Sunday 18th February 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

A Potpourri… Apostasy, Possession In Vegas, And Other Matters

November 2, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By GEORGE A. KENDALL

At age 75, I find myself reflecting more and more on my youthful experience with apostasy. When I was 22, I “left the Church.” I came back at 35, having had time to think much more deeply about the issues involved and, more important, to do a lot of growing up.
During those thirteen years, I thought of myself variously as an atheist, an agnostic, and a kind of “nondenominational Christian” grounded (if that is possible) in liberal Protestant theology (Paul Tillich influenced me greatly in those days. Later, I atoned by publishing a lengthy article in Faith and Reason lambasting his theology of revelation).
In the end, I came to appreciate the truth of Walker Percy’s response to a question as to why he had become a Catholic: “What else is there?” I came to realize that the Church’s roots in my soul went way too deep to ever be uprooted, try as I might — and I did. The Church was home — period! It made sense of life and the universe, something that Plato and Aristotle couldn’t do, except perhaps partly, and which Enlightenment ideology, in all its combinations and permutations, couldn’t do at all. Catholicism, is, in a real sense, the center of the universe, and that is all there is to it.
During the many years that have passed since my return to Catholic truth (also known as sanity), I have come to suspect that there has never truly been a time in my life when I was not Catholic. My thirteen-year apostasy was a time when I certainly tried hard to separate myself from my Catholic roots, but I never succeeded (though the effort was a source of much suffering).
Lest I be misunderstood: I’m not saying that I was in the state of grace during this time. Most likely I was not, though only God can know the truth for certain. I was certainly a very bad Catholic (a self-excommunicated one), but still a Catholic, albeit one who had gotten confused and disoriented, and wandered off the path, just as Dante was still a Catholic when he found himself in the dark forest.
So my present understanding of the meaning of my thirteen years away from the Church differs markedly from the way I understood it at the time. There have been other changes too. Those thirteen years seemed like an eon at the time. Today, in my memory, they have shrunken considerably. They seem more like a brief incident. C.S. Lewis somewhere says that in eternity, when man’s redemption will be complete, the Fall will be remembered, at most, as a kind of stumbling on man’s part, something quickly corrected. For me too, the more time passes, the smaller the whole thing seems. The time is being redeemed. Praise be to Jesus Christ.

+ + +

A few thoughts on the Second Amendment, occasioned by the reflex response of liberals to the mass shooting in Las Vegas: “We need more gun control.” But it seems to me that neither the pro-gun control nor the anti-gun control people understand the Second Amendment nor the so-called Bill of Rights of which it is a part. Almost everyone seems to see the Bill of Rights as an enumeration of the Enlightenment Rights of Man — understood as individual rights to be protected by the federal government.
But the history of the Bill shows a different and opposite picture. The Bill was proposed and ratified because the states were afraid that the new constitution would give the central government excessive power which would overwhelm the rights of the states (which is what actually happened) and wanted to protect against such a development by excluding the federal government from jurisdiction in certain areas, for instance, religion and gun ownership.
The Second Amendment doesn’t require the federal government to protect the right of individuals in the several states to keep and bear arms from being restricted by the states. It requires the federal government to keep out of the matter entirely.
That leaves state governments free to impose what they see as reasonable limits on gun ownership. The rights which the Bill of Rights protected were states’ rights. I would add that here we need to supplement the Constitution with Natural Law jurisprudence to the extent that the right to defend oneself and one’s home and family from aggression is a fundamental natural right, and that when any government — state, local, or federal — tries to suppress that right, the people need to defend themselves. But that takes the question beyond constitutional law.

+ + +

Much has been made of the fact that Stephen Paddock seems to have had no motive that anyone can discern so far for the massacre in Las Vegas. A couple of comments seem in order.
First, the modern world finds it hard to consider the possibility that there can be such a thing as pure evil. When someone commits a crime, we have to ask about his motives: What made him do it? Accordingly, we start thinking about such things as greed, lust, the fact that the criminal grew up in poverty or was abused as a child, and so on. Yet some people, even in the absence of such factors, are capable, perhaps from very early in life, of making the decision to reject and hate God and His creation, simply choosing self over God for no reason beyond one’s perception that this choice is a good — like Milton’s Lucifer: “Evil, be thou my good.”
Going a little deeper into the matter, I can’t help suspecting demonic involvement in the Las Vegas shooting. Malachi Martin used to talk about “perfect possession,” the kind of possession that occurs when the possessed person freely and willingly grants entry to the possessing demon (this, I suspect, is what was going on in cases like those of Hitler and Stalin).
I can’t help thinking that when somebody makes the fundamental choice of self over God, making evil his good, he is, in effect, issuing an invitation to the Devil. Now, in the possession cases that come to the attention of exorcists, the victim does not want to be possessed, though the possession may have come about through behavior on the victim’s part, such as occult activity, which creates what are called portals, or entry-ways for the demon. The unwilling victim resists, and the consequent struggle leads to the bizarre and terrifying phenomena generally accompanying possession. But these are not present in perfect possession.
Perfect possession is, I suspect, what the whole notion of selling one’s soul to the Devil is about. A person hands himself over to the Devil in return for worldly success, wealth, power, and such, or simply through hatred of the good. People who enter into such arrangements do not show obvious signs of mental or emotional disorder, or, indeed, of moral evil. Stephen Paddock seems to have successfully presented himself to people close to him, like his family and his girlfriend, as a pretty typical, normal, “nice guy.”
Apparently, near the end, he started to experience anxiety about his situation, crying, even screaming, in his sleep. This could possibly suggest that he was starting to realize that the bill was coming due, and that Satan wanted him to fulfill his end of the bargain by killing and injuring a large number of people, thus going out in a “blaze of glory.” He was probably starting to have second thoughts and, had he called to God for help, might even then have been saved. But of course Satan excels at leading those who serve him into the sin of despair, from which few of them escape.
There is little doubt that Satan enjoys an inordinate amount of power in “sin cities” like Vegas. It is his modus operandi to create fear and confusion. He certainly succeeded in this case.

+ + +

William Lind’s recent article in Chronicles “The Poison and the Antidote,” on cultural Marxism, advocates responding to the Marxist culture which is more and more normative in our world by ignoring this dominant culture and, in effect, seeking to live our lives in a pre-Marxist culture like that of the 1950s. This amounts to abandoning the effort to overcome Marxist culture and simply ignoring it.
This would make sense only on the assumption that the Marxist culture is likely to sit back and let us do such a thing. But that isn’t going to happen. The dominant culture wants total control. So those trying to live in an enclave will have to be prepared to resist.
For instance — Lind advocates home-schooling. Great! But one thing you can count on is that in the not-too-distant future there will be an all-out push to ban home-schooling. Those who want to home-school will have to go underground, teaching their children the truth at home, and at the same time undoing the lies taught them in the schools they are forced to attend (and hoping the kids don’t inadvertently blurt out something that gives the parents away to the state).
The eventual move to ban Christianity altogether, a project dear to the hearts of all left-thinking people, is also something we can look forward to. This will be a special threat to Catholicism, which the enemies of Christ all know deep down to be the institution that most completely embodies His truth. The idea that we can just retreat into a Christian enclave and peacefully coexist with the enemies of Christ is one that shows no appreciation of the depths of their hatred for Christ and His Church.

+ + +

(© 2017 George A. Kendall)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Pope Francis says Paul VI will be canonized this year

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 08:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his annual Lenten meeting with the priests of Rome last week, Pope Francis confirmed that Blessed Pope Paul VI will be made a saint sometime this year. “Paul VI…Continue Reading

Pope reappoints O’Malley to head further work of safeguarding commission

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 05:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has reconfirmed Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston as head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, also reconfirming seven members…Continue Reading

The Latest: Trump to visit Florida after school shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s response to the Florida school shooting (all times local): 11:36 a.m. President Donald Trump says he’ll visit Parkland, Florida, the site of Wednesday’s shooting that killed 17 people. Trump said from…Continue Reading

U.S. bishops: federal budget should not be balanced ‘on backs of the poor’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the Trump administration’s 2019 federal budget proposal on Monday, the U.S. Catholic bishops are urging for a budget that shows greater concern for “‘the least of these” and warning that the U.S. “must never seek…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood sticker stirs controversy at Connecticut Catholic high school

A Connecticut high school student may have to decide whether to remove a Planned Parenthood sticker on her laptop or leave her Catholic school after administrators told her to remove it, her parents said. Sophomore Kate Murray’s parents told the Greenwich Time that…Continue Reading

Fr. James Martin: ‘People take the Bible…out of context’ on homosexuality

February 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual acts should be taken in “context” with Biblical times, Jesuit Father James Martin toldGeorgetown University students recently. Martin said as well that Catholics who support gay “marriage” should have no problem…Continue Reading

Mississippi state house votes to ban abortion after 15 weeks

JACKSON, Mississippi, February 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A bill banning abortion on babies more than 15 weeks old passed the Mississippi state House today 79-31. House Bill 1510 would make Mississippi the state with the most pro-life laws if it…Continue Reading

All But Three Democrats Voted to Allow Unlimited Abortions Up to Birth

Just three Democrats in the U.S. Senate supported a bill on Monday that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when unborn babies are capable of feeling pain. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has strong public support from Republicans…Continue Reading

Athanasius Schneider invites world’s bishops to sign Profession of Immutable Truths

ROME, January 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In an exclusive interview two weeks after issuing a profession of immutable truths about sacramental marriage, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is inviting his brother bishops around the world to join in raising a common voice…Continue Reading

Cardinal Eijk Asks Pope to Clarify Questions About “Remarried” Divorcees

As Katholisch.de, the official website of the German bishops, reports today, Cardinal Willem Eijk, the Dutch cardinal and Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht, requested that Pope Francis bring light into the confusion concerning the question as to how to deal with…Continue Reading

Where are all the Catholics at the nation’s largest Catholic school

When Selena Miller, a practicing Catholic, applied to DePaul, she had no idea it was a Catholic university. Damita Meneves, another practicing Catholic, said she has met only one other Catholic student in her first year at DePaul. DePaul is…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: It is a “source of anguish” to hear suggestions “that I would lead a schism”

His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, spoke recently with Thinking with the Church, hosted by Chris Altieri, who is also a regular contributor to Catholic World Report. Cardinal Burke responds to questions regarding the interpretation and reception of the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris…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 . . .

Planned Parenthood Sues President Trump After He Defunded Its Programs Pushing Sex on Kids

There’s nothing, it seems, that the abortion chain Planned Parenthood won’t sue over. On Thursday, affiliates of the abortion chain in seven states sued the Trump administration for cutting funding for their questionable teen pregnancy prevention programs. The Daily Nonpareil reports the lawsuits argue that the Trump administration wrongly cut their funding prematurely and without cause. Nine groups, including Planned Parenthood affiliates in Washington, Iowa, North Carolina, South C

Scholar stumps Cardinal Cupich, asks if Pope’s ‘paradigm shift’ means ‘radical’ doctrinal change

CAMBRIDGE, England, February 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A respected Catholic historian and philosopher challenged Cardinal Blase Cupich during a lecture last week about Pope’ Francis so-called “revolution of mercy” that has caused what many are defending as a “paradigm shift” in Catholic practice. Professor John Rist, after listening to a February 9 lecture at Cambridge Universityin which Cardinal Cupich praised Pope Francis’ “paradigm shift” in Catholic practice, asked the Cardinal at the end of the lect

Cardinal Schönborn outraged at bishop’s critique of blessings for homosexual unions

VIENNA, Austria, February 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Austria’s bishops, led by Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, are indignant over a retired bishop’s passionate defense of Catholic teaching in opposing Church “blessings” for homosexual unions. After Bishop Andreas Laun, the retired Auxiliary Bishop of Salzburg, Austria, published Monday his strong rebuke of the German bishops for proposing to bless homosexual couples, there has been an inten

The Clarity of Cardinal Cupich

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago is all for clarity. It has been a consistent theme, as when in September of 2017 he issued a decree banning guns in all parishes, schools and other facilities across the archdiocese “so there would be absolute clarity on our position.” His official statement put “clarity” in italics. When he was bishop of Rapid City, he called for “civility and clarity” in discussing legislation that would limit abortion, but he…Continue Reading

Catholics warn of church schism if Vatican makes a deal with China

BEIJING — A group of influential Catholics published an open letter Monday express their shock and disappointment at report that the Vatican could soon reach a deal with the Chinese government, warning that it could create a schism in the church in China. The Holy See has been in negotiations for several years with the Chinese Communist Party and is now belie

Advertisement(2)

President Trump Bans U.S. Aid for International Abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Within a week of taking office on January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, now called the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, which bans U.S. funding for abortions overseas. The expanded policy prohibits $9 billion in U.S. taxpayer money from funding foreign organizations that perform or…Continue Reading

Approval Of Miracle Opens Door To Paul VI’s Canonization

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved the second miracle needed for the canonization of Blessed Pope Paul VI, allowing his canonization to take place, possibly later this year. According to Vatican Insider, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the miracle by a…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… A Catholic Reaction To Trump And The Media

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. 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 cofounder and president of…Continue Reading

Priest Says… Excommunicate 14 Catholic Senators Who Voted Against Late-Term Abortion Ban

By LISA BOURNE (Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews ran this story on February 5.) + + + A Catholic priest is calling on bishops to excommunicate the 14 Catholic-identifying U.S. senators who voted two weeks ago against banning late-term abortions. He is also calling on priests to deny the Catholic pro-abortion senators Holy Communion. “Today is the…Continue Reading

Limbo And Eastern Orthodoxy

By JAMES LIKOUDIS The centuries-old theological debate concerning the existence of Limbo for unbaptized babies (the limbo puerorum as a state of natural happiness) led to the 2007 publication of the document The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized by the International Theological Commission (ITC). The commission concluded there are “serious…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Matrimony

By DON FIER For a variety of reasons (a defect of consent, a diriment impediment, or a defect of the required form), many supposed modern-day marriages entered into by Catholic persons are invalid from their origin in the eyes of God and the Church. However, as we saw last week, depending on the circumstances, the Church has procedures by which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Concerning what our Blessed Mother said in Fatima about the rosary, I am confused as to whether or not she meant us to meditate on the mysteries while we are praying the Hail Marys or whether she meant us to meditate on the mysteries right before we say the Hail Marys. The consensus seems to be that we are…Continue Reading

Abraham Had To Be Tested

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Lent Readings: Gen. 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 Romans 8:31b-34 Mark 9:2-10 In the first reading today we hear about Abraham’s nearly incomprehensible act of faith and love for God shown in his willingness to sacrifice his own son. We have to be careful not to read this in a vacuum. This test, which…Continue Reading

Questioning Humanae Vitae?… The Vatican Has Already Had Its Say

By ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI (Wanderer Editor’s Note: Catholic News Agency on February 3 published a commentary concerning a 1989 Vatican response to dissent against Humanae Vitae. Below is an excerpted version of that commentary. Following that, we reprint the full text of the 1989 Vatican response, which, as the CNA commentary explains, is now available on the Vatican’s website. Please also…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Bishops Promote Sin “In Some Cases”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK A joke sometimes recounted among clergy goes along these lines: Someone greets a wise old priest by asking, “What’s new?”, and he responds, sagely, “Christ is risen!” The humor here is less about what’s new than about the fact that everything, other than the only true revolution of Christ’s Incarnation and triumph over death, is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Cortona

By CAROLE BRESLIN Great sinners make great saints. It takes a strong-willed child to become a saint. These are statements which would easily fit saints such as Mary Magdalene and St. Augustine. In the thirteenth century, a young lady free in spirit and strong in will led such a life that she was essentially driven from her home village, but…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Joseph Allamano

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the lives of the saints one thing is very common: They have such a strong desire to do God’s will that nothing will hinder their work. Many saints, despite illness, weak health, or many other obstacles achieved their goals. Frequently the amount of work accomplished by such individuals seems humanly impossible — and, of course, it…Continue Reading