Monday 24th September 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

In Trying Times . . . Remembering Leon Bloy

September 3, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By PEGGY MOEN

In 1901, Jacques Maritain and Raissa Oumansoff made a suicide pact.
Both were students at the Sorbonne, living in a world that was a “spiritual desert,” in the words of the late Michael Novak (Crisis, March 24, 2016).
Novak explained:
“In a horrifying pact, they swore together to give themselves one more year to find some meaning in life. If that search failed, they promised to commit suicide together. The Maritains seem to have argued themselves into this decision much as Albert Camus was later to argue in The Myth of Sisyphus. If human life is absurd, then the only way to give it meaning is to give at least one act in it one’s own meaning. One could at least choose the time and the mode by which to exit from it. Suicide would not make life any more meaningless than it already was. But it could put at least one moment of purpose into it.”
Fortunately for twentieth-century Catholicism, they, after finding a path away from materialism via studies with Henri Bergson, met with a fiery Catholic named Leon Bloy.
“In a world that had settled for materialism, Bloy was the experience of an intense and pure spirit that ruptured all previous categories. The Maritains could never erase from their minds their first encounter with pure spirit,” wrote Novak.
Jacques Maritain recalled the encounter in his introduction to Bloy’s The Pilgrim of the Absolute (a selection of his writings edited by Raissa Maritain):
“In June, 1905, two children of twenty were going up the everlasting stairway that leads to the Sacré-Coeur. They bore within them that distress which is the only serious product of modern culture, together with a kind of active despair illumined only — they did not know why — by the inner assurance that the Truth for which they hungered, without which it is almost impossible to accept life, would one day be shown them. A kind of esthetic morality sustained them feebly, to which — after they had tried some experiments with it, probably too beautiful to succeed — the idea of suicide seemed to offer the only outlet….
“On the whole they saw the Church — hidden from their view by inane prejudices and by the appearance of many of its self-righteous members — as the rampart of the powerful and the rich, whose interests supposedly lay in maintaining in people’s minds the ‘darkness of the Middle Ages.’
“They were going toward a strange beggar who, disdaining all philosophy, was shouting on rooftops the divine truth; and who, a totally obedient Catholic, condemned his times and those who have their consolation here below, with more freedom than all the revolutionaries of the world.”
Going through a “little garden of olden times,” they then entered the humble family home of Leon Bloy, who “seemed nearly shy.”
The Maritains, who married in 1904, entered the Catholic Church in 1906, with Bloy serving as godfather to both of them.
The last sentence of Bloy’s novel The Woman Who Was Poor is, “There is only one misery…and that is not to be saints.”
We sense discouragement — and feelings of misery — in our readers. We understand why.
The scandal of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick felt like falling on a collective intramuscular bruise, compounded by fears of tripping over more buried scandals. Then the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report plunged us into the abyss, and from there we swam on to meet Archbishop Carlo Vigano’s August 25 dossier saying the Pope long knew about McCarrick and he should resign.
And, on another issue, Francis again sounded his uncertain trumpet, this time with an incomprehensible attempt to rewrite the Catechism to absolutely ban capital punishment.
Those are only the most recent and most disturbing episodes.
In answer to this, The Wanderer dated August 9 (p. 8B) carried a LifeSiteNews report about a noteworthy sermon Fr. John Hollowell, the Indianapolis Archdiocese, preached on Sunday, July 22. Addressing the news about McCarrick and the ensuing scandal, he recalled an address he and his fellow seminarians heard in Rome in 2005, from an older priest who was part of a group there on sabbatical.
The seminarians mistook the priest, wearing a polo shirt, for a progressivist. But these were the words they heard:
“The Church is on fire right now,” the priest exclaimed, it’s burning with the scandals and sins, and you men ran into the burning building, and said, “I want to be a priest anyway.”
“Despite people looking at you like you’d be hurting children, you ran into the burning building,” he said, “and I want to say thanks to you.”
“We are the Church too — not just the shepherds,” Fr. Hollowell told the faithful present for that Sunday Mass. “There are also lots of really good priests and holy people, and so I say, let’s do it together. Let’s encourage good young men and women to enter the religious life as priests and sisters, to rebuild and put out the fire.”
And: “I invite you to join me as we run back in and double down our commitment to be Catholic Christians in a Church and a world that needs us,” he concluded. “Let us rise and be on our way to becoming saints.”
Fr. Hollowell therefore agrees with Leon Bloy that the one tragedy is not to become saints. Bloy wasn’t much closer to perfect than any of the rest of us are — he had an overly harsh view of the bourgeois Catholicism that alienated Jacques and Raissa, for example, and he could be crude, but he nonetheless showed the Maritains a convincing example of a flaming and self-sacrificing Catholic.
In The Wanderer dated August 16, Don Fier (p. 3B) quoted Henry Fairlie’s The Seven Deadly Sins Today:
“Behind our sloth there lie a series of rationalizations…which our culture has inculcated in us, [one of which] is that the evil of the world and of our societies is so great that there is little we can do to combat it. . . . We retreat instead into our own private pursuits, persuaded that at least in them the half-hearted efforts of our spineless love will be enough to get by” (p. 124).
It is indeed tempting to withdraw from the fight.
We are aware that what we report — often on the front page — is upsetting and discouraging. But don’t let that stop you from turning the pages and reading our articles on the saints, the Mass readings, liturgy, apologetics, catechetics, and more.
All the gains won in the previous two pontificates haven’t been lost. As James Drummey wrote in his August 23 Catholic Replies column:
“Things are much better on the catechetical front today, compared to 25 years ago, largely due to the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in English in 1994 and the formation a few years later of the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism, which reviews textbooks to ensure their conformity with the Catechism.”
As longtime readers know, The Wanderer fought — and still fights — those catechetical battles.
And we do have other good news to report as well — the growing strength of the pro-life movement under the Trump administration, the ongoing successes of orthodox Catholic colleges, high schools, and catechetical programs, and the canonizations of many Catholic heroes.
Also, we carry the news of solid Catholic leaders and faithful who may indeed one day be found on the calendar of saints. Notably, in 2011, Rome Reports suggested that Jacques and Raissa Maritain might be up for beatification. Instead of ending up as suicides, they helped revive Catholic intellectual life in France in the twentieth century, Jacques Maritain becoming known as a great interpreter of St. Thomas Aquinas. This came about largely because of a zealous lay Catholic who witnessed to them. We also can be zealous Catholics to help others, but we need to be well formed and well informed to do so.
We need your subscription renewals and your gift subscriptions to support our apostolate. We are extending our $35.00 six-month introductory subscription offer. See page 8B. Help promote The Wanderer. We particularly encourage subscriptions for students and other young people. Help us help!
G.K. Chesterton wrote that “the lost causes are exactly those which might have saved the world.” The Church can never be a lost cause as such, but we want to work for victories in the areas of worthy Church leaders, dedicated religious, and sound teaching and catechesis.
We thank you for your lasting support and interest in The Wanderer’s apostolate.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

BREAKING: AP Source: Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein is expecting to be fired, heading to White House Monday morning.

Load More...

Cardinal Cupich removes pastor for burning gay flag, wants psych evaluation

September 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Blase Cupich has removed a priest in his archdiocese from his parish in apparent retaliation for his decision to burn a homosexualist “rainbow pride flag” previously used by the parish to promote the homosexual agenda. According…Continue Reading

Opposition grows to controversial deal between Beijing and the Vatican

(CNN)A long-expected, controversial deal between the Chinese government and Catholic leaders in the Vatican has sparked opposition, including inside the Church itself. The provisional agreement, which will see the Vatican recognize the legitimacy of bishops appointed by the Chinese government, comes…Continue Reading

Youth synod deserves in-depth Catholicism, not LGBT lobbying, critics say

Vatican City, Sep 20, 2018 / 12:01 pm (CNA).- A coalition of secular and dissenting Catholic LGBT groups aims to influence the Church’s upcoming Synod on Young People by rallying the like-minded to write to the synod to contend that…Continue Reading

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

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 . . .

Archbishop Chaput shares theological critique of youth synod prep document

Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 23, 2018 / 03:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop Charles Chaput offered Friday on First Things a critique by a theologian of the working document for the upcoming Synod on Youth, which highlights five principal theological difficulties in the document. The synod will be held Oct. 3-28 at the Vatican. Archbishop Chaput is one of five representatives who were chosen by the US bishops’ conference to attend the meeting. In addition, Pope Francis…Continue Reading

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

Advertisement(2)

Staying Aboard The Barque In A Raging Sea

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON “Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but He was asleep. They came and woke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ He said to them, ‘Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?’” (Matt. 8:24-26). The Barque…Continue Reading

And What’s Next?… Why The Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings Turned Into A Circus

By REY FLORES By the time you are reading this, it’s possible that the Senate Judiciary Committee will have already voted for Brett Kavanaugh and sent him on his way to full Senate approval, making him the newest member of the Supreme Court of the United States. However, given the way the first day of…Continue Reading

Like Its Film Students… JP Catholic University Steps Out Into The Wild On Its Mission

By DEXTER DUGGAN ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Discussing a few definitely different films as The Wanderer visited with him, Derry Connolly turned to the monitor at his desk and called them up instantly, from the 1993 Western Tombstone, directed by George Cosmatos, to Scout: A Star Wars Story, released by students at his own school last…Continue Reading

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

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Leaven In This World “As for Me and My Household, We Will Serve the Lord”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Confession… More Testimony From The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 5 A few more quotations from the Early Fathers of the Church will conclude our list of testimonies. If our Wanderer readers feel I have quoted too many of them, I am glad, because it proves ad nauseam that the Early Christians believed and practiced the Sacrament of Confession since the very beginning of…Continue Reading

The Integral Parts Of Prudence

By DON FIER Prudence, the first of the four cardinal virtues scrutinized by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), is defined in its Glossary as “the virtue which disposes a person to discern the good and choose the correct means to accomplish it.” It is designated as the charioteer of all the virtues in that “it guides [them] by…Continue Reading

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

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