Tuesday 16th October 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

A Leaven In The World… Merry Christmas

December 18, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

The language of men is the first thing we learn, after the taking in of that which is necessary for the nourishment of the flesh, upon issuing forth from our mother’s womb. What are at first unrecognizable sounds begin to point beyond themselves. Symbolism gradually takes over our thinking processes as we learn to assign various sounds to describe, and enable us to exist and operate among the people, places, and things around us. This column you are reading is possible because we were initiated into a common symbolic structure that, with minor variations from place to place, enables us to bridge the distance between us and to enter into a dialog that unites us into a shared world of ideas.
Behind this system of sounds and assigned arrangements of letters that make language possible, enabling the communication of concepts between persons, however, there is nothing more than the arbitrary. The world and all that is in it, which these sounds and assigned words describe, are what we are attempting to possess by our language; the concepts and the sounds or written symbols which they convey point to something which preceded us. We enter into a reality not of our own making out of which we must attempt to make sense.
Our search for meaning ever takes us beyond only what we can see. We long for unity with something which is more than merely transitory as are we. That which passes makes us think of things which endure. Created things spur us to imagine the uncreated.
Language can also leave us unsettled, becoming a symbol of the disorder it leaves behind after our minds take it in, rather than leading us into harmony with everything around us. This seems to be a deep theme of our age as words remain the same but their meanings are changed.
When marriage, life, love, and even human nature itself all seem to be under attack through the concerted vandalism of our common symbols we are left with an enduring sense of being adrift. Young people, made for relationships as are we all, can experience deep anxiety, loneliness, and depression, we are told, if they spend more than two hours per week substituting a computer or phone screen for relationships with other human beings like themselves. This is an example of the potential damage to the human person when the virtual is used to substitute for the real, when words and images which seem to bring us close to others instead leave us frustratingly disconnected.
Language changes and sometimes disappears entirely from the face of the Earth. Sometimes new words are coined to describe new realities. Words are not real.
Controversies spawned by the rash and ill-considered words available on the Internet can cause us to fear that other words upon which we depend may be stolen from us. Remarks by the Pope recently reported seemed to threaten the taking away of our venerable English translation of the prayer of the Our Father, sparking a flurry of distressed and rash words in turn. When the helpful words describing what really took place were finally spoken, we learned that he was in fact only commenting on the new French translation and asking us to recognize that the Devil, not God, leads us into temptation as the English version might seem to some to suggest.
In all my years of pastoral work, in which all manner of people have approached me with all manner of questions and dilemmas in regard to the faith, no one has yet confessed themselves distraught upon consideration of the current English version of the “Our Father.” The whole affair seemed a bit of an unnecessary distraction when all was said and done.
What we need are the words which bring us certainty in these times of uncertainty, the light of faith amidst the gloom of merely human affairs which will not last. Lack of leadership when it comes to faith and morals or too much and overweening theological experimentation can leave us discouraged and dissatisfied. Too much entanglement in the affairs of the mundane and the seeking of political power will never feed our deepest longings.
Talk of dictators in the city of God hint at sacrilege in His temple, where words akin to the thrice-holy incantation of the angels themselves should only be uttered.
The all-consuming fires in the west, natural disasters in the south, and the violence of terrorism and social fratricide in our city streets often begin with wars of words which take up useless and destructive arms rather than seeking agreement to lay them down in forgiveness and compassion.
Words which call for the sacredness of the womb and the life it brings forth are not yet spoken by all, inviting violence into the very moment life is breathed into matter, the greatest miracle we can witness with our natural powers.
Cultural turmoil, attacks on marriage and family and a dangerous and troubled world speak of the need for their opposites: the balm of concord, the affirmation of the good and true which continues to unfold before us every day in the sacrificing service and selfless love of so many. When much seems to be changing and not for the better, one must reaffirm what does not change.
We need once again to speak the words which tell the story of God’s goodness and love born for us, all His glory and majesty present though hidden in the humanity of a poor and vulnerable newborn Child. To speak of this is to affirm the divine goodness and love hidden today and every day in the humble Eucharist appearing among us as we celebrate the Masses of Christmas once again.
The miracle in a rude stable at Bethlehem 2,017 years ago comes to us sacramentally in our churches everywhere on the anniversary of the birth of the Child born that cold and starry night. Many beautiful words have been spoken by our brother Luke, and can also be uttered by each one of us again, to spread the goodness of this gift.
The word of knowledge in the “miracle” of medicine cannot take us beyond the flesh first brought into being through the marital embrace of our parents, wonderful as the achievements of organ and blood transplants might be which restore lifeless flesh. Even the raising of Lazarus restored him only to the vulnerability of flesh which he enjoyed before his untimely demise.
This above all is what the world needs now: not words which, spoken today, might be all too readily forgotten or discarded tomorrow. Not words which describe only what is passing as the way of all flesh. Not words of war or hatred, or which can change their meaning like empty and interchangeable vessels. We need an uncreated word, a word beyond the taint of sin or death or human power to alter or destroy. We need a saving and eternal word.

“… and the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.”

Merry Christmas!

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

‘Just glad we ruined Kavanaugh’s life’: Pro-abortion Left responds to Supreme Court defeat

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Judge Brett Kavanaugh is now Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the left-wing forces who pulled out all the stops to defeat him show no signs of cooling down anytime soon. The Senate voted 50-48 on…Continue Reading

Pope selects youth from pro-gay Vatican consultant’s media org to attend Synod

October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The four young people from Canada now at the Vatican synod on youth are all from Salt and Light Media. The Toronto-based media outlet is run by Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, who is also on…Continue Reading

Youth Synod Archbishop apologizes to young Catholics for sex abuse, ‘unbeautiful liturgies’

ROME, October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, has issued an extensive mea culpa at the Vatican Youth Synod for all the ways in which the hierarchy and members of the Church have failed young people — whether…Continue Reading

Michigan AG seizes Catholic dioceses’ records in sex abuse investigation

(CNN)Michigan authorities have seized records from every Catholic diocese in the state as part of an investigation into possible sexual abuse by clergy, the dioceses said in separate statements released Wednesday. The Archdiocese of Detroit, and dioceses in Gaylord, Grand…Continue Reading

Vatican cardinal reproves US archbishop for criticizing Youth Synod’s working doc

VATICAN CITY, October 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A second prominent cardinal has publicly rebuked Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput for publishing last week a letter critical of the controversial working document being used at the upcoming Youth Synod in Rome. At a press conference at the Vatican…Continue Reading

Catholic lay leaders: We were wrong about Church, McCarrick on sex abuse crisis

In 2004, Anne Burke went before the City Club of Chicago to say the Catholic Church was beginning “to set things right” by appointing a lay board — which Burke chaired — to address the sex abuse crisis then embroiling…Continue Reading

Protesters demand resignation of Catholic University professor over Kavanaugh tweets

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Demonstrators at the Catholic University of America are calling for the resignation of a dean over tweets he published criticizing a woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. In addition, some demonstrators insisted…Continue Reading

Catholic Magazine Rescinds Endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

America, a weekly Roman Catholic magazine published by members of the Jesuit religious order, on Thursday rescinded its endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh after the Senate hearing on an attempted sexual assault accusation leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford. “Even…Continue Reading

Pedophilia Isn’t The Main Problem With Catholic Priests, Homosexuality Is

The editorial board of the New York Times declared it had identified the source of “The Catholic Church’s Unholy Stain.” It names pedophilia and asks: “How have so many pedophiles been allowed into the priesthood?” The question was purely rhetorical…Continue Reading

A Persecuted Priest Speaks Out

Here is a link to a 10-minute on-camera Church Militant interview with Father Paul Kalchik, the Chicago priest who is now in hiding after being tossed from his parish by Cardinal Blase Cupich. Kalchik lost his position after presiding over…Continue Reading

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

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 . . .

Cardinal Wuerl blasts Viganò testimony as ‘not faithful to the facts’

October 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Donald Wuerl had a few choice words to say regarding Archbishop Carlo Viganò when he was interviewed by a liberal Catholic magazine yesterday. In a long and laudatory article published by America magazine today, the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C. – and its apostolic administrator until his replacement is named – denied Viganò’s allegation

Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. By Christopher Wells Cardinal Wuerl had submitted his resignation three years ago, when he turned 75, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law (can. 401 §1). In September, the Cardinal met with Pope Francis and requested that his resignation be accepted. At the time, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. said…Continue Reading

Recognition of ‘other forms of family’ called for by Youth Synod small group led by Cdl. Cupich

Vatican City, October 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Fourteen small groups of members of the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment discussed the Instrumentum Laboris (IL), or working document, guiding the Synod’s deliberations this week. Divided by language groups, there were four English-language conversations, three French, two Spanish, one German, and one Port

San Diego Catholic leaders demand ‘truthful answers’ from Bishop McElroy on sex abuse scandal

SAN DIEGO, California, September 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — “Acting with urgency and with purpose,” local lay leaders have launched Concerned Catholics of San Diego (CCSD), a grassroots initiative spearheaded by a committee of faithful Catholics whose first order of business is to seek “truthful answers” from San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy about the sex-abuse crisis. “The Catholic Church, including here in

Open Letter from Cardinal Marc Ouellet

Dear brother Carlo Maria Viganò, In your last message to the press, in which you make accusations against Pope Francis and against the Roman Curia, you invite me to tell the truth about certain facts that you interpret as signs of an endemic corruption that has infiltrated the hierarchy of the Church up to its highest levels. With pontifical permission, and in my capacity as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, I offer my testimony…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Truth: The Casualties In The Current Controversies

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

Setting Things Right

By DONALD DeMARCO An ancient Chinese proverb reads as follows: “If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. When there is…Continue Reading

Casualty Lists From The Kavanaugh Battle

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN After a 50-year siege, the great strategic fortress of liberalism has fallen. With the elevation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court seems secure for constitutionalism — perhaps for decades. The shrieks from the gallery of the Senate chamber as the vote came in on Saturday, October 4 and the sight…Continue Reading

Cardinal Ezzati . . . Declines To Answer Questions In Chilean Abuse Probe

SANTIAGO, Chile (CNA) — Ricardo Cardinal Ezzati of Santiago has exercised his legal right to silence after being summoned for questioning by a state prosecutor. The intended questioning was likely to be focused on what the cardinal knew about his former archdiocesan chancellor, Fr. Oscar Munoz Toledo, who was arrested July 12 following allegations he…Continue Reading

Judge Kavanaugh… The One Right That Matters To The “Pro-Choice” Crowd

By JACK KENNY Watching and listening to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island incredibly grill Judge Brett Kavanaugh, line by line, over the contents of the latter’s high school yearbook, is to recall the words written by William Faulkner and revived a few years ago by Barak Obama. “The past is not dead. It isn’t…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Youth Synod Repeats Old Errors

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We are now making things up as we go along. As if the Church had been founded yesterday. This nonsense was already tried in the sixties and found wanting. Paolo Ruffini reported on Twitter that at a press conference for the 2018 Youth Synod now underway in Rome a speaker called for “a liturgy that…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Confession… Indulgences!

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 The “indulgences” of the Catholic Church have acquired a bad name ever since Luther’s Reformation. In Luther’s days, it is true, the Church was going through one of those periods of crisis. Yes, there was a great crisis, almost as bad as today. The crisis was chiefly among the decadent clergy of the…Continue Reading

The Cardinal Virtues — Fortitude

By DON FIER It was with clever astuteness that Jesus responded to the Pharisees when they tried to devise a trap for Him by asking: “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” (Matt. 22:17). After examining a Roman coin and inquiring whose likeness and inscription was imprinted on it, His ingenious answer was: “Render therefore to Caesar…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I thought the matter of no women priests was settled by Pope John Paul II back in the nineties. But I keep hearing about this possibility. Do you foresee this ban ever changing? — J.M., via e-mail. A. No, we don’t because St. John Paul, in his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, made the following infallible pronouncement: “Wherefore, in…Continue Reading

Over 100 Young People . . . Tell Synod-Bound Scottish Archbishop: We Love Catholic Doctrine

By DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN EDINBURGH, Scotland (LifeSiteNews) — Over 100 young Catholics have a message for the Scottish archbishop chosen to attend the Youth Synod: We love the doctrines of the Church. The Catholics aged 18 to 35 signed a letter to Archbishop Leo Cushley of the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh sharing their thoughts on their faith. While…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Alexander Sauli

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the upheaval of the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church was blessed with many saints including a lesser known but deeply loved man, Fr. Alexander Sauli, who labored in a little-known order, the Barnabites. Alexander was born of a wealthy and highly regarded family of Lombard on February 15, 1534. His father, Dominic, was the Marquis of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Mary Frances Of The Five Wounds Of Christ

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a holy priest was dying of cancer, racked with excruciating pain, he begged for more. He was asking for more suffering to save more souls. Such is the glory of the saints when Christ dispenses His mercy with the grace to embrace more suffering. St. Mary Frances endured more suffering than many saints and she, too,…Continue Reading