Thursday 15th November 2018

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

A Book Review… Not Leftovers, But Full Meals Of Doctrine

August 3, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN

That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion, by Fr. Paul D. Scalia (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2017), 190 pp. $17.95. Available from www.ignatius.com or call 1-800-651-1531.

In the miracle of the loaves and the fish, Christ instructs His disciples to “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost,” a simple request that reveals, as Fr. Scalia explains, the Lord’s attention to detail, the importance of little things like sparrows and lilies, and His loving desire that nothing essential remain unfinished.
In the spirit of preserving everything and omitting nothing, the Church imitates the example of Christ by transmitting the entirety of Christian teaching in matters of faith and morals because “To neglect one dimension or the other, to cut corners here and there, only puts souls at risk” and leads to heresy — the failure of transmitting the fullness of the truth that results in error, the exaggeration of one part of Catholic doctrine at the exclusion of the wholeness of her universal teaching and tradition.
Imitating Christ’s example, Scalia identifies his collection of short essays or homilies as “fragments” because they are all brief and “left over” — they present nothing unknown or extraordinary. Despite their brevity, however, these reflections are not leftovers but full meals — intellectual and spiritual nourishment. For Christ’s concern that “nothing may be lost” refers not only to the bread and fish that feed the four thousand but also the heavenly food and divine truth that satisfy the soul and lead to salvation. No person should go hungry or lack knowledge of the love of Christ or of the way, the truth, and the life.
A wide-ranging series of meditations on passages from Scripture that encompass the whole of Catholic life and teaching, Scalia divides the book into nine chapters on topics like knowing and loving the Lord and the Body of Christ, the paradoxes of faith, and the sacraments. Other chapters address the beauty and power of the Virgin Mary, the lives of biblical saints like Joseph, John the Baptist, and John the Beloved.
The final chapters elucidate the life of prayer, the life of grace, and the feasts of the Church. The structure of the book provides an excellent catechesis of the comprehensive teaching and abundant richness of the Catholic faith — a copious banquet, not small morsels.
The essay “The Same Old Thing” in chapter 1 “The Lord” dwells on “how ordinary our Lord was,” the son of Joseph the carpenter without any halo, emanation of light, or host of angels. The thirty years of Christ’s hidden life in a small village “in the humdrum, common, everyday world” were notably unspectacular. The people of Nazareth who had heard of Christ’s miracles expected something marvelous or magical in their “itch for novelty,” only to fall into disbelief: “Is this not this Joseph’s son?”
In gathering up the fragments from this story, Scalia observes that God reveals His nearness and presence “through the common and familiar things” not only of domestic life and daily work but also through the same old things like the Creed, the Mass, and the rosary that order human life with meaning and purpose. Scalia explains that the routine and repetition of life’s ordinary patterns increase faith and belief in “what is unseen.”
Chapter II “The Church” notes the contradictory accusations that charge the Church with both worldliness and escape from the real world: “In short, the world demands that the Church be human and then complains that she is not divine.” While the Church promises holiness, it often delivers weakness and sin. Could the powerless, innocent Jesus on the cross be God? Could a holy Church founded by God be guilty of scandals?
This paradox Scalia explains through the historical fact of the Church’s endurance and continuity: “What should surprise us is that the Church has survived its scandals.”
Despite the fallible nature of the Church’s representatives, she remains God’s authoritative voice in the world because the failures of her leaders never compromise the integrity of her moral teachings or destroy the rock of the Church’s foundation.
In chapter III “Paradoxes of Faith” Scalia ponders the mystery of God’s intimacy and transcendence (“The sacred Host both reveals and conceals Him”). God is both the light of truth that reason grasps and a great darkness that only faith illuminates. The “fragments” Scalia gathers from these paradoxes explain the necessity of humility — the realization “that reality is greater than what we can grasp or comprehend” and always eludes the proud who rely exclusively on scientific method. He laments the separation of faith and reason in the modern world that produces skepticism (“modern thinkers doubt their ability to know anything for certain”), while science and modern philosophy deny the reasonableness of faith and the need of higher authority: “If I do not trust the Church about the truths of Revelation, then I will not be able to think clearly about God.”
Chapter IV “The Sacraments” explains the mystery of the Eucharist as the paradox of “abundant insufficiency,” alluding to Andrew’s objection to the boy’s five barley loaves and two fish as inadequate fare for the hungry crowd of four thousand: “What are they among so many?”
God, however, does much with little, asking man to contribute his small portion as He multiplies its increase, whether it is changing the water to wine at Cana or producing a bountiful feast from the loaves and fish: “When a generous soul offers what little he has, the Lord uses that small offering for tremendous good.”
The offering of the bread and wine at the altar, likewise, is a small, insufficient amount that God multiplies to become the bread of Heaven and to nourish the souls of the spiritually hungry.
Chapter V on “The Virgin Mary” captures the significance of “Our Lady of Promptness” traveling “with haste into the hill country” to Elizabeth. The fragments that Scalia gleans from this simple phrase present another facet of the Holy Mother’s noble example of Christian life. Without panic or tension, Mary exemplifies diligence, alacrity, and single-mindedness in the fulfillment of duty: “Those imbued with the life of Christ respond promptly to His initiatives, to His every last suggestion.”
Mary’s readiness, Scalia recalls, is Dante’s example of the zeal that combats the deadly sin of sloth with its procrastination, negligence, and apathy. Loving God and loving neighbor demand diligence: “And when we love God, we are attentive and responsive to His every touch — no matter how slight — to knowing and doing what pleases Him.”
Chapter VI “The Saints” recognizes the humility of John the Baptist as a mere “voice” who must decrease for the Messiah to increase, praises the perseverance of John the Beloved remaining at the foot of the cross whose intimacy with the Lord discovered the burning furnace of Christ’s Sacred Heart, and commends Mary Magdalene’s adoration of her Lord pouring out ointment to wash His feet with her hair and later sitting at his feet to contemplate His divine teaching. These acts of devotion portray the highest love of God.
This chapter also offers a greater understanding of the silent or obscure saints. Joseph, finding himself unqualified and unworthy of the role of the Holy Mother’s spouse and guardian of God’ son, depends always on the sufficiency of God’s grace as he learns of the prophecies of suffering, Herod’s slaughtering of the innocents, and the loss of Jesus in the Temple: “Scripture and Tradition both give the sense of Joseph’s quiet, peaceful resignation — finding in his weakness an opportunity to lean more on God’s strength.”
Veronica’s example of wiping the face of Jesus with her veil on the Way of the Cross illustrates “the power a simple act of charity carries.” The image of Christ’s face on the veil is another one of the “fragments” or details that should never go unappreciated: “So also, through our acts of charity, the likeness of charity continues….We make Him visible through simple but courageous acts of love.”
Chapter VII “Prayer” explains the purpose, discipline, and fruits of prayer. It requires a time for preparation, a state of recollection, a sense of contrition, the virtue of humility, and the willingness to seek and ask God. Though God is part-concealed, He is also half-revealed in what Scalia calls the game of “hide and seek”: “He hides so that we will search, and in searching we will grow in faith.”
This chapter distinguishes the different forms of prayer. The prayer of adoration proceeds from love because “we adore what we love” and because we contemplate the goodness of the person for His own sake, not for any reward or gain.
The prayer of thanksgiving proceeds from justice, the obligation to repay a debt for great blessings and undeserved gifts, and it recollects the multitude of graces received in a lifetime. It thanks God for specific things like the gift of life, good health, and the joys of love. This habit of prayer produces fruit like the “merit to receive yet greater benefits” and a more charitable heart open to God’s bountiful love and graces.
This openness to God’s will in prayer always requires trust in His wisdom and divine will that surpasses man’s incapacity to distinguish between what he truly needs and what he unthinkingly wishes: “Nevertheless, we should not think of God as a divine vending machine, obliged to spit out exactly what we request.”
Chapter VIII clarifies the manner of God’s grace in human lives. It depends on human cooperation and active participation because God’s miracles often make a request: stretch a withered hand, go and wash, get up and walk, or fill the jars with water.
The life of grace requires “intellectual vigilance” that disciplines the eyes and ears to avoid all the lurid sights and images that attack the senses, and it eschews the worldly influences of secularization, decadent entertainment, and liberal ideologies that subvert moral law.
The life of grace also exercises “a vigilance of the heart” especially in the attack on marriage by a culture of no-fault divorce, access to pornography, impurity, and infidelity. The life of grace suffers when moral sluggishness makes man lax and unwary of the subtle lures of evil. “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he returns.”

The Good News

The final chapter “The Feasts” emphasizes the incarnate nature of God’s love that became flesh and manifest in the Christ Child born of the Virgin Mary. God becomes visible, embodied, and small to inspire the human response of returning love for love. God also establishes His real presence by his “established appointments with us” in prayer, at Mass, in the confessional, and in the sacraments so that man does not fail to keep these assigned times as moral obligations.
In the Transfiguration God reveals His glory to intimate the splendor of the heavenly world and invites man to anticipate eternal life in its superabundant beauty and goodness. Thus God becomes incarnate in all that He reveals and speaks to man’s five senses: “Love seeks to be concrete. We cannot love in a general way.”
The Resurrection of course also declares the incarnate reality of God’s ever-present nearness in the nail marks and the body of a risen Christ who asks for something to eat.
As the women on Easter morning run from the tomb “fearful yet overjoyed” to announce the good news to the disciples, their fear of the Lord and the joy in the heart capture the Christian way of life: “The Risen Christ will not be domesticated. He must be feared in order to be received. Only when that fear is present can joy arise.”
God reveals Himself, proffers His love, performs miracles, and answers prayers only on His conditions, not on man’s terms. No human intelligence can explain the miracle of the loaves and fish or the mystery of transubstantiation in the Eucharist, a Resurrection from death, Christ’s sudden appearance and disappearance on the road to Emmaus, or the power of a small deed of charity.
These mighty acts naturally evoke awe and fear at the power of Almighty God, but they also inspire joy as man rejoices in the loving kindness of a munificent God who never ceases to pour out His prodigal love for all His children.
Although Fr. Scalia describes his reflections as meager “fragments” left over from a feast, old things with no exceptional savor or freshness, they amount to a banquet in which all the flavors and aromas of the best and most delicious spices make a reader exclaim, “Taste and see the sweetness of the Lord.”

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Having watched the first session of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops General Meeting, and that fact that the Pope has ordered them not vote on any action items, I have to ask, what is the point of this meeting? What is the point of National Bishops' Conferences?

Load More...

US bishops consider asking Pope Francis to release McCarrick documents

BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will consider officially asking Pope Francis to release any documents related to alleged serial sexual abuser Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. The motion was made from the…Continue Reading

U.S. Catholic Bishops Meet in the Shadow, Still, of Clergy Sex Abuse

This weekend, the Catholic bishops of the United States gather in Baltimore ahead of their three-day annual general assembly, which opens Monday. By coincidence, it will be 16 years exactly since their session in 2002, when they met to amend…Continue Reading

The Synodal Church

Antonio Spadaro, SJ – Carlos Galli Forty years ago, Jesuit Father Arij Roest Crollius wrote: “What is so new about inculturation?”[1] His reflection was a milestone in the understanding of that word and in welcoming a concept at the heart of…Continue Reading

National network of Catholic church leaders told to preserve all communications

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has asked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to preserve all electronic and paper documents in case other federal prosecutors need to look into accusations of sexual assault against current…Continue Reading

Cdl. Burke ‘strongly’ endorses new virtue education program for young people

October 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the Church’s most outspoken defenders of life, marriage, and family, has “strongly” endorsed a new virtue education program for children. “Alive to the World” is a continuous, story-based virtues/values program. Much…Continue Reading

Pittsburgh wants to revoke Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of kids event over Christian marriage views

PITTSBURGH, October 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – America’s most successful Christian food chain may be driven out of a children’s community event in Pittsburgh over the owners’ Christian-based view of marriage and homosexuality, if the Pittsburgh City Council has its way.…Continue Reading

Australian bishop touts women’s ordination: ‘transformation of priesthood’ is underway

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, October 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An Australian bishop recently told priests that admitting women to the priesthood in the Church’s current state of affairs would be like pouring new wine into old wine skins, but that a “transformation…Continue Reading

Twitter locks LifeSite out of account for ‘hate’: fact-based post on rise in gay STDs

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Twitter has just locked LifeSiteNews out of our Twitter account over an article we posted four years ago that provided expert analysis on the rise in sexually-transmitted diseases among homosexuals. The 2014 piece by Dr. Gerard M.…Continue Reading

Ave Maria U president who criticized Cdl. Burke, Archbishop Viganò announces resignation

AVE MARIA, Florida, October 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Just six weeks after he issued a statement criticizing Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Vigano, Ave Maria University (AMU) announced its president Jim Towey will step down in June 2020. Vigano’s 11-page testimony…Continue Reading

‘Just glad we ruined Kavanaugh’s life’: Pro-abortion Left responds to Supreme Court defeat

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Judge Brett Kavanaugh is now Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the left-wing forces who pulled out all the stops to defeat him show no signs of cooling down anytime soon. The Senate voted 50-48 on…Continue Reading

Pope selects youth from pro-gay Vatican consultant’s media org to attend Synod

October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The four young people from Canada now at the Vatican synod on youth are all from Salt and Light Media. The Toronto-based media outlet is run by Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, who is also on…Continue Reading

Youth Synod Archbishop apologizes to young Catholics for sex abuse, ‘unbeautiful liturgies’

ROME, October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, has issued an extensive mea culpa at the Vatican Youth Synod for all the ways in which the hierarchy and members of the Church have failed young people — whether…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Abp. Viganò urges U.S. bishops to confront sex abuse as ‘courageous shepherds’

ROME, November 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò today has issued a brief note to the U.S. Bishops, urging them to confront sex abuse as “courageous shepherds” rather than “frightened sheep.” The U.S. Bishops are currently in Baltimore at their much-anticipated fall annual meeting at which they were expected to vote on concrete proposals to hold bishops accountable for their failures after the reve

Pope Francis . . . “First, there is the immense and ongoing crisis of climate change and the nuclear menace”

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Consistory Hall Monday, 12 November 2018 [Multimedia]   Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to meet the full complement of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. I offer cordial welcome to the new Members and I am grateful to the former President, Professor Werner Arber for his gracious words of introduction, while I pray that Professor Joachim von…Continue Reading

Vatican orders U.S. bishops to halt plans for vote on sex-abuse reforms

BALTIMORE – The first gathering of the nation’s Catholic bishops since a summer wave of anger and recrimination over clergy sex abuse in the American church opened Monday with a stunning announcement: The prelates would not vote on a series of new accountability measures – and it was the Vatican who ordered them to hold off.

Our Veterans Fought and Died For Our Freedom, Not for Abortion

(Reprinted from 2013) In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, thirty men from the small town of Bedford, Virginia, huddled close together in landing craft churning through the dark waters of the English Channel on a mission unlike any other the world had ever known. Their destination: a strip of sand known as Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. Most of the thoughts running through the minds of these young men are lost to…Continue Reading

US bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development continues to fund pro-abortion, pro-LGBT groups

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Grants from the U.S. Bishops’ domestic anti-poverty arm are again benefitting groups associated with support for abortion and open homosexuality, new reports from the Lepanto Institute say. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) encourages Catholics to support its Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), which it says helps those on the margins. Yet in the last several years, roughly half a million dollars, much of which…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Conflicting Rights In A Divided Nation

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON The Senate Judiciary hearings to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as an associate justice of the Supreme Court were brutal to his personal reputation, devastating to the comity of the congressional body, and inflammatory in an already divided nation. Protesters shouted in the hearing room, had sit-ins in the hall, accosted a senator…Continue Reading

The Paradox Of The Person

By DONALD DeMARCO The first law of nature is self-preservation. The highest law of morality is self-sacrifice. What the content these two sentences makes abundantly clear is that the life of the human being is one of perpetual tension. Self-preservation and self-sacrifice are not exactly on the same page. However, it is important to note…Continue Reading

Mass Migration: Mortal Threat To Red State America

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Among the reasons Donald Trump is president is that his natural political instincts are superior to those of any other current figure. As campaign 2018 entered its final week, Trump seized upon and elevated the single issue that most energizes his populist base and most convulses our media elite. Warning of…Continue Reading

Shawnee State . . . Professors Must Speak Contrary To Their Beliefs Or Be Punished

CINCINNATI — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against Shawnee State University officials Monday, November 5 on behalf of a professor that the university punished because he declined a male student’s demand to be referred to as a woman, with feminine titles and pronouns (“Miss,” “she,” etc.). Although philosophy professor Dr. Nicholas Meriwether…Continue Reading

Trump Administration… Announces New Conscience Exemptions For HHS Mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNA) — The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor released two updated rules concerning conscience protections for organizations and individuals in relation to the HHS contraception mandate. Under the new rules, organizations and individuals objecting to the controversial mandate’s provisions on either religious or moral grounds will be exempt. According…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Indifference

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Washington, D.C. Monsignor kindly gave The Wanderer permission to reprint this essay from his blog, which appeared there on November 5, 2018. All rights reserved.) + + + The Gospel for Tuesday of the 31st Week features the Lucan version of the parable about…Continue Reading

Shine Brightly Like The Stars

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Daniel 12:1-3 Heb. 10:11-14, 18 Mark 13:24-32 In the Gospel reading today our Lord teaches us about what will happen at the end of the world: The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will be falling from the sky, and the…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Life Is Beautiful With Final Judgment In View

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The prospect of final judgment brings negative impressions, images, or emotions to mind for many. Sometimes it also does so for some who claim our Catholic faith. As a step along the way to spiritual maturity, we must often be purged of our childish or worldly impressions. With an authentic and deeper faith, the prospect…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Holy Orders… More On Women Priests — Why Not?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 4 The participation of women in the life of the Catholic Church over the centuries has been remarkable. Without being priests, women have played a major role in the instruction of the faithful, service of the sick and needy, and the works of the apostolate. The work of spreading the Gospel, as early as in…Continue Reading

Humility — Foundation Of The Spiritual Life

By DON FIER As has been demonstrated over the past two weeks, temperance is the cardinal virtue that “moderates the attraction of pleasures, assures the mastery of the will over instincts, and provides balance in the use of created goods” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 383). Although most often associated with man’s innate appetitive drives to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Elizabeth Of The Trinity

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a woman receives the Carmelite habit, she also receives a new name. St. Teresa of Avila received the name “of Jesus” and St. Therese of Lisieux received the name “of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.” Likewise, when Elizabeth Catez became a Carmelite and received her name, she was given the title “of the Trinity,”…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is…Continue Reading