MAY 20, 2012, Vol 62, No 10

Some secular songs do contain Christian values, says Darren Chan, 19

MUSIC has been always been used as a medium to express oneself. The song, Swim, by Jack’s Mannequin (above) is about having courage to face one’s fears.The song, Swim, by Jack’s Mannequin (above) is about having courage to face one’s fears.

And there are songs by pop singers and bands which, although not explicitly Christian, nevertheless do deal with Christian themes such as the search for love and hope, and the belief that one is not alone in the struggles of daily life.

The following are some songs that have touched me, and I hope they will inspire you too.

This article, the first of three parts, examines the age-old question: Why is there suffering in the world?

A FEW decades ago, in what is now called the Killing Fields in Cambodia, more than two million people were executed mercilessly. Among them, babies who were murdered in front of their mothers by having their heads smashed against trees. Where was God? Why was He silent? Why didn't He intervene?

As unspeakable as this and other genocides can be, they are also a striking, perhaps scandalous proof of the firm commitment of God to respect our freedom of choice, no matter how horrible these acts might be. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that "God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it because He respects the freedom of His creatures." (CCC 311) We are not merely humans, we are persons; and that means we are endowed with freedom to choose what we believe is good so that we become the lords of our decisions and our lives, a kind of lordship that we share with God Himself. in this lies our dignity - being persons means to be God-like.
World Communcations Day Message: ‘Silence vital to good communication’
The shift in the meaning of the word ‘friend’ is one of the most dangerous things that has happened to society over the past few years.The shift in the meaning of the word ‘friend’ is one of the most dangerous things that has happened to society over the past few years.HOW many friends do you have?

How you answer that question has a lot to do with your age and where you spend your time on the Internet.

Until recently, most people would answer with a figure low enough to count on the fingers of their hands. With the rise of Facebook, however, the definition of “friend” has changed.

It’s no longer someone you depend on who can also depend on you. Instead, it’s a list of people you often know only casually, even if you rarely see them face to face.

The shift in the meaning of the word “friend” is one of the most dangerous things that has happened to society over the past few years. By usurping the meaning of “friend”, people in real need are being put at risk, because when they need friends, they’re learning often too late that the word no longer means what it once did.

Simone Back, for example, had 1,082 “friends” on Facebook. One Christmas Day, she posted a note on her wall: “Took all my pills be dead soon so bye bye every one.”
When do texting, 'Facebooking' and tweeting become simply too much, asks Liz Quirin

IF NOT actually ruling our lives and the universe, technology has become ubiquitous.

If people aren’t texting in meetings, or even in church, they’re sitting at the dinner table in homes or restaurants with their phones in their laps, staying connected to someone through SMSes.

In fact, some people prefer texting to talking so they are not so much interrupted as redirected briefly by a text and then a reply.

Whether it’s texting, “Facebooking” or tweeting, people use their technology for good or ill, based on their ethical frame of reference. If we consider the need for texting or actually calling people, the technology can potentially save lives.

For instance, schools can send a text or voice blast to all of their students if something happens on campus that everyone needs to know immediately.

Instant communications can save lives, and technology can alert people to potential dangers.

However, though we live in an age that touts all of the technological advances that have been made, we also live at a time when moral and ethical behaviour in cyberspace need to be addressed.