Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

November 3, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. I have been trying to read the Book of Revelation, but find it to be too confusing and too difficult to understand. Do you have any suggestions about how to proceed? — L.M., via e-mail.
A. It would be helpful to study the footnotes in the book, say, in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible version of Revelation. You might also get a copy of Peter S. Williamson’s book, Revelation, which provides an excellent commentary. And you will find useful Fr. Alfred McBride’s book, The Second Coming of Jesus. This is a much shorter commentary than the one by Dr. Williamson, but it offers some clarity about some of the puzzling passages in the last book of the Bible. Based on our consultation of these sources in leading a parish Bible study, we would offer the following comments:
Revelation is a book of Christian prophecy whose authorship is traditionally assigned to John the Apostle, who wrote down his visions while in exile on the Aegean island of Patmos near the end of the first century. Similar to the books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel — 278 of the 404 verses in Revelation allude to something in the Old Testament — the book employs visions, heavenly journeys, and exceptional symbolism and imagery to call people to repentance and conversion, to explain the meaning of human events (what Jesus called the “signs of the times”) in the first century, and to predict the future actions of God at the end of history, although not with a specific timeline.
The book contains letters written to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. Although there were many other Christian churches in existence at that time, John probably singled out these seven because they were connected by the same road and were easily reached. He may have preached and celebrated the Eucharist at these churches, so he would have been familiar with them. The letters he sent out were on a written scroll and probably were communicated to the people orally, perhaps at a liturgical assembly.
Revelation alternates between terrifying visions of judgments on Earth and consoling visions of God’s throne in Heaven. The central theme of the book is that God is on His throne and is in control of events on Earth. He is accompanied by powerful angels and faithful saints and martyrs, and we see that the Lamb (Jesus) has conquered evil and the outcome of history is certain, although there will be many trials and tribulations before the end. The book progresses from John’s first vision of Christ, to his vision of the heavenly throne room, to severe chastisements of the world and trials for the Church, to the return of Christ, and to the full arrival of God’s Kingdom at the end of time.
Why the bizarre symbolism and extravagant imagery? Perhaps because this approach could give deeper meaning to persons and events than could be gotten from plain language. It certainly makes the book much more interesting and challenging than if it were written in ordinary prose. Once you understand the meaning of the symbols and images, the book is no longer confusing or frightening. Numbers are significant: seven normally means completeness or fullness of authority (seven horns) or fullness of knowledge (seven eyes). Since six is less than seven, it is less than perfect and 666, the mark of the beast, is the ultimate in imperfection.
Four represents the world (the four winds or the four points of the compass), twelve refers to the People of God, whether the 12 tribes of Israel or the 12 apostles or the 24 elders (12 plus 12) around the throne, and a thousand and multiples of a thousand indicate a very large number rather than a precise quantity. Colors are significant, too, with white symbolizing holiness (the elders in Heaven) or infinite wisdom (the One with white hair on the throne) and red symbolizing readiness to shed blood (the second horseman of the Apocalypse or the dragon who is Satan).
In the introduction to his commentary on Revelation, Peter Williamson said that the content of the book is about four things: “1) the condition of the churches in Asia; 2) God’s sovereignty and Christ’s lordship over history; 3) the conflict and tribulation before Christ’s return; and 4) a preview in general terms of how God will fulfill His promises, defeat evil, and save his people” (p. 33).
He said that the lessons of Revelation are relevant today when “an international, materialistic, consumerist, sexually immoral culture seduces many away from their Christian faith. While literal idolatry — the worship of pagan gods and their physical images — is less common today than in the first century, spiritual idolatry — manifest in excessive love for and ultimate trust in created things rather than in God, whether wealth, pleasure, science, technology, governments, institutions, celebrities, or leaders — is stronger than ever” (p. 35).
He said that “twenty centuries after Revelation was written, we know that the consummation of all things may or may not be ‘soon’ in the time frame of our world, but a response to the Gospel is nevertheless urgent in the life of every person and society. Revelation reminds us that our ultimate hope is not merely to die and go to Heaven, but rather to see the glorious return of our Lord, the resurrection, and the marriage of heaven and earth when the New Jerusalem descends like a bride. Our destiny as Jesus’ disciples is the wedding feast of the Lamb in an eternal city that defies description, where we will see God face-to-face” (pp. 35-36).

Q. Recently I arranged for Mass to be said for a deceased friend, and I paid a $10 stipend. On the day the Mass was supposed to be said, however, the priest was out of town and the sacristan conducted a Communion service, announcing that the service was being offered for my friend. This was quite different than offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for someone, was it not? Should the priest keep my stipend for a Mass he did not say? — G.P., via e-mail.
A. A Communion service cannot take the place of a memorial Mass for the deceased. The priest who took the $10 offering is obliged in justice to celebrate a Mass for your friend. Since he was unable to do so on the agreed day, he must say Mass for your friend at another time. The laws governing Mass offerings for special intentions can be found in canons 945 to 958 of the Code of Canon Law.

Q. I just finished watching a one-hour YouTube presentation by a woman at a Fatima conference in Chicago. She talked about Pope Francis being friendly with George Soros and his deputies with regard to global warming and population control. She said that the Holy Father, the United Nations, and George Soros are walking hand-in-hand toward socialism. How much credence can one put in this? — J.D., via e-mail.
A. The talk you are referring to was entitled “An Unholy Alliance: the UN, Soros, and the Francis Papacy.” It was delivered in 2016 in Chicago by Elizabeth Yore, an attorney who had spent many years fighting human trafficking. She said that when she went to what was supposed to be a human trafficking conference at the Vatican in 2013, she found a number of “global elitists” — people from the Obama administration, the UN, and various left-wing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — pushing a one-world agenda revolving around climate change and population control.
One of the main speakers was economist Jeffrey Sachs, a close associate of leftist billionaire George Soros and a man who has spoken at Vatican conferences 18 times in recent years. Mrs. Yore noted that Sachs has the ear of Pope Francis and has been praised by the Holy Father.
While we wouldn’t endorse everything in the video, you can put some credence in it since much of what Mrs. Yore pointed out is factual. Her concerns were reaffirmed at a more recent Vatican conference, from February 27 to March 1 of this year, that featured a talk by Paul Ehrlich, the notoriously unreliable climate prognosticator and population-control advocate. Ehrlich has called the Catholic Church “dangerous” for opposing contraception and Pope Francis “dead wrong” for not mentioning population control in his encyclical Laudato Si.
“Why the Vatican should be giving a platform to this secular prophet of doom is beyond me,” said Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute. “There are plenty of credible Catholic scientists around whose fact-based opinions should be highlighted by their Church. What’s next — inviting Raul Castro to speak on human rights?”

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Cardinal Burke: Catholics must let Christ reign as King in face of ‘apostasy’ within Church

ROME, May 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholics must consciously place themselves under the “Kingship of Christ” in the face of enemies of the Church today attempting to “infiltrate the life of the Church herself and to corrupt the Bride of…Continue Reading

President Trump to cut Planned Parenthood funding

The Trump administration is announcing its intentions to cut a significant amount of taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses. The proposed regulation will also better protect victims of sexual assault, incest and rape because it will require that…Continue Reading

Bishop Tobin is right: the Catholic Church must stay true to itself

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, who is the Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, in the United States, has tweeted, and it is a mighty tweet, a gem amidst the dross and banality of Twitter. The Bishop has written:

Alfie Evans laid to rest today with no coroner’s investigation, no toxicology report

LONDON, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The question of what caused the death of UK toddler Alfie Evans may never be known. The UK High Court refused today to order a post-mortem examination of the toddler’s remains at the request…Continue Reading

Google and Facebook Censor Pro-Life Free Speech Ahead of Ireland Vote to Legalize Abortion

This has been coming on in Ireland for months, really since the outlines of the wording for the May 25 referendum to gut protections for unborn children were released. Simon Harris, the Minister of Health, and others, committed to overturning…Continue Reading

Bill Nye the Science Guy Headlines Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” a man who became famous for teaching children about science, has anything but children’s best interests at heart. Nye is an abortion activist who spoke Tuesday at fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in Texas. San Antonio…Continue Reading

Pope Francis one week after Alfie Evans’ death: ‘all possible assistance’ must be given to dying

May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis spoke out on Sunday in favor of providing complete health care to dying patients, in an apparent reference to the case of Alfie Evans, a child who died in a British public hospital…Continue Reading

Abortionist to be jailed after killing woman in botched late-term abortion

QUEENS, New York, May 4, 2018 (Operation Rescue) – In a move that shocked the court, abortionist Robert Rho accepted a previously offered plea bargain and admitted his guilt to Felony Negligent Homicide immediately after the judge announced that the jury had…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell, Vatican treasurer, to become most senior member of Catholic church to stand trial on sex charges

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s treasurer, has become the most senior Catholic figure to face sexual assault charges after a court in Melbourne committed him to stand trial on historical offences involving multiple victims. After being asked for a plea, 76-year-old…Continue Reading

Michigan Catholic School Revokes ‘Modesty Poncho’ Prom Plan for Female Students

A Catholic high school in Michigan has ended a plan to make female students wear “modesty ponchos” at prom if they are dressed inappropriately. After some parents and students at Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Mich. said the “modesty…Continue Reading

Archdiocese of Baltimore plans to build first new Catholic school in city in more than 50 years

After years of shuttering schools amid declining enrollment and budget constraints, the Archdiocese of Baltimore is planning to build its first new Catholic school in the city in more than 50 years. So far, the archdiocese has raised about $13…Continue Reading

As much as $100,000 taken from collection plate at Holy Name Cathedral, police say

Chicago police are investigating whether former security guards at Holy Name Cathedral may have played a role in the theft of up to $100,000 from the historic church’s collection plate, according to preliminary information from police sources and the security company.…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 . . .

Pope Francis names 14 new cardinals from five continents

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Sunday he would elevate 14 churchmen from five continents to the rank of cardinal, picking candidates that work with the poor or where Catholics are in a minority and putting his stamp on the group that will elect his successor.

Cardinal Burke warns upcoming youth synod may release ‘new storm in the Church’

ROME, May 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – There is a risk that the upcoming synod on youth will bring “more difficulties” for the Church, Cardinal Raymond Burke said at the Rome Life Forum today, noting there have already been allegations of manipulation. “What can we expect about and after the new synod in October?” he was asked. “A new storm in the Church? A new ambiguous exhortation? More dubia?” “I think simply from a point of human…Continue Reading

Chile’s bishops resign en masse over sex abuse cover-up

VATICAN CITY (AP) — In the biggest shake-up yet in the Catholic Church’s long-running sex abuse scandal, every active Chilean bishop offered to resign Friday over what Pope Francis said was their “grave negligence” in investigating abuse and protecting children. The bishops announced at the end of an emergency Vatican summit that all 31 active bishops in Rome had signed a document offering to resign. Francis can accept the resignations, rej

Iowa attorney general refuses to defend heartbeat abortion ban

DES MOINES, Iowa, May 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Democratic attorney general of Iowa is refusing to defend the state’s new ban on aborting babies with detectable heartbeats, citing his personal opposition to the duly-enacted law. “Attorney General Tom Miller has disqualified himself from representing the state” in the inevitable court battle over the law, Iowa Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson announced in a letter Tuesday. “The

This Governor Just Gave One of the Most Passionate Pro-Life Speeches

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds promised to passionately defend the rights of unborn babies Saturday after signing the earliest abortion ban into law. “We are No. 1 in the country when it comes to protecting life,” Reynolds told the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition during its annual event, Newsmax reports. “I believe all innocent life is precious and sacred, and as governor I pledge to you to do everything in my power to protect life.” Earlier this…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

The Consequences Of Relativism… A Desperate Call From The Youth Of America

By ALBERTO M. PIEDRA Recently I read an article entitled “From the Heart of a Young Father” written by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap. It appeared in First Things in April and it is worth receiving wide support and shared by as large an audience as possible. The article relates the anguished cry of…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Reconstructing The Entire Social Order

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY An Economics of Justice and Charity: Catholic Social Teaching, Its Development and Contemporary Relevance, by Thomas Storck; Angelico Press, 182 pages. Buy from Amazon.com; $24.00 hardcover, $16.95 paperback. An Economics of Justice and Charity looks at Catholic social teaching from the time of Pope Leo XIII, that is the end of…Continue Reading

The Vote On The Eighth Amendment . . . The Pro-Abortion Elites Are Active In Ireland

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented May 14 on Ireland’s upcoming referendum on abortion.) + + + In 1983, Ireland passed the Eighth Amendment outlawing abortion in most cases. Its future will be decided in a May 25 referendum. Activists from both sides have drawn support from inside and outside…Continue Reading

What Greatness Requires

By DONALD DeMARCO In a world such as ours, where mediocrity and confusion reign, where leaders mislead us and governments deceive us, the need for greatness is particularly critical. What is greatness, we may well ask? If we are not clear about the nature of this esteemed quality, how easy it is to settle for…Continue Reading

Minnesota Gov. Dayton Vetoes Ultrasound Bill

ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton on May 16 vetoed the mainstream pro-life measure that would ensure pregnant women access to their ultrasounds prior to an abortion. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization, is deeply disappointed with the governor’s action. “Once again Gov. Dayton has yielded to the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Oneness Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Most Holy Trinity (YR B) Readings: Deut. 4:32-34, 39-40 Romans 8:14-17 Matt. 28:16-20 In the first reading today, Moses addresses the people of Israel, challenging them to think about what they might believe about God and about themselves in relation to God. The problem for the Jewish people, having come out of Egypt,…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… A Weird World Far From God

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Some say the Catholic Church has to become more like Protestants (e.g., married priests, women priests, abortion, gay marriage) to survive. A new ABC Poll shows that Protestant membership has declined 14 percent in the last 15 years! We Catholics had better look before we leap.” Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence, R.I.,…Continue Reading

Replies To Objections To The Mass

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 29 In this article, we respond to objections against the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which non-Catholics are wont to raise in order to attempt to justify their many different doctrines about the Eucharist. They do not agree among themselves on a great many points of doctrine — see how many thousands of sects,…Continue Reading

Blessed Are The Merciful

By DON FIER In last week’s consideration of the fourth Beatitude: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [justice], for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6), we saw that those being referred to are souls who intensely desire that their wills are in accord with God’s will. They want what God wants, and their desires are always satisfied.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. While preparing for her Confirmation, my niece had to memorize the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but not all of them were the ones I learned at my Confirmation. I recognized three of them — Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge — but the other four were different. Can you explain this? — M.C., via e-mail. A. For the last…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Ivan Merz

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord paid the laborers the same wage whether they worked from early morning or began in the afternoon. The rewards were the same (Matthew, chapter 20). So too are the rewards for serving the Lord with zeal and perseverance. St. Augustine, converting at the age of 33, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Francis of Assisi — all…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bede The Venerable

By CAROLE BRESLIN In northern England — what is now known as the county of Tyne and Wear — on the Wear River sits St. Peter’s at Monkwearmouth. About seven miles away are the ruins of St. Paul’s Parish, which contain the oldest stained-glass window in the world. Both churches played an important role in the development of Christianity in…Continue Reading