Saturday 22nd September 2018

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Consolation In Troubled Times

September 3, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By DONALD DeMARCO

The present time, one might say, is more than troubled; it is shaken to the core. That is the unpleasant reality, both within and outside of the Church. There can be no denying it. Nonetheless, there is never a time for despair. Hope springs eternal.
It is important to take note of a few important facts so that our realization of what is going on does not discourage us from acting. Boethius wrote a classic work, The Consolation of Philosophy, while unjustly imprisoned and awaiting execution. He found consolation in the ability to retain his self-possession in the face of adversity.
How do we retain our own self-possession at a time when the whole world seems to be going to wrack and ruin? What are these important facts that can re-energize us?
One important fact to remember is that Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve chosen apostles, was a betrayer. Dante placed him in the ninth circle of Hell because he believed that betraying a friend for an abstraction is the worst of all possible sins. He had Judas, along with Brutus and Cassius (who betrayed Caesar) eternally writhing in pain in the mouths of a three-headed Lucifer. For Dante, the punishment fit the crime.
It is good to remember that only a slight slip is required for a halo to become a noose. The chosen ones may not always live and act in a way that is worthy of their selection. If we had fallen angels, why would we think that we would never have fallen cardinals? Man is, indeed, a fallen creature and often uses his freedom unwisely.
Herman Melville expressed the matter without the slightest hint of sentimentality when he remarked that “we are all dreadfully cracked about the head and sadly need mending.”
The present culture is hardly an inspiration for a moral life. The path of least resistance has led to the point of no return. Freedom without restriction, especially in the area of human sexuality, produces restriction without freedom. G.K. Chesterton, who was not taken in by the temper of the times, said it best when he stated: “Mankind declares with one deafening voice: that sex may be ecstatic so long as it is also restricted. That is the beginning of all purity; and the beginning of all passion.”
Secularism engulfs us. Its “live for the moment” philosophy is both contagious and corrosive. We are sitting ducks for a moral environment that has been de-Christianized. This is a phenomenon that is not new, but may be more seductive in our contemporary world.
Wise Aquinas was well aware of the seductive charm of a bad culture: “There is not much sinning because of natural desires. But the stimuli of desire which man’s cunning has devised is something else. And for the sake of these one sins very much” (Summa Theologiae II, II 142, 2 ad 2).
Sinning, in this sense, is a corporate activity. Blame should not be focused entirely on individuals. Complicity in evil is usually a shared occurrence.
While we cannot blame culture entirely for our sinning, we can understand the seductive power it has and take action against it. And the best way to take action against it is to deepen our spirituality and unite ourselves more closely to God. The actions of a mere individual may seem to be but a trifle, but many trifles knit together can produce powerful weaponry. Nor do we need to wait until we are ready to do something extraordinary. Cardinal Newman reminds us: “Nothing would be done at all if a man waited till he could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.” We are far more eligible to be good apostles than we may realize.
It is always darkest before the dawn. There is consolation in this aphorism as there is in the German adage, Gnade des Nullpunkts (the grace of the zero point). Venerable Notre Dame football coach Frank Leahy would tell his players that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
When things reach a certain crisis point, an energy and a resolve are unleashed that begin to set things right. Bad times can inspire people to live good lives and even become saints. When one is thoroughly dis-enamored with the false promises of secularism and its horrible results, the only thing to do is to begin turning things in the opposite direction.
Christ identifies Himself as a sower who sows the seed of His Word (Matt. 13:18-23). But His seed will not take root if the soil is thorn infested or rocky. If our hearts are not responsive to God’s call, the consequences are calamitous:
“For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:7-8).
It is an illusion to think that we live in a progressive age where, like technology, we are improving on a daily basis. The truth of the matter is that we are fallen creatures living in a very bad environment who are often misusing our freedom and turning a deaf ear to the Word of God.
There are reasons for our dismal situation and a Church that is Christ-centered is not one of them. Our response should not be one of discouragement or despair, but one of hope and renewal. If we have not done enough in the past, we should now do more. If we have been slothful, we should now be more zealous. If we assumed that we were not needed, we can always pray. We are not without consolation; but, more important, we are not without sources of grace.
As Mother Angelica has advised: “Get cracking.”
(Dr. DeMarco is professor emeritus, St. Jerome’s University and senior fellow for Human Life International. His latest book, recently gone to press, is Apostles of the Culture of Life.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

NFL star stuns interviewer: We have 8 kids and hope for more

MILFORD, Connecticut, September 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers made an interviewer gasp with amazement when he confirmed that he has eight children – and wants more. Dan Patrick of The Dan Patrick Show chatted with NFL…Continue Reading

Vatican deals with China are leaving Catholics around the world baffled

In what was an unprecedented move, the Vatican earlier this year asked Chinese underground bishops to step down. Apparently, Rome believes the atheist Chinese regime is better qualified to select its bishops than the Roman Catholic Church. And thus, it is conceding…Continue Reading

Yet another US bishop calls for Youth Synod to be canceled so Church can ‘deal with abuse crisis’

TYLER, Texas, September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Texas bishop has called for the Youth Synod to be canceled in light of the ongoing scandal regarding the cover-up of episcopal sexual abuse of minors and seminarians. On September 8, Bishop…Continue Reading

ATLANTA ARCHBISHOP WILTON GREGORY INVITES HOMOSEXUALIST FR. JAMES MARTIN TO SPEAK

ATLANTA (ChurchMilitant.com) – Celebrity Jesuit Fr. James Martin is heading to Georgia, courtesy of pro-gay Abp. Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Georgia. On Friday, Martin announced on Twitter that Abp. Gregory has invited him to speak in October at two Atlanta-area locations.…Continue Reading

Leaked sex abuse report rocks German church, 3,677 victims

September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Two German major media outlets – Der Spiegel and Die Zeit – leaked today the findings of a sexual abuse commission funded by the German Bishops’ Conference and which Cardinal Reinhard Marx had planned to present to the public…Continue Reading

US bishops’ president accused of allowing reported sex abuser access to kids

September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, has been accused of allowing a priest who confessed to sex abuse of a minor to function as a pastor of a parish,…Continue Reading

Cdl. Cupich on abuse crisis: We shouldn’t be ‘distracted’ by this, Church has ‘bigger agenda’

CHICAGO, September 10, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – When challenged about the clergy sexual abuse scandal now facing the Church, Cardinal Blase Cupich told a large gathering of seminarians that the Church’s agenda is “bigger” than the sexual corruption now facing the…Continue Reading

Catholic prelates must speak out, now, as the faithful are attacked by their own shepherds

September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The following reflection is the result of a couple of days of my reading and thinking about the last five years, but then also about the last fifty years. Trying to get an interview with…Continue Reading

Oklahoma archbishop: I’ve ‘deepest respect’ for Viganó. His claims demand ‘deeper examination’

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, August 31, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley has issued a statement saying he has the “deepest respect” for Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó and his “integrity.” Some on the left have attempted to cast doubt…Continue Reading

One Mad Mom . . . Martin’s Cozy with Proximate Occasions of Sin

Let me say this, I am a mom of a multitude of kids and have spent their lives trying to ensure their safety and well-being.  I have THE biggest stake with what’s been going on in the Church for decades. …Continue Reading

Thousands of Catholic women ask Pope: Did you cover-up for McCarrick, as Viganò claims?

August 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of prominent Catholic women have written an open letter to Pope Francis imploring him to provide clarity on the “escalating” sex abuse crisis currently “engulfing” the Church. Expressing anger, betrayal, and heartbreak, the women bluntly…Continue Reading

Ave Maria University president slams Viganò, Cardinal Burke

AVE MARIA, Florida, August 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Citing the “God of Surprises,” the president of a Roman Catholic University once known for its orthodoxy has slammed two faithful prelates for their challenges to the Pope, particularly in regard to…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 . . .

Newly published excerpts from Benedict’s private letters reveal his concern over Church crisis

ROME, September 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A German newspaper today has published excerpts of two private letters Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote less than one year ago, that give insight into how he views his resignation, and his deep concern for the state of the Church following his departure from the papacy. Bild newspaper has reported that the two letters bearing Benedict’s signature — and which independent sources have authenticated — w

US bishops’ silence on meeting with Pope could put their credibility on sex abuse at risk

ROME, September 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Have the jocular images and low-key statements of US Bishops following their meeting with Pope Francis last week set back their attempts to address the grave situation in the Church, especially the handling of sexual abuse cases by bishops? The details that have been revealed of the bishops’ meeting with Francis last Thursday give no indication that they addressed the extent of the McCarrick coverup or the need for…Continue Reading

Cardinal Maradiaga rebukes papal critics: McCarrick abuse scandal ‘of a private order’

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The scandal of ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual abuse of young priests and seminarians and Pope Francis’ alleged cover-up are “of a private order,” and a merely “administrative affair,” according to one of the Pope’s top advisers, Cardinal Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga. He made these remarks in a recent interview in one of the most revealing statements to date on the Viganò testimony. In an interview published on Wednesday evening by Religion Digital, the religious portal…Continue Reading

Dutch Catholic church accused of widespread sexual abuse cover-up

More than half of the Netherlands’ senior clerics were involved in covering up sexual assault of children between 1945 and 2010, a press report claimed on Saturday, further engulfing the Catholic church in a global abuse scandal. Over the course of 65 years, 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries “covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims”, the daily NRC reported. “Four abused children and 16 oth

Steve Bannon Drafting Curriculum for Right-Wing Catholic Institute in Italy

(Reuters) – Former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon is helping to craft the curriculum for a leadership course at a right-wing Roman Catholic institute in Italy, stepping up his efforts to influence conservative thinking in the church. Benjamin Harnwell, director of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute based in a mountaintop monastery not far from Rome, told Reuters Bannon had been helping to build up the institute for about half of its eight-year life. Cardinal Raymond…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Chaplain Tells Medical Workers…. Discovering God’s Will Leads To Love And Joy

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Although those seeking a direction in life may turn to searching for God’s will, a Phoenix chaplain reminded listeners that another ruler from beyond the Earth also has a plan for their lives, Satan. Fr. Ignatius Mazanowski, FHS, chaplain of the Phoenix Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, explored a…Continue Reading

Solzhenitsyn: Truth Is Light

By DONALD DeMARCO Without the truth we are in the dark, not knowing how to think, judge, act, or live. Please tell us the truth. Please dispel the darkness. Readers of The Wanderer will understand my plea without my needing to divulge names. We do, as Marshall McLuhan explained to us, live in a global…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Skewed Ideas About Education And Minority Groups

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Is Trump Going Neocon In Syria?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Is President Donald Trump about to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war? For that is what he and his advisers seem to be signaling. The past week, Trump said of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s campaign to recapture the last stronghold of the rebellion, Idlib province: “If it’s a slaughter, the…Continue Reading

Pro-Lifer… Arizona Governor Names Successor To Fill McCain’s Seat

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — With its own strange brand of politics, Arizona acquired a new U.S. senator who agreed to fill the upper-chamber seat for at least a few months. Huh? With the late John McCain’s health slipping away for more than a year to an aggressive brain cancer, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey had…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. It’s been several years since a Vatican commission was appointed to investigate the legitimacy of the alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. What is the status of that investigation? — M.K., South Carolina. A. In 2014, the commission concluded a four-year study of the Medjugorje phenomenon and sent a report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of…Continue Reading

HLI’s Mission To Mongolia… There Are Setbacks, But The Church Continues

By FR. SHENAN BOQUET (Editor’s Note: Fr. Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International. This commentary first appeared September 3 at HLI.org and was reprinted by LifeSiteNews.com. All rights reserved.) + + + “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in…Continue Reading

True Wisdom From Above

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 James 3:16-4:3 Mark 9:30-37 In the second reading today, St. James tells us that where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. As we look around, we can certainly see an abundance of disorder and foul practices. To eliminate these…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Why Evangelists Need An Interior Life

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Spiritual Handbook for Catholic Evangelists: How to Win Souls Without Losing Your Own, by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard (Sophia Institute Press, 192 pages, Amazon paperback and Kindle). This is a new version of an old spiritual classic, originally written about a century ago, but still valid for today’s Church, and particularly for those involved in evangelization. The…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Confession… Confession Among The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 Here are some more testimonies from the Early Christians about the Sacrament of Confession, how they understood the sacrament and how it was administered by the priests to the people when they sinned. Those writers are known in history as the Fathers of the Early Church, the theologians and Bible scholars of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Servant of God Rozalia Celak

By CAROLE BRESLIN The closer one comes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the hotter the flame, as many saints have attested. St. Catherine of Siena bore the marks in her heart where the arrow of Christ’s love pierced it. With the flame of the burning love, the Sacred Heart touches those whom He loves in a special way. To…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Our Lady Of Mount Carmel

By CAROLE BRESLIN In northern Israel between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea, a mountain range stretches inland. This range, although named Mount Carmel, is really a series of mountains stretching inland. The main site of the Mount, the Stella Maris monastery of the Discalced Carmelites, sits on a limestone bluff overlooking the city of Haifa. The view…Continue Reading