Thursday 23rd November 2017

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November 10, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. When we see Jesus in Heaven, will He still have the wounds from His Passion? — J.S., Massachusetts.
A. St. Thomas Aquinas says yes. Here is the explanation that appears in a chapter about Heaven in Fr. Wade Menezes’ excellent book The Four Last Things:
“Whatever imperfections or deformities the body had on earth will be taken away and will not be present in Heaven. We must note, however, that Christ’s wounds do abide in Heaven. Rather than being removed, His wounds are glorified as an eternal sign of His triumph over sin and death in the world. His wounds, after all, were what brought the Apostle Thomas to believe in His Resurrection (see John 20:24-29).
“According to St. Thomas Aquinas, our Lord kept in His glorified body the marks of His wounds for four primary reasons: 1) ‘as an everlasting testimony of His victory’; 2) ‘as a proof that He is the same Christ who suffered and was crucified’; 3) ‘as a constant and concrete plea on our behalf to the eternal Father’; and 4) ‘as a means of upbraiding the reprobates on the last day, showing them what He did for them, thus reminding them of what they have wickedly despised and rejected.’ It is important that we strive never to be caught in the snares of the ‘reprobates’ who will be confronted on the last day with the wounds of Christ” (p. 65).

Q. What do you say to a child who does not go to church, but who insists that he is a good person? — M.K., Florida.
A. You can concede that if your son is dependable at his job, if he is a loving husband and parent, if he treats other people with respect, if he coaches youth sports, if he engages in fund-raisers for various charitable causes, then he has fulfilled the usual definition of a good person.
But then you need to ask him if he is a “God person.” After all, when Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, He did not mention love your neighbor. No, He said that the first and the greatest commandment was to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:36-40).
So while it is commendable for your son to be good to family, friends, and even strangers, that is only his second obligation. His first obligation to love God with every fiber of his being. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His Commandments. One of His Commandments says that we are to keep the Lord’s Day holy, which means going to Church on Sunday. One cannot spend the week showing love for others while ignoring God, the God who put all of those others in our path so that we could help them.
God gives us 168 hours a week; why can’t we give back to Him one of those hours at Mass? How much of a hardship is that for those who live in a society where churchgoing is not forbidden by the government, or where one’s life is not threatened by attendance at Mass?
There are Christians all over the world who willingly risk their lives and their health to worship God on Sunday. Like the Catholics in Mosul, Iraq, who went to church a week after a terrorist bomb had killed some of their fellow worshipers the previous Sunday. When asked why they would risk their lives in such a way, these brave Catholics replied, “We cannot live without the Eucharist.”
Jesus celebrated the first Mass at the Last Supper and commanded us to “do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19). He then went out and died in brutal fashion on the cross out of love for us. Is it too much for us to thank Him for His great sacrifice by taking part in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the only place where we can receive Him in the Holy Eucharist?
Jesus also said that if we expect to get to Heaven, we must receive the Eucharist. “Amen, amen, I say to you,” He told His critics, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (John 6:53-57).
So when your son stands before the Lord on Judgment Day and is asked how he demonstrated his love for God, will the Lord be pleased when your son says, “Well, I coached Little League”?

Q. What is the origin of the belief that identifies the four evangelists — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — as a man, a lion, a calf, and an eagle? — A.C., Rhode Island,
A. The origin of this belief can be found in chapter four of the Book of Revelation, which talks about “four living creatures” around the throne of God in Heaven. Covered with eyes in front and in back, symbolizing great knowledge and insight, “the first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf, the third had a face like that of a human being, and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight” (4:7).
Since the second century, the four creatures have been associated with the four evangelists. Matthew is the man since his Gospel begins with the human genealogy of Jesus, Mark is the lion since his Gospel begins with a voice crying in the wilderness, Luke is the calf since his Gospel begins in the temple where calves were sacrificed, and John is the eagle who uses soaring rhetoric to explain the divinity of Christ (cf. the prologue of his Gospel, which starts out, “In the beginning was the Word, / and the Word was with God, / and the Word was God.”)
In his Explanation of the Apocalypse, St. Bede (672-735) said that the four creatures also refer to the whole Church — her humility in the man, her courage in the lion, her sacrificial service in the calf, and her exalted dignity in the soaring eagle.

Q. Recently our diocese and the Lutheran Church participated in a joint conference commemorating the Reformation. The gist of the write-up about it in our diocesan newspaper was basically to portray the Catholic and Lutheran religions as equally valid before God. The article said that both have wounded the unity of the Church and have done “evil things” to each other. Do you know what the article was talking about? — S.J.S., via e-mail.
A. No, we don’t, and if you have been reading Raymond de Souza’s excellent series in this newspaper on “Martin Luther: The Man and the Myth,” you would know that it was not the Catholic Church that caused the fragmentation of Christianity in the 16th century, but rather Luther himself. His hate-filled and venomous attacks on the Church, the Pope, and Catholic teachings ought to prevent anyone from hailing him as a great reformer or a promoter of renewal, but, alas, he is being so described today, even by Pope Francis.
While Catholic and Lutheran theologians have been dialoguing for years in an effort to bridge the differences between the two communities, there has not been much success. They have agreed that, contrary to Luther’s position that we are saved by “faith alone,” we are in fact saved “by grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work, and not because of any merit on our part.” However, there are still significant disagreements in such areas as authority in the Church and the sacraments.
Regarding the latter, Lutherans believe in consubstantiation, which means that Christ is really present in the bread and wine, but the substance of the bread and wine also remains on the altar. Catholics, on the other hand, believe in transubstantiation, which means that the whole substance of the bread is changed into the Body of Christ, and the whole substance of the wine is changed into the Blood of Christ. The accidents of bread and wine are still visible to the senses, but Catholics believe that the bread and wine have ceased to exist and no longer remain on the altar.
A helpful book would be Timothy Drake’s There We Stood, Here We Stand. This book contains the testimonies of 11 former Lutherans who converted to the Catholic Church and the reasons for their conversion.

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Bannon Discusses Growing Up in ‘a Very Observant Catholic Family’ in the South Where the KKK ‘Tarred and Feathered’ Priests

In a freewheeling new interview with author Keith Koffler, Steve Bannon recounted his upbringing in a “very observant Catholic family” in the 1950s and 1960s and how that molded who he is now. Koffler, author of Bannon: Always the Rebel, asked Mr. Bannon—Breitbart…Continue Reading

Bishop McElroy decries extremism on religious freedom, calls for solidarity in American politics

WASHINGTON (RNS) — In an address at Georgetown University, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego criticized both extremes in the fight over religious freedom and called for public consensus based on solidarity to heal our nation in this hyper-partisan age. McElroy…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke makes ‘final plea’ for clarity to Pope Francis on dubia anniversary

ROME, November 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – One year to the day after the dubia were made public, Cardinal Raymond Burke today is turning again to Pope Francis and to the whole Church in an urgent and final plea for clarity.…Continue Reading

Giving bishops final word on Mass translations would ‘destroy’ Church unity: Cardinal Muller

November 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The unity of the Church would be “destroyed” if bishops’ conferences, not the Vatican, had the final word over translations of liturgical texts, said Cardinal Gerhard Müller in a recent interview. The former prefect of…Continue Reading

Notre Dame reverses decision to end coverage of birth control in university insurance plans

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In a reversal of school policy, the University of Notre Dame announced this week that it would continue to cover contraceptives for its employees, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune. The news marked a departure from Notre Dame’s announcement…Continue Reading

House Tax Reform Bill “Unacceptable” As Written, Say U.S. Bishops Chairmen

WASHINGTON—In a letter of November 9, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, Ohio called for amendments to the current draft of the House…Continue Reading

Truck honoring Dubia Cardinal stopped by police while circling Vatican

ROME, November 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Today in Rome, a publicity truck carrying billboard-size images of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, the dubia Cardinal who passed away three months ago, and Pope John Paul II made its way through the streets of…Continue Reading

Trump admin asks Supreme Court to ‘discipline’ lawyers for rushing teen’s abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to punish the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for lying to the government about the timeline of an underage illegal immigrant’s abortion.…Continue Reading

Christian nurse sues hospital for requiring her to assist abortions

DURHAM, North Carolina, November 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic nurse is suing Duke University Hospital, claiming that the university discriminated against her religious and pro-life beliefs by requiring her to assist in abortions. Sara T. Pedro was told during her employee…Continue Reading

It’s ‘impossible’ to change Catholic teaching against contraception: Cardinal

ROME, October 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Church’s teaching against contraception as expressed in Humanae Vitae is an “extraordinary example” of how the “truth of faith” deepens and develops while “continuing to be identical to itself,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller stated at a…Continue Reading

Thousands sign online petition to remove Madison’s bishop

MADISON (WKOW) — There’s an online petition being circulated to remove the Bishop of the Diocese of Madison. Bishop Robert Morlino is being criticized for his attitude about the LGTBQ community.  Earlier this week, an email was sent to priests in the…Continue Reading

Pontifical Academy of Sciences welcomes leftist California Governor Jerry Brown to keynote

ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is again throwing open its doors to abortion and population control activists. From November 2–4, the Vatican’s scientific academy will host a conference on the environment that will feature, among others, far-left…Continue Reading

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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

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

Today . . .

U.S. bishop defends pro-LGBT priest speaking at Catholic college as thousands protest

DALLAS, Pennsylvania, November 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A U.S. bishop is defending a local Catholic university’s invitation to a pro-homosexual priest to have him speak at its winter commencement in the face of almost 20,000 Catholics having signed a petition asking that the invitation be cancelled. Scranton Bishop Joseph C. Bambera is defending Jesuit homosexualist Fr. James Martin’s speaking engagement at Misericordia University’s winter commencement on December 17, saying that the priest’s latest book condoning…Continue Reading

Progressives hate everything old, including the elderly

November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Earlier this year, Maclean’s Magazinepublished an article asking a question that seemed to capture the prevailing mood on the Left: “Should older people lose the right to vote?” Because old people are practically dead, the author explained, there are some today who feel that they vote with only a short-term vision in mind, and thus should be barred from interfering with the Progress that would be brought about should young people be allowed…Continue Reading

Venerable Solanus Casey: the priest who answered the doorbell.

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Swiss Planned Parenthood president invited to speak at Vatican

November 18, 2017 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life co-hosted a conference on the topic of end of life issues that included several speakers who oppose the Catholic Church’s teachings on the right to life, including the president the board of Switzerland’s Planned Parenthood affiliate, and the president of the pro-euthanasia Royal Dutch Medical Association. The conference, entitled the “WMA Europ

Catholic priests, activists to stand trial for pro-life witness inside abortion facility

November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday, November 20, six pro-lifers will stand trial in a State of Virginia courtroom for their defense of the unborn—facing a possible jail term of up to 90 days. On Friday, September 15, 2017 in three different cities across the United States, pro-lifers entered abortion centers to talk to women scheduled for abortions. By refusing to leave the clinics when told to do so by law enforcement, they offered…Continue Reading

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An Underground Priest In China Tells His Story

MADRID (CNA) — Fr. Joseph of Jesus is a Chinese priest, faithful to the Catholic Church. Life is not easy for Catholics in China. Those who adhere to Rome are persecuted by the Chinese government, which only grants freedom of worship to those belonging to the state-controlled Patriotic Church. Fr. Joseph recently shared his story…Continue Reading

SCOTUS Will Hear California Forced Abortion Speech Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court on November 13 agreed to review the California Reproductive FACT Act, which compels pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to post notices regarding the availability of free and low-cost abortions in their physical clinics, printed material and online. The court agreed to hear National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA)…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Sacred Heart Vs. Secularism

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, From Secularism and the New Age to Christendom Renewed, by Roger Buck (Angelico Press, 2016, 482 pages; $21.95 paperback, $10.12 Kindle). The Cor Jesu Sacratissimum of the title is the Latin for “Sacred Heart of Jesus,” and the premise of Roger Buck’s sizable volume is that the Sacred…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Questions In The Aftermath Of The Las Vegas Tragedy

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

A Movie Review… “The Star” Shines For Christmas

By REY FLORES As children, many of us grew up watching television, particularly memorable special broadcasts of The Wizard of Oz, Rankin and Bass’ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and of course, all the holiday-themed Peanuts animated specials. My favorite was A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving where Snoopy and his little bird friend Woodstock fix a Thanksgiving…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Advent And The Time Of Testing

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER First Sunday Of Advent (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b, 64:2-7 1 Cor. 1:3-9 Mark 13:33-37 As we begin a new Church year, we kick off with a question that burns in the hearts of many people: You are our Father, our Redeemer; why do you let us wander from your ways and harden our hearts…Continue Reading

Fr. Brian Harrison Says… It’s Not “Dissent” To Criticize “Confusing Cascade Of Papal Novelties”

By DIANE MONTAGNA ROME (LifeSiteNews) — Earlier this year, a group of over 60 scholars issued an almost unprecedented “filial correction” to Pope Francis, charging him with permitting the spread of seven heresies. This measure, unseen since the fourteenth century, has generated controversy around the world, while the number of signatories has risen to 250 professors and priests since it…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The Kingmakers Reject A Papal Favorite

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The approval of one’s peers is a highly prized trophy in the complicated world of adult professional relationships. Many work for years in obscurity with little acknowledgment. The opportunity to be championed and appreciated is a blessing not to be taken askance when other forms of promotion are no longer possible for those already at…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Cisterns Of Grace

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 In the last article, I finished the text with a prayer for the bishops of Malta, who now allow people living in adultery to receive Holy Communion. May our Lady guide them to repentance, and to correct their wrong teaching, lest they answer before God our Lord for leading people into committing a…Continue Reading

The Recipient, Minister, And Celebration Of Holy Orders

By DON FIER A significant reform of Vatican Council II, as we saw last week, was the restoration of the permanent diaconate in the Western Church “as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy” (Lumen Gentium, n. 29 § 2). An ordained ministry that has always been retained by the Churches of the East, it can be conferred on…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Vicente Liem De La Paz

By CAROLE BRESLIN Vietnam received its first missionaries of the Catholic Church in the 1500s. These missionaries were predominantly Portuguese in the 16th century, with French Jesuits and the Dominicans coming in the 17th century. Throughout the following centuries the priests and missionaries suffered excruciating tortures and martyrdom. When the Communists captured northern Vietnam, Catholics fled to the south and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Scotland

By CAROLE BRESLIN Quite frequently saints have left their home country and died in another country, but most of them died in a foreign land because they left to serve as missionaries to Asia, Africa, or America. The land of Hungary, however, has seen a few saints depart because they were of royal families, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who…Continue Reading