Friday 22nd June 2018

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Laboratory Rats And Their Masters

May 25, 2018 Featured Today No Comments


I recently heard a story which upset me more and more the longer I thought about it. It concerned a young man getting ready to go off to college. The young man’s father is a very successful executive, and his son has been accepted for admission to his father’s alma mater, a very prestigious (and expensive) university. Now, when I was getting ready for college, back in the dark ages, getting admitted to the college of one’s choice was enough.
Not anymore. Now, I’m told, you need to get into “advanced placement” in your field in order to get a head start and have an advantage over others, so this young man signed up, at his local high school, for a class to prepare him to take the university’s advanced placement exam. An excellent teacher was in charge, and all was going well, until one day the students learned that their teacher had been killed in a car accident. Soon after, it was further learned that his death was a suicide. There was no one immediately available to take over the class.
Now, you would think the first reaction any human being would have to all this would be horror and sadness at this appalling human tragedy. But the first reaction of the young man’s mother reportedly was, “Oh no, now I might not be able to get my son into advanced placement! His whole career could be down the tubes!”
The mother, by all accounts, was known for trying to live through her children, rather than getting a life of her own. If so, she will doubtlessly be micromanaging her son’s college career, then go on to do the same with his post-college life. One hopes for some healthy rebellion here. Otherwise, I can see some grim possibilities ahead.
When I hear about things like this, the image that comes into my mind is that of laboratory rats frantically trying to find their way through a maze, wearing themselves out and making themselves sick. The human laboratory rats put themselves through all this because they have been fed lies by our elites — first, about the meaning of life (it’s all about amassing as much money and power as you can), and second, about the rewards for obedience (jumping through all these hoops will get you money and power). And what if there is actually no piece of cheese waiting for the rat even if it manages to find its way through?
This kind of thing is very hard for someone of my generation (I started college in 1960) to truly comprehend. The closest I ever came to advanced placement was during freshman orientation when I had the opportunity to try to get into the honors freshman comp class. It involved writing an impromptu essay. On the day it was scheduled, I was exhausted from running around the campus engaging in orientation activities, and I decided that, rather than sit in a classroom, trying to stay awake and write an essay, I preferred to go back to my dorm room and take a nap.
The results of this misguided decision were devastating! I had to take the regular freshman comp course, taught by an excellent professor, Dr. James Lucier, who, I feel quite certain, taught me far more than I would have learned in the honors course.
But today, things like this are taken with deadly seriousness. Kids apply to many, many schools (I applied to one). They and their parents are obsessed with getting into a prestigious school, even though there is solid evidence that, for every prestigious school, there are many less prestigious ones that are academically on a par with them, sometimes better (usually cheaper, too).
The reason people want to get into prestigious schools is so they can make connections — i.e., so that they can learn to see other people, not as friends or neighbors, but as means to one’s own advancement. Eventually, in such an environment, using, rather than cherishing, people will become second nature.
All of this is, of course, closely tied to the “higher education” industry’s enormous expansion and its increasing control over the American people. When I was in college, only a minority went there. Others finished high school, found jobs, got married, and started families (having children had not yet become a “life-style choice”), and got on with life.
We were only beginning to suffer from the problem of protracted adolescence and its devastating effects on the social order — such as young people who took an inordinately long time to make the transition to adulthood and often never did. But somewhere along the line, “someone” decided everyone, or nearly everyone, should go to college.
As the supply of people with college degrees increased, it became possible for employers to insist on a college degree as the minimum requirement job applicants had to meet in order even to be considered. The result is that many, many young people spend years in college being bored to death when they could be beginning their adult lives as members of communities and families.
The idiocy of such practices is underscored by the reality that the typical bachelor’s degree today in what is laughingly called “liberal arts” has no relevance for any jobs the students might seek. In addition, graduates end up saddled with crushing debt. The result of the latter is that they don’t feel they can afford to start families and end up living with their parents — hence adulthood is put off even longer, years beyond graduation and maybe never happening at all.
And the universities prosper. They multiply and expand, because an artificial need for their product has been created. Not only do they create many jobs for the parasitical entities known as college administrators, but they make their unfortunate students captive audiences for political indoctrination by left-dominated faculties. And the money keeps rolling in. When college loans became the norm, one of the first things these corrupt institutions did was to raise their tuition, which just keeps going up, year after year.
Another thing that has changed since I was young is that parents did not generally, in those days, put the kind of pressure on their children that they do now regarding college and careers. For one thing, they usually had too many children to have the time or the money to do the kinds of things they now do (I am thinking especially of Catholics, but even Protestants then had bigger families than they do now).
But they did, I believe, genuinely want their children to live their own lives, and didn’t feel as much the need to run their lives as many parents do now. They were satisfied, more or less, with their own lives, and were kept busy enough with these lives so as not to feel the need to live through their kids.
When I told my father, lo, these many years ago, that I was going to major in philosophy, he, being of a practical cast of mind, made it clear that he was less than thrilled. What he did not do was try to stop me from majoring in philosophy, perhaps even forbidding it. He wanted me to live my own life, and, in truth, as I spend my life doing philosophical work proper (publishing in journals of philosophy), as well as doing the work of a Catholic journalist, which is closely allied to it, I would have to say that it has turned out well.
I have never made much money in the process, and have had to live by other kinds of employment, but it has been worth it. When the love of being, which is the source of philosophy, possesses you sufficiently, it is a joy and a vocation which surpasses any career.
To all this, I will add one more thought, related to the above. I have never believed in careers as such. To my way of thinking, work should be about, not self-aggrandizement, but service. That means, not careers, but vocations. St. Augustine said that there are two loves, in radical opposition to each other — the love of self and the love of God (from which love of neighbor flows).
Careers are based on the former, vocations on the latter, summed up in the Great Commandment: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:29-31). As we have shifted away from the Christian vision of life, we have come to see work, not as service to God and neighbor, but as service to self.
What the parents who obsess about their children’s future are really seeking for them is that they will be able to make bundles of money and lord it over other people. That is not what Jesus taught:
“You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).
(© 2018 George A. Kendall)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Catholic bishops are quick to attack Trump but slow to advise their voters

(RNS) — President Trump had no sooner returned home from his historic photo op with Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore when he faced condemnation from a host of religious leaders, from Southern Baptists to African Methodists to Catholics,…Continue Reading

Bishop: Deny Communion to Border Agents. It’s a ‘Life Issue.’

Is enforcing U.S. immigration law a moral evil that demands excommunication? Or would a new proposal politicize the Eucharist, strengthen organized crime, and hurt even more migrant children? Roman Catholics must face these questions after Bishop Edward Weisburger of Tucson suggested “canonical…Continue Reading

Argentina steps closer to legalising abortion

Catholic Argentina’s lower house has backed a bill legalising abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. After a divisive debate lasting more than 22 hours, 129 members of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour and 125 against while…Continue Reading

Pope Francis rejects German proposal for inter-communion

Vatican City, Jun 4, 2018 / 06:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- One month after Vatican and German delegates met in Rome to discuss a proposal put forward by German bishops to allow Protestant spouses in inter-denominational marriages to receive the Eucharist…Continue Reading

St. Paul archdiocese settlement is largest-ever in Catholic bankruptcy case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to a $210 million settlement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of its plan for bankruptcy reorganization, making it the second-largest U.S. payout…Continue Reading

Church’s teaching on male-only priesthood is ‘infallible’: Vatican doctrine chief

ROME, May 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the Vatican office overseeing Church doctrine has insisted that the Church’s teaching on the male-only priesthood is “infallible,” and has offered a veiled rebuke of a prominent Cardinal who recently claimed the…Continue Reading

The revolt against Humanae Vitae continues to haunt us today

ROME, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — As in 2017, 2018 is also a year that is rich with important and significant anniversaries which we need to remember, because the roots of the present are found in the past. The best known…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Communion cannot be shared with non-Catholics like beer or cake

BUCKFASTLEIGH, England, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Protestants who want to receive Holy Communion should become Catholics, Cardinal Francis Arinze said this week, and added that “it is rather serious” to presume marriage can be dissolved for the purpose of…Continue Reading

Speaker Ryan Proposes a Return to Catholic Social Doctrine at Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday about how he believed the answer to many of the political problems society faces today, including “moral relativism” and “tribalism,” can be found in Catholic…Continue Reading

Judge rules ‘transgender’ high-schooler should have been allowed opposite-sex bathroom

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has ruled that a Virginia high school should have allowed a gender-confused former student to use the restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Gavin Grimm is a female Gloucester High School…Continue Reading

One of the most ‘liberal abortion regimes’ if vote passes

Ireland will have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe if Friday’s referendum is passed, the No campaign warned during its final press conference on Wednesday. With the broadcasting ban set to come into force on the eve of the…Continue Reading

Pope asks for prayers for Catholics in China

Pope Francis has appealed to all Christians to be spiritually close to Catholics who live in China, and to pray they may live their faith in full communion with the Holy See. Speaking during the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope recalled…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


  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


Today . . .

GOOD NEWS . . .Fr. Phillips Exonerated

We have confirmation that after several weeks the Congregation of the Resurrection has indeed concluded its hearings and investigation of the accusations directed against Father Phillips. An independent Review Board of three public-spirited leaders from the Chicago area, who are not members of St. John Cantius Church, was constituted. Thereafter, the Review Board interviewed the detractors and several witnesses, persons who personally know the accusers, and other individuals who

Cardinal Brandmüller Questions Francis’ Claim Not to Have Received the Dubia Before Publication

Today, on 20 June, Reuters published a new interview with Pope Francis. Although the interview is making headlines because of the Pope’s criticism of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, it also contains another controversial assertion: the pope surprisingly now claims that he only heard about the Dubia (concerning his document Amoris Laetitia) “from the newspapers” — a claim that Dubia cardinal Walter Brandmüller has now questioned in comments to OnePeterFive. From the text of the interview: The pope also commented on internal criticism of his…Continue Reading

US Cardinal removed after ‘credible’ allegation he abused a minor

NEW YORK, June 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A high-profile liberal U.S. cardinal has been removed from public ministry for credible and substantiated allegations of abuse of a minor. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a former priest of the Archdiocese of New York and cardinal emeritus of Washington D.C., “is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry,” says a news release from New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. “The review board found the allegations credible and substantiated,” Dolan’s statement said. “The Vatican…Continue Reading

Trump Admin Withdraws U.S. From UN Human Rights Council That Pushed Global Right to Abortion

The Trump Administration announced today that the United States is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council. That’s good news for pro-life advocates as the so-called human rights organization pushed for a global right to kill unborn children in abortions. According to news reports: The Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the United Nations Human Rights Council, with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley calling the 47-member council “a protector of human rights abusers, an

Conway: ‘As a mother, as a Catholic,’ no one likes migrant family separation policy

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday “nobody likes” the Trump administration’s policy of separating families who cross the border illegally, but indicated President Trump will not act unilaterally to change it. “As a mother, as a Catholic, as somebody who’s got a conscience … I will tell you that nobody likes this policy,” Conway said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Congress passed the law that it is a


Holy Bashfulness Vs. Shame By ALICE von HILDEBRAND

My dear young friend, Years ago, Cardinal O’Boyle was discussing some sexual matters with a group of men; all of a sudden the cardinal noticed that a young girl had joined the group, and interrupting his talk, he said to her: “Please excuse me.” But he was immediately rudely rebuked by one of the men…Continue Reading

On The Role Of Beauty In The Spiritual Life

By JAMES MONTI In recent years, thanks largely to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the role of beauty in the sacred liturgy — and the appalling chasm created by its absence — has been a topic of frequent discussion among those concerned with a restoration of the sacred in divine worship — the beauty of the…Continue Reading

Civil Court… Rules Fulton Sheen’s Remains Can Go To Peoria

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — The Superior Court of New York ruled June 8 in favor of Joan Sheen Cunningham, who had petitioned to move the body of her uncle, Venerable Fulton Sheen, to the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria. The body of the late archbishop is currently in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New…Continue Reading

Lindsey Graham’s Unjustifiable Call for War

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + Question: Has North Korea reinvaded South Korea since it signed an armistice 65 years ago suspending the Korean War? Answer: No. Question: Why? Answer: It has been deterred. Question: Would it…Continue Reading

Love And Cruelty In Ireland

By DONALD DeMARCO On the night of August 21, 1879, Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to a group of ordinary people in the village of Knock, County Mayo. She was flanked by St. Joseph on her right and St. John the Evangelist on her left. She said nothing and was described as being deep…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

None Dare Call It Treason

By DEACON JAMES TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at Notre Dame, Norwich, Auburn, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He serves in the Diocese of…Continue Reading

The Glorious St. John The Baptist

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Nativity Of St. John The Baptist (YR B) Readings Isaiah 49:1-6 Acts 13:22-26 Luke 1:57-66, 80 Today we celebrate the birth of a man who is important to us in a variety of ways. St. John the Baptist is, according to our Lord’s own words, the greatest man born of woman. For this…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Will Marriages Outside A Church Keep Couples In The Church?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church makes exceptions to its own rules; this is well known. There are God’s rules, such as the Commandments, exceptions to which cannot be granted by man. And then there are the regulations promulgated by the Church, using the authority given her by the Lord, in order to better facilitate the pastoral work of…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Understanding Confession More Deeply

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 33 When Jesus gave the apostles the power to bind and unbind things here on Earth (Matt. 18:18), He gave them authority over His flock. Hence, from the very first century, Popes and bishops passed laws to be observed by the people. Consequently, considering the seriousness of sin, and the risk many take for…Continue Reading

Man’s Desire For Happiness

By DON FIER Significant to note from last week’s consideration of the eighth Beatitude: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10), is that the reward promised is identical to that of the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Cafasso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Truman Capote wrote: “Love is a chain of love as nature is a chain of life.” More important, grace is a chain of grace with one grace leading to another. And holiness a chain of holiness as God pours His love through one person to another, as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces, pours…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph The Hymnographer

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late sixth and early seventh century, the glories of Gregorian chant began to develop in Rome. Then, in the thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote beautiful hymns to celebrate Corpus Christi and to honor the Real Presence. In the Eastern Church, around Constantinople, they also sang hymns, but it was not until the late ninth…Continue Reading