Thursday 17th January 2019

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

A Book Review . . . Unity Of Friendship, Charity, And Family

November 29, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN

Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Roadmap to Eternity by Fulton J. Sheen (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2017), 250 pp.; $16.95. Available at www.ignatius.com or call 1-800-651-1531.

A reprint of a book first published in 1949, this masterpiece, like any great spiritual classic, provides riches for the mind as it elucidates the timeless teachings of the Church, serves as an eloquent apologia for the many doctrines of the Catholic faith, offers the best catechesis for adults inspired to enter the one true Church, and makes Christianity a living religion abounding in wisdom, love, and joy.
No matter how much a person knows or loves his faith, he will gain greater depth of comprehension and deeper appreciation for the pearl of great price.
Examining modern man’s struggles in the first chapter, Sheen diagnoses man’s peculiar dilemma as an alienation from himself, his neighbor, and God. Instead of a unity of body and soul and mind and heart — an integrated person ordered by the hierarchy of the intellect governing the passions and the soul ruling the body — man is “so dissociated, so alienated from himself that he sees himself less as a personality than as a battlefield where a civil war rages between a thousand and one conflicting loyalties.”
These tensions that Sheen observed in the 1950s have their updated versions in such contemporary conflicts as career versus family, modern ideologies versus the Church’s social teachings, secular schools versus Catholic education, and moral relativism versus the unchanging teachings of the Church’s Magisterium.
Sheen associates modern man’s alienation from his neighbor with a loss of tradition and of “the accumulated heritage of the centuries.” Alienation manifests itself not only in world wars and class conflicts but also in avarice and self-interest that govern economic policies.
When Christian teaching that enjoins charity and love of neighbor no longer shapes politics, economics, or human relationships, then it follows that “it is only a step from refusing to live with others to refusing to live for others.” Divorce, abortion, and euthanasia provide further contemporary expressions of this alienation from others, forms of disorder that violate the natural unity of friendship, charity, and family.
“No divided is person is happy,” Sheen writes, as alienation from self then erupts into conflict with others and with God: “A person with a fight inside itself will soon have a fight outside itself with others.” This same person will then incite a quarrel with God.
Dogmatic atheism to Sheen reflects self-hatred and rejection of moral certainties — a desperate attempt to vilify religion by hatred in order “to escape the irrationality of godlessness.” This modern malaise Sheen identifies with contemporary man’s unwillingness to embrace what he calls “the romance of repetition” — the life of vocation “consecrated to a single purpose and a final end” instead of the pursuit of novelties, thrills, and glamour.
This romance of repetition does not mean a monotonous existence but a life centered in essential priorities and primary duties that require regular, habitual care and vigilance: “The Christian finds a thrill in repetition because he has a fixed goal; the modern pagan finds repetition monotonous because he has never decided for himself the purpose of living.”
The second chapter explains the way all this discord caused by sin and crime that produce alienation undergoes transformation. Asking “Could that discord be stopped?” Sheen answers “Not by man himself,” but only by “the Eternal coming out of His agelessness into time” can a new order (“a new symphony”) remove the dissonance of strife and bring harmony. Like a generous father or brother who pays for the debts of a prodigal son, “Our Lord takes upon himself all the discords, disharmonies, all the sins, guilts, and blasphemies of man, as if he himself were guilty.”
Unlike Socrates, Buddha, or Confucius, Christ does not qualify simply as a wise philosopher or good man but a second Adam, “the man through whom the human race starts all over again.”
Christ reeducates a world dominated by security, revenge, popularity, pleasure, lust, war, and comfort by the sublime teaching of the Beatitudes that confront all the glib clichés about happiness. This new vision to reorder the world fearlessly declares the heroic greatness of a lofty morality enjoining man “to love Him above parents, to believe in Him even in the face of persecution, to be ready to sacrifice our bodies to save our souls in union with Him.” Christ did not tolerate sin until it became intolerable, but ordered that the evil tree be cut immediately lest it produce bitter fruit.
Nothing in Christ’s teaching accommodates mediocrity or the lowest common denominator. Returning love for hate, carrying the cross rather than returning evil for evil, and forgiving seventy times seven have no moral equivalents in philosophy or other religions.
Christ exposed the cant of worldly wisdom with the expression “You have heard” (Moses allowed divorce) only to refute it with the hard truths of divine authority: “What God has joined, let no man put asunder.” Thus Christ came to heal fallen human nature, lift man beyond the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and to bless man with the divine life of eternal happiness — “to sentence the old man in us to death.”
This new man that Christ forms grows in divine life by the sacraments that bestow supernatural gifts. All the difference in the world separates those who dwell in a state of grace from those devoid of this blessing. This spiritual rebirth does not follow any course of evolution or gradual change, “some push from below, but a gift from above.”
As Sheen explains with a perfect analogy, just as minerals pass into plant life and plants enter animal stomachs and animal flesh goes into human bodies, man himself enjoys “the privilege of being assimilated into higher power” effected by sacramental grace. As plants die when consumed by animals and animals perish when eaten by man, men enter into divine life when they die and are reborn: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”
To live a sacramental life, man must die to the lower life of worldly standards, just as man gains his life by losing it according to Christ’s teaching.
Through the state of grace bestowed by the sacraments, the mind grows in light, the will grows in love, and the soul grows in faith. Two persons with the same education and intelligence — one with the knowledge of faith and the other devoid of sacramental grace — both beholding the Host on the altar will perceive different realities: “The one sees bread, the other sees Christ, not, of course with the eyes of the flesh, but with the eyes of faith.”
Faith, explains Sheen, perfects reason in the way a telescope improves vision. Faith is never blind but founded on the authority and word of God, and faith expands the intelligence to comprehend the truths that unaided human reason cannot fathom.
To enter, then, into this higher life of grace and faith, man needs incorporation into the life of God and the Mystical Body of His Church. Just as Christ became incarnate in the body of His Blessed Mother, He dwells in the Mystical Body of His Holy Church: “Christ is living now! He is teaching now, governing now, sanctifying now.”
Like a branch of a tree, man is a cell in that Mystical Body, receiving the Bread of Life, the strength to carry crosses, and the medicine that heals the wounds of sin. This new life in God perfects human life and elevates it supernaturally so that man becomes “a sharer of the divine nature.”
In this elevation of human life into divine life, love rises and grows as manifested in marriage because “the movement of the heart is an upward spiral” as the spouse and child become the gifts of God for whom a person sacrifices, and “the love, which once meant pleasure and self-satisfaction, changes into love for God’s sake.” This purification of love sanctifies and ennobles marriage and instills a “reverence for the mystery of creativeness” in human procreation that imitates the fruitfulness of God’s generosity.
This entire progression into divine life, sacramental grace, and the ascension of love has as its inevitable destination the four last things of death, the final judgment, Heaven, and Hell — the end of human life that sophisticated modern man conveniently ignores, even though “every thought, every deed . . . is registered and recorded.”
When God sees the human soul in the state of grace and sees its conformity to the divine image, God will keep His promise and say, “Come ye blessed of My Father.” When God beholds the soul that does not reflect the image of God because it remains in a state of unrepentant sin, God judges with the words “I know you not.”
While the modern world views Purgatory as an unfounded fictional realm invented by superstition, Sheen explains that Purgatory tempers God’s love with God’s justice to allow for the necessary purification for admission into Heaven. Because nothing “defiled” can enter the heavenly Jerusalem, “Justice demands that nothing unclean, but only the pure of heart shall stand before the face of a pure God.”
Purgatory, however, also is a place where “the love of man tempers the injustice of man,” meaning that the prayers for the dead can atone for all the ingratitude, insults, and injustices the living carelessly inflicted upon the dead when they were alive. The love that was taken for granted, the affection that was not appreciated, and the sacrifices that never received their proper thanksgiving can receive their due when these unspoken words finally express themselves through prayers for the dead as recompense for the “words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
Purgatory gives consolation for both the living and the dead. For the living it provides one last chance to atone for callous indifference: “Take away Purgatory and how bitter would be our grief for our unkindnesses and how piercing our sorrow for our forgetfulness.” For the dead it brings the joy of knowing they are remembered and cherished in the knowledge that love never dies and love is stronger than death.
To learn of all the chapters in the spiritual life from birth to death, of the adventures of the soul from Baptism to final judgment, and of the mighty acts of God in man’s journey from a fallen world into a heavenly Paradise, this classic by the Venerable Fulton Sheen provides a map like no other and leaves out nothing valuable or essential to know, see, and remember — an education of the highest excellence.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

"I do not think it is accurate to say that the sexual abuse of minors is owed to clericalism. That would be to give the impression that there is something about the clerical state that involves the sexual abuse of minors." Part 2 .. Interview
https://t.co/7Ja8po3UlN

Honest to God, I am really getting sick and tired of these caravans. What in the world is this? Just come and push your way into the country? And all of this just happening by itself? Thank you, @realDonaldTrump for standing firm against the un-American #Democrat party. #MAGA

@BethellDonna @Church_Militant @george_neumayr @JZmirak
@TaylorRMarshall @DanielCMattson @Patrick_Coffin @DictatorPope @ProtecttheFaith @TheWandererNews @LorlebergPetra Please help share and sign! This is a good way of putting pressure on Rome to do the right thing in February!

LifeSiteNews.com on Twitter

“Swiss group launches global petition asking Catholic bishops to stop homosexual networks https://t.co/EyvvxXzIeM”

twitter.com

Load More...

China’s crackdown on Christians continues

Beijing, China, Jan 15, 2019 / 02:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A campaign by the Chinese government to ‘Sinicize’ religion is ongoing, with detention and indoctrination of Muslims in the far west of the country, and the closing of underground churches…Continue Reading

Cdl. Wuerl will not celebrate youth Mass prior to March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Embattled Cardinal Donald Wuerl will not celebrate the Archdiocese of Washington’s January 18 Mass for Life, which is scheduled to occur before the annual March for Life. Instead, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to…Continue Reading

Support Archbishop Viganò on his 78th birthday!

January 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, turns 78 years old today. Born in northern Italy, Archbishop Viganò was ordained to the priesthood in 1968. He spent the next several…Continue Reading

Cdl. Burke: Pope Francis’ response to abuse crisis is ‘more confusing than anything’

January 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke told German TV in a January 8 interview that Pope Francis’ response to the abuse crisis is “confusing.” Cardinal Burke stated that Pope Benedict was “very clear on this [matter of abuse],”…Continue Reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Trashes Pro-Life People: You’re “Not in Line With Society”

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s radically pro-abortion prime minister, blasted pro-life advocates Wednesday amid a nation-wide outrage about barring pro-life groups from a federal grant program. “An organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to abortion,…Continue Reading

Cardinal’s trial puts French Church in glare of Catholic abuse scandal

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon goes on trial on Monday charged with failing to act on historical allegations of sexual abuse of boy scouts by a priest in his diocese. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is the highest-profile cleric to be…Continue Reading

Trudeau to issue new coin commemorating decriminalizaton of gay sex

OTTAWA, January 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has granted the Royal Mint permission to release a new one-dollar coin designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his father’s decriminalization of homosexuality. Trudeau’s government approved the coin…Continue Reading

CARDINAL CUPICH KEYNOTE SPEAKER FOR DISSIDENT PRIESTS’ CONFERENCE

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Blase Cupich is slated to be the keynote speaker at the annual conference for a notorious dissident priests’ organization. The annual assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) will take place in June 2019, and…Continue Reading

Vatican spokesman, deputy, resign over strategy differences

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican spokesman and his deputy resigned on Monday over disagreements on strategy, ending a year of upheaval in the Holy See’s communications structure. A brief Vatican statement gave no reason for the resignations. Spokesman Greg…Continue Reading

Chinese city bans public displays of Christmas, cites ‘clean city’ as reason

LANGFANG, China, December 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A city in China has issued a sweeping ban on Christmas-related decorations, public celebrations, and advertisements, claiming it’s necessary to keep the city clean for an upcoming awards contest. Christmas is not an…Continue Reading

Priest: Pro-LGBT rainbow rosary promoted by Fr. Martin ‘comes from the pit of hell’

December 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – During a radio interview about the pro-homosexual “social justice” rosary that Fr. James Martin has been promoting, Fr. Donald Calloway prayed for Martin’s “radical conversion” and that the Jesuit might “repent of the things he has…Continue Reading

President Trump’s Decision to Defund Planned Parenthood of $50-60 Million Likely to Win in Court

President Donald Trump appears likely to win a court battle against the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. At issue are new guidelines for Title X grants, which fund family planning programs across the country. In February, the U.S. Department of Health and…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 . . .

Vatican: Abuse summit to help bishops know ‘what they need to do’

Vatican City, Jan 16, 2019 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Just over a month ahead of the much-anticipated February meeting on sex abuse, the Vatican said the summit’s goal is for bishops to leave the meeting knowing clearly what it is they need to do to stop the abuse of minors. According to a statement by papal spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti Jan. 16, the February meeting “has a concrete purpose: the goal is that all of…Continue Reading

Archbishop Viganò urges McCarrick to publicly repent in new open letter

ROME, January 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — With a tone of fraternal and priestly charity, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has written an open letter to former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, encouraging him to publicly repent of his sins and thus to save his soul. In the brief letter, dated January 13, 2019 and published in English and Italian (see full text below), Archbishop Viganò has also sought to persuade McCarrick that he has a unique opportunity to greatly benefit the Churc

U.S. Catholics losing trust in clergy, survey finds

Washington D.C., Jan 11, 2019 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- Trust in the clergy has declined sharply over the last year, a new Gallup poll shows. Only 31 percent of American Catholics now rate the honesty or ethical standards of the clergy as “high” or “very high.” The figures, released Friday, show a drop of 18 points since 2017. Among American Protestants, the same question produced a relatively stable number of 48 percent, a drop of…Continue Reading

Vatican News pays tribute to Cuba’s brutal communist revolution, then deletes post

ROME, January 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An article at Vatican News, in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, disappeared from the Holy See’s website just one day after it appeared on January 1. No explanation was offered for the self-censorship of the article, which marked the rise to power of Fidel Castro and his anti-clerical Marxist government, which has long been marked by grievous human rights violations. The Vatican News article, in…Continue Reading

Wuerl knew McCarrick abuse allegations in 2004

Washington D.C., Jan 10, 2019 / 05:13 pm (CNA).- An allegation of misconduct against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick was reported to Cardinal Donald Wuerl in 2004, despite Wuerl’s insistence he knew nothing about McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct until 2018. Wuerl forwarded the report to the apostolic nuncio in Washington, DC, the Diocese of Pittsburgh said Thursday. A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington confirmed to CNA that an allegation against McCarrick was presented to Wuerl while…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

An Answer To A Sedevacantist Wannabe

By FR. JOHN T. ZUHLSDORF (Editor’s Note: Someone who is “seriously considering adopting some form of sedevacantism” wrote recently to Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf, and Fr. Z posted his reply on his January 7 blog. The question and answer are reprinted here with permission.) + + + Quaeritur: Father, I’ll get straight to the point:…Continue Reading

Critics Warn… New Mexico Bill Could Allow “Suicide Tourism”

SANTA FE, N.M. (CNA/EWTN News) — Proposed legislation in New Mexico could legalize assisted suicide in the state, and may even allow for the prescription of deadly drugs outside the state via telemedicine, and by health-care professionals other than physicians. Deacon Steve Rangel, associate director for the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the…Continue Reading

The Case Against The Sign Of Peace At Mass

By REY FLORES O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to Your Apostles: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you,” regarda not my sins but the faith of your Church, and deign to give her peace and unity according to Your will: Who live and reign God, world without end. Amen. — At…Continue Reading

Candor Is Not The Enemy Of Love

By DONALD DeMARCO Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, in his book Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World, makes two most important points when he reminds all those who love life that “candor is not the enemy of love” and that “real hope begins in honesty.” Candor may disturb one’s…Continue Reading

No, This Is Not JFK’s Democratic Party

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House has more women, persons of color, and LGBT members than any House in history — and fewer white males. And Thursday, January 3, the day Rashida Tlaib was sworn in, her hand on a Koran, our first Palestinian-American congresswoman showed us what we may expect. As a…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

His Bride Is The Church

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5 1 Cor. 12:4-11 John 2:1-11 In the readings for the past three weeks, the Church has given us the three traditional events which manifested our Lord’s divinity. The word Epiphany means manifestation. These manifestations took place thirty years apart, but were celebrated together because they point…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The Wall And Abortion: No Moral Equivalency

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The March for Life event each January draws thousands of pro-life Americans to Washington, D.C., to witness for the weakest and most defenseless among us, preborn boys and girls who cannot speak on behalf of the sacredness of their lives in the face of legalized abortion which, in some cases, threatens their existence at every…Continue Reading

The Authority Of Bishops . . . The Hierarchy Of Orders In The Catholic Church

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 It is a well-known fact that the Church today is going through a crisis, especially in faith, as can be seen as early as 1985 when Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger allowed the publication of The Ratzinger Report. I believe that Benedict XVI was the only Pope in Church history whose mind was already well-known…Continue Reading

The Crisis Of Hope In The Modern World

By DON FIER Two opposing vices were identified last week as contrary to the theological virtue of hope: despair and presumption. Despair, on the one hand, goes against Divine Mercy; presumption, on the other hand, goes against Divine Justice. To explain, the renowned Thomist philosopher Dr. Josef Pieper describes hope as “preeminently the virtue of the status viatoris [condition or…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In a recent reply about the appropriateness of giving blessings to those coming to Holy Communion, we said that the practice was an unauthorized innovation that should be discouraged. We have since learned that Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., has instructed his priests and deacons not to give such blessings. Here is his rationale: “I do not…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Calabria

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Teresa of Calcutta answered a call within a call by founding the Missionaries of Charity to help the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. Soon her apostolic endeavors to serve the most destitute of persons spread throughout the world, while she said that the greatest poverty is in the West where people do not know…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

By CAROLE BRESLIN While we can understand that God is infinite, it is difficult to comprehend the stretch of such infinity. Certainly our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend it. Hence, since our minds are finite, the more we have cluttering our minds with worldly affairs such as possessions, relationships, and activities, the less time and room we have in…Continue Reading