Friday 21st September 2018

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October 20, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: In a recent issue, we addressed the problem of pornography addiction by an 84-year-old man. At the end of the column, we invited readers of the column to pray for this man. The following note from the man’s wife illustrates the power of your prayers:
“I’m writing to thank you for asking your readers to ‘pray for this man.’ Two days after the September 28 issue of The Wanderer arrived in our mail, my husband had an almost miraculous awakening while watching a video on fly fishing out West. He says that tears flowed for at least an hour, and he felt completely healed of his porn addiction. He cleaned up all his dangerous websites and says he knows he can now grasp Heaven once again. A terrible weight has been lifted, and we know there is still a battle ahead, but I believe the prayers of hundreds of Wanderer readers were largely responsible. Thank you for calling the troops into battle. We are so grateful.” Praise the Lord!

Q. I was taught that if you arrive at Sunday Mass after the Gospel, you’ve missed Mass. Is this correct? — T.M., via e-mail.
A. We have in the past addressed the question of how late one can arrive at Mass and still fulfill one’s Sunday obligation. Is there a certain point in the Mass — before the readings, before the Offertory, etc. — when one could be late and still satisfy the canon law requirement to participate in Mass? But canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters said that such questions “miss the key point,” namely, that the Mass is “an integrated, sequenced order of prayers and actions organized by the Church to render fitting worship to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. Miss any of that, and you have missed that much of it.”
The real question, Peters said in his blog, is not how much of Mass one can miss, but rather why one has missed any of it. He gives the example of two men who arrive late, a father whose child flooded the toilet with a shoe and a football fan who sat in his car for an extra ten minutes to hear whether his team scored a touchdown. Both arrived at the same time — at the start of the readings — and, under the traditional reckoning, both would seem to have met their obligation to attend Mass.
But, said Peters, “my approach, in contrast, says that missing any part of a gravely binding action (such as attending Mass) is excusable only, but surely, to the extent that one has a sufficient reason for missing that much of it. Again, it is not a question of how much did I miss, but why did I miss what I missed.” He illustrates his point by imagining these two men standing before the Lord on Judgment Day:
“The Lord says to one man, you were late for Mass on that Sunday. He answers, ‘Yes, Lord, I was late. I was shoe-fishing in the toilet to get it to stop flooding.’ The Lord says, ‘I know, I saw the whole thing. Thank you for washing up and getting the family to Mass when you could. My Father was very pleased.’ Then the Lord says to the other man who walked into church at the exact same time, ‘You were late for Mass that Sunday.’ He replies, ‘Yes, Lord, I was late. I wanted to find out what the score was.’ The Lord says, ‘The score? The score? I’ll tell you what the score is. Step over there and you’ll see what the score is’.”

Q. In the Divine Mercy chaplet, we pray, “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” But Jesus said at the Last Supper, in regard to the apostles: “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them” (John 17:9-10). So the Bible says that we must not pray for the world. What do you think? — M.G., Alabama.
A. While Jesus is specifically praying here for the apostles, He is not ruling out prayers for the world, as we can see from two earlier passages in the Gospel of John, In John 3:16-17, Jesus says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” And in John 12:47, Jesus says, “And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.” So prayers for the world are entirely appropriate.

Q. With the Feast of the Holy Souls coming up on November 2, is there any special way to celebrate this feast, apart from attending Mass on that day and praying for the souls in Purgatory? — C.F., Pennsylvania.
A. Yes, you could obtain plenary indulgences for the souls in Purgatory, that is, removal of all temporal punishment due to sins that have been forgiven. Here is the process:
On All Souls Day, a plenary indulgence that is applicable only to the holy souls is granted to those who visit any parish church and there recite one Our Father and one Apostles’ Creed. This act can release one soul from Purgatory if all of the conditions listed below are met.
On all the days from November 1 through November 8, inclusive, a plenary indulgence applicable only to the holy souls is granted to those who visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed.
Here are the conditions for the indulgences:
Only one plenary indulgence can be granted per day.
It is necessary to be in the state of grace at the time the work is completed.
There must be freedom from attachment to sin, even venial sin, or the indulgence is only partial, that is, it removes only some temporal punishment.
Holy Communion must be received each time the indulgence is sought.
Prayers must be recited for the intentions of the Holy Father on each day the indulgence is sought. For example, the Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father, and at the end, “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.”
A sacramental Confession must be made within a week before or after completion of the prescribed work. One Confession made during the week, made with the intention of gaining all the indulgences, is sufficient.
Here is a prayer for the souls in Purgatory:
“Heavenly Father, in union with the merits of Jesus and Mary, I offer to you for the sake of the poor souls all the satisfactory value of my works during life, as well as all that will be done for me after death. I give you my all through the hands of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, that she may set free whatever souls she pleases, according to her heavenly wisdom and mother’s love for them. Receive this offering, O God, and grant me in return an increase of your grace. Amen.”

Q. I was reading in the Book of Revelation about the letters to seven churches. Is that where the devotion of visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday came from? — J.M., Massachusetts.
A. There are two schools of thought on this — one that the practice originated in the Book of Revelation, and the other that it originated with St. Philip Neri (1515-1595). Whatever the case, the devotion began in Rome, where the faithful visited the seven Roman basilicas: St. Peter’s at the Vatican, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. Sebastian’s, Holy Cross in Jerusalem, and St. Lawrence Outside the Walls.
The pilgrimage to each church marked seven stations of Jesus on the Way of the Cross: in the Garden of Gethsemane, before the former high priest Annas, before the high priest Caiaphas, before Pontius Pilate, before King Herod, before Pontius Pilate again, and when He was crowned with thorns and led to His crucifixion.

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Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

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  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

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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

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True Wisdom From Above

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