Sunday 30th April 2017

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Back To Basics

January 5, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER

Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A)

Readings: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
1 Cor. 1:1-3
John 1:29-34

As we reenter the Ordinary Time after the anticipation of Advent and the joy of Christmas, the Church gives us a set of readings that calls us back to the most basic element of our faith.
With all of the problems in the Church and in the world, it is easy to allow our focus to be shifted from the basics. With all of the dissent over moral teachings, it is easy to get caught up in arguments regarding what the Church teaches regarding morality. With the widespread exodus from the Church, it is easy to become downhearted and lose hope because people we love are going the wrong direction.
All of this really comes down to a much more basic point: Jesus Christ. People are confused because they do not know who Jesus really is. We live in a day and age where people are trying to make God in their own image and likeness rather than to accept that they are made in His. Rather than trying to conform themselves to God, they have performed the mental gymnastics that allow them to make God conform to themselves.
If God is able to change, or worse, be manipulated, then there are no absolutes. If Jesus is just my buddy, a warm, fuzzy, feel-good guy who is my little pal, then He will tell us only what we want to hear and He will agree with anything we come up with. This is the result of years of teaching that twists points of truth until they are no longer true.
Think, for instance, of the travesty of the 1970s and 1980s when people were told to “follow your conscience” when it came to questions about contraception. While there is a point of truth in that the conscience is the subjective norm for moral decision-making, most people neither know what conscience is nor do they have a well formed conscience. For this reason, “follow your conscience” simply means that if you want to do it and you don’t feel bad about it, then it is okay.
Sadly, it is not merely the residual effects of this kind of thinking that are causing us problems today, but now we have seen the resurrection of the whole idea and its application to marriage, mortal sin, and the reception of Holy Communion. The results are nothing short of disastrous.
Worse yet, one of the consequences of this “kind and merciful” approach is that people will inevitably leave the faith. Why? Because if the teachings of the Church can change like the shifting sands, then clearly the Church does not really stand for anything. So, all of these problems are interconnected. They all come down to one basic question: Who is God?
While not stating the point explicitly, the reality of the kind of thinking presented above is to suggest that I am God. If I can make the rules, I can decide what is right and wrong, I can determine what is true and false, then I must be God. There is nothing objective, so while I can still believe in the existence of God outside of me, practically speaking, He has no direct influence in my life because I am the ultimate arbiter of truth for myself.
This is why it is necessary that we come back to the most basic of the elements of our faith. In the first reading Isaiah prophesies about the Messiah that He would bring Israel back to the Lord, but that He would also be a light to the nations to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. St. John the Baptist points Him out in the Gospel as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Further, He testifies at the end of today’s reading that Jesus is the Son of God.
So far, even those who have walked away from the Church might still agree with what was just said. After all, they continue to say that they believe in Jesus. The question is, however, which Jesus do they believe in: the real Jesus or the one they have made in their own minds? This is where we have to look at what St. Paul states in his Letter to the Hebrews when he says: “Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is God and He cannot change. Since He is also the truth, then the truth cannot change. He is the Rock and the foundation of our faith.
In the second reading, St. Paul reminds us of our own Baptism, our own sanctification, and our call to holiness. Holiness is to be like God, not to make God like unto us. Only when we know the real Jesus can we know the truth and remain firm in our faith.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Raymond Desouza . . . Shield of Faith PART 5

Chris Manion . . . European Union's Demographic Whimper; Vatican Hosts The Enemy; Can Rogue Federal Judiciary Be Controlled?

 

Pope Francis: Don’t be ‘more Papist than the Pope’

ROME, Italy, April 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) –  Pope Francis spoke critically again of the faithful who have a strong embrace of Catholic doctrine, resorting to pejorative terms he has often used such as hypocritical and phariseeism. “You cannot be more…Continue Reading

Trump appoints pro-life leader to top Health and Human Services spot

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump appointed well-known pro-life activist Dr. Charmaine Yoest to be Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The man Yoest is replacing is now a…Continue Reading

Advisor close to Pope Francis accuses dubia cardinals of ‘a new pharisaism’

April 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The leader of the Pope’s Council of Nine cardinals said the dubia cardinals haven’t read Amoris Laetitia and wondered why they haven’t “said anything about those who manufacture weapons.” Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga made these remarks during a radio interview…Continue Reading

NYC Catholics accuse Cardinal Dolan for ‘playing both sides’ as shuttered churches open doors to illegal immigrants

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – The banner was a line from Matthew 25, in which God will speak to those who cared for their neighbor. The scripture states: “When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by…Continue Reading

Iowa lawmakers pass bill defunding Planned Parenthood

DES MOINES, Iowa, April 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Iowa House of Representatives and the state Senate voted this week to deny $400,000 to 12 Planned Parenthood clinics in the state and redirect patients to other federally-qualified community health facilities.…Continue Reading

Black Abortionist Calls Pro-Life People Racist Because We’re Upset Black Babies Are Aborted

Abortionist Willie Parker seems to thrive on making nonsensical and outrageous statements that get him attention. Often, the southern abortion practitioner likes to say he is a Christian who performs abortions because of his faith. But this week, he turned…Continue Reading

Confirmed: Pope will canonize Fatima visionaries in May

VATICAN CITY, April 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, the two siblings who witnessed the Virgin Mary’s appearances at Fatima, during his upcoming visit to the site of the apparitions on…Continue Reading

The Catholic Church still cares about Latin

Vatican City, Apr 19, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Existing in some form since several hundred years before Christ, the Latin language seems like an unlikely subject to still be generating brand new research, especially among young scholars. Nevertheless,…Continue Reading

Trump signs law allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump signed a law today overturning a last-minute Obama-era regulation forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business. The regulation, which pro-life groups call former President Obama’s “parting gift” to…Continue Reading

French presidential hopeful slams Pope Francis for welcoming migrants

ROME (RNS) France’s National Front presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, slammed Pope Francis for welcoming migrants and attacked the Catholic Church for meddling in French politics. With just over a week to critical national elections, the far-right candidate said Friday…Continue Reading

GOP Leaders to Drop Funding for Border Wall from Budget – Paul Ryan Says Maybe Next Year

GOP leaders are ready to burn President Trump and remove funding for the Trump border wall in order to woo Democrats in the Senate. Republicans hold a majority in both the US House of Representatives and US Senate. And –ALREADY–…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Will Give Pro-Abortion Hillary Clinton Its “Champion of the Century” Award

Hillary Clinton will receive a consolation prize from one of her top supporters, Planned Parenthood, in May. The abortion chain announced Thursday that it chose the failed presidential candidate to receive its “Champion of the Century” award for “her 40…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

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

In Trump’s first 100 days, Catholics find a mixed bag

Washington D.C., Apr 29, 2017 / 05:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic leaders have found cause for both praise and concern after the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. “Catholics have reason for optimism. But like the first 100 days, the road ahead remains difficult,” Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, said on the organization’s scorecard for the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. Abortion Pro-life leaders have found a lot to like from the…Continue Reading

Enough with the liturgical translations!

The immortal Yogi Berra said it best: “It’s déjà vu all over again.” That was my first reaction to the news that a new Vatican commission had been established some time back to consider—again—the question of liturgical translations. Really, you can’t help wondering if another round in the debate about the words of the Mass is exactly what disputatious Catholics—already arguing amo

Trump admin keeps Obama rule requiring Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraception … for now

April 25, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) caused surprise today by signaling that it intends to continue the Obama administration’s court battle with the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious groups over the HHS contraception mandate, at least for the time being. While Trump had promised on the campaign trail to drop the provision, the DOJ has now asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for 60 more…Continue Reading

FSSP Superior Distinguishes Fraternity from SSPX, Eschews “Traditionalist” Label

The usually cautious and reserved Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has now given its current opinion concerning the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and on its possible formal re-integration into the structures of the Catholic Church. Father Bernhard Gerstle – the head of the German district of the FSSP – just gave a 24 April interview to the German Bishops’ official website Katholisch.de in which he explains many of the positions and opinions…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah: Church is facing ‘grave risk’ of schism over morality

NEW YORK, April 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Robert Sarah warned that the Church’s unity is being threatened by influential leaders within the Church who “insist” that national churches have the “capacity to decide for themselves” on doctrinal and moral matters. “Without a common faith, the Church is threatened by confusion and then, progressively, she can slide into dispersion and

Pope Names New Head Of Chicago Eparchy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pope Francis has named Bishop Venedykt (Valery) Aleksiychuk, MSU, as bishop of the Eparchy of St. Nicholas in Chicago for Ukrainians, in Illinois. Prior to the appointment, Bishop Aleksiychuk was an auxiliary bishop of the Archeparchy of Lviv, Ukraine. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C., on April 20 by Archbishop Christophe…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred The Hands Of A Queen

By JAMES MONTI When in His infinite wisdom and love God fashioned man in His image and likeness, He imparted to the human body a remarkable and matching pair of members specifically crafted to imitate the Creator in His work of creation — the hands. And when in the fullness of time Our Lord refashioned…Continue Reading

At The Supreme Court… How The Media Reported On Trinity Lutheran

By JAMES ARNOLD (Editor’s Note: This commentary originally appeared on the ADF [Alliance Defending Freedom] Blog on April 26, 2017. See www.adflegal.org. The article is reprinted here with permission; all rights reserved. (James Arnold is the legal content manager for ADF. He wrote this post about Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Mo., applying for a…Continue Reading

Helen Hull Hitchcock… A Woman For Faith And Family

By DONALD DeMARCO Helen Hull Hitchcock passed away after a brief illness on October 20, 2014 at age 75. Accolades poured in from around the globe in honor of this extraordinary woman. Mary Shivanandan, a retired faculty member at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, and a longtime friend…Continue Reading

Fr. Jacques Hamel’s Cause Is Opened

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — The archbishop of Rouen, France, the Most Rev. Dominique Lebrun, confirmed the official opening of the Diocesan Cause of Beatification of Fr. Jacques Hamel, murdered by extremists while celebrating Mass in the church of St. Etienne du Rouvray, in Normandy. The archbishop made the announcement during the Chrism Mass over which…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Our Savior And Redeemer . . . Prophet And Priest

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 5 So, Christ is our King. Being the eternal Son of God, He is King by natural right. As our Redeemer, He is King by acquired right, for He purchased us with His own Blood: “You were bought with a price,” “ransomed . . . with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Cor. 6:20;…Continue Reading

The Fruits Of Holy Communion

By DON FIER “The love of Jesus Christ reaches its highest perfection and produces the richest harvest of graces,” proclaims St. Peter Julian Eymard, “in the ineffable union He contacts with the soul in Holy Communion.” So inestimable is the value of Holy Communion worthily received, the great saint of eucharistic piety goes on to affirm, that “we profit more…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I am a high school student who has been hearing from a teacher about how women like the late Betty Friedan did so much to free women from being “stay-at-home mothers” so they could fulfill themselves in the workplace. How true is this? — Z.M., Massachusetts. A. Not true at all. In his excellent new book Out of the…Continue Reading

Entering The Lord’s Sheepfold

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Easter (YR A) Readings: Acts 2:14a, 36-41 1 Peter 2:20b-25 John 10:1-10 In the Gospel reading today, we hear Jesus explaining to His disciples about the sheep gate and that anyone who enters through this gate is with the shepherd while anyone who enters into the sheepfold through another means is a thief…Continue Reading

“O Crux, Ave Spes Unica”… The Cross, The Only Hope Of The World

By FR. RANIERO CANTALAMESSA, OFM Cap. (Editor’s Note: Here is the Good Friday 2017 homily delivered in St. Peter’s Basilica by Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household. ZENIT News Agency made this text available; all rights reserved.) + + + We have listened to the story of the Passion of Christ. Apparently nothing more than the account…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Chanel

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are a number of small islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, many of them predominantly Catholic. About 2,000 miles east of Australia is a tiny island nation for which one man paid the ultimate price for its conversion from paganism to Catholicism. St. Peter Chanel left his home in France to fulfill a lifelong desire to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Conrad Of Parzham

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Francis Mary of Camporosso, St. Veronica Giuliani, St. Joseph of Leonessa, St. Leopold of Mandic, and St. Seraphin of Montegranaro are just a few of the 115 Capuchin men and women who have been declared saints or blesseds by the Catholic Church. There are so many that Pope St. John Paul II remarked, “They say you…Continue Reading