herald columnists and readers
Springtime is close at hand and along with spring comes those dreadful yellowjackets. These yellow- and black-banded insects win first prize, by far, for the top “stinging” pest in Colorado. By understanding them a bit more it may help us to avoid these troublesome wasps and enjoy a sting-free season.
There comes a moment when something clicks. At a book club or a Bible study. In a carpool circle or a coffee shop. A connection is made, and a gathering turns into a group, taking on a life of its own.
Elizabeth Tomlin has experienced it many times, and as a nomadic army wife, she’s come to rely on it.
In a recent essay in the Wall Street Journal, Kimberly Cutter chronicled the death of her father by suicide. As he struggled with rapidly progressing prostate cancer, he lost more than 30 pounds, becoming gaunt and emaciated. Back pain and nausea forced him to spend much of his time in bed.
The late 1800s saw a steep rise in American banking, commerce and industry. A new, ultrawealthy class arose, personified by families named Astor, Carnegie, Morgan, Rockefeller and Vanderbilt. Collectively, historians have tagged the men who created this wealth “Robber Barons,” reflecting their often cut-throat business tactics. These men and their families also donated vast sums of money to establish charitable foundations, endow universities, and found lending libraries, eventually furthering education and spreading that wealth.
When Mother Teresa visited New Bedford, Massachusetts in June 1995, she told those of us gathered at St. Lawrence Martyr Church: “Abortion is the greatest evil of today.” Never one to mince words, Mother Teresa’s courage, truthfulness and charity were palpable. Parents today need similar fortitude, honesty and love to be able to discuss the hard topic of unplanned pregnancies and abortion with their children.
An amusing tale, repeated by Carl Sandburg in his comprehensive biography of Abraham Lincoln, places the future president at a party hosted by the family of Mary Todd, with whom he was romantically smitten.
When Miss Todd asked Lincoln if he might want to dance with her, the awkward, gangling, country lawyer enthusiastically replied, “Yes, Ma’am! In the worst way!”
As a convert, Lent is a time of year for which I have great fondness. What makes the season so special for me, personally, is not only the refocus on prayer, fasting and almsgiving, but the memory of that Lent that led up to the Easter Vigil when I was confirmed. It was a joyful time at the end of my journey to Catholicism, which was long and winding. There were many events and people who played a part in my conversion, but I was most profoundly impacted by women religious, both as individuals and by what they represent.
I’m guessing you’re Catholic.” Ania nodded. “Me too,” the tour guide replied. “They’d destroy the church in Poland if they could, but there are too many of us.” (Excerpt from “Ania: Behind the Iron Curtain” by Lois Chance, written in collaboration with Anna Kowal and published by Outskirts Press).
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