Thursday 23rd February 2017

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Holy Innocents, Selfishness And Abortion

January 4, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. RANDY SLY

(Editor’s Note: Fr. Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and a priest with the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (http://usordinariate.org) established by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, through the Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus.”
(Fr. Sly’s commentary below is reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.)

+ + +

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CATHOLIC ONLINE) — In the Octave of Christmas, just after celebrating life we remember death. On this, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, we remember the young boys aged two and under who were slaughtered at the order of Herod the Great to make sure a rival ruler would not live.
The magi, who traveled from the East to seek the newborn King of the Jews, told Herod about their mission. From this point on Herod would do anything in his power to make sure he maintained his place of authority.
He stopped at nothing, including the extinction of every male child that was two years of age or younger in Bethlehem and the surrounding region to assure no other king could arise. Prophecy or no prophecy, he was not going to let even God spoil his reign.
In recounting the event, Matthew chooses an interesting prophetic passage from Jeremiah to underscore its horror. “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.”
The Old Testament prophet had described the lament of Rachel, Jacob’s youngest wife, when the Assyrians took the Jews — who were offspring of her child Joseph — away into captivity. Here the lament continues for her others, this time for the children who were slain by Herod’s men near her burial place.
When you think about the slaughter of these innocent children and the continuing slaughter of the unborn through the horrors of abortion, it becomes clear that they come from the same supreme act of selfishness. Even though Herod heard the message coming from the prophets of his own people, he had no desire to align his heart with the purposes of God.
Knowing the Messiah would be coming forth, he chose to attempt a counter-attack for the purposes of God. How futile, yet still he tried and innocent lives were lost in the process.
During this horror can you imagine the weeping and wailing of the mothers in Bethlehem? The soldiers came through and strategically combed the town as well as the surrounding region, killing every boy that met the criteria? It was truly a horror and all the while Herod wrung his hands in anticipation of the report that his word had been carried out.
For those of us who have fought the good fight in the pro-life trenches against the culture of death, this feast day and the souls of these innocent children have always meant a great deal. As martyrs, they remind us that, in our fallen world, there are many who will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo, even it if means the death of a child.
St. Matthew does not tell us how many children died for Christ, but whatever the number, they are considered the first martyrs for our Lord.
Recently, another massacre of innocents took place in Connecticut. The nation and our leaders were highly outraged, as well they should have been. For some selfish and sick reason, Adam Lanza, killed twenty children and six adults before taking his own life. We should be upset!
In fact, according to a story by the Associated Press, 561 children have been murdered between 2006 and 2010. But that number does not include another group of children who will not grow to adulthood — the unborn who were killed through abortion. We are approaching 56 million children, since 1973.
At the vigil for the Sandy Hook shooting victims, President Obama stated, “We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.
“But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. . . .”
I couldn’t agree more. Now, however, it is time for Catholics and other Christians to join together and form voice reminding our leaders that this same impetus should be focused on the victims of abortion as well. I want our leaders to shed a tear for the unborn as well.
So, why the duplicity? Why is there a holocaust of babies that goes on within a society that decries the shooting of other children? Widespread selfishness. These children would have been rivals for the attention mothers and fathers wanted to give to other interests and desires. Such challenges cannot be tolerated and so the child must go.
In Matthew’s account, “Herod and all Jerusalem” were upset with the report of the Magi. By “all Jerusalem,” the apostle was including the religious leaders of the city. They were willing to cooperate with Herod as they also would find their lives powerfully impacted should the Messiah actually come to power.
What a parallel today, as so many of our leaders have joined the genocide bandwagon to maintain the affections of the voting populace from the culture of death.
How different are the words of the Apostle Paul to the Church in Philippi. “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others.” (Phil. 2:3,4)
It is out of that call that we must continue to do whatever we can to turn the hearts of fathers and mothers to their unborn children and protect the lives of millions of holy innocents.
It would seem that those slaughtered by Herod are sharing that day with many others throughout the centuries. These are children who were killed because they were an inconvenience, a competition for time, attention, and love. Or in the case of Sandy Hook Elementary, simply school children who fell within the rifle sight of evil.
So how can we best honor these tiny martyrs?

Honor Their Sacrifice
By Our Life And Witness

First, we can make their sacrifice worthwhile through our commitment to Christ. Obviously, they did not die in vain, yet each one who honors Christ with his or her life and witness gives greater value to their offering.
I still remember many years ago having a conversation with a friend who had served in the Army during Vietnam. Since I was also a Vietnam Veteran (Navy) we had a lot to talk about.
He mentioned that he had been a gunner on a helicopter and had lost several friends during his time in-country. Upon his discharge, he said that for the longest time he felt badly that he had lived and they had not. He said the only thing that made their sacrifice worthwhile was for him to live his life as best as he could.
As Paul said to the Romans, “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present yourself as a living sacrifice unto God which is your reasonable service of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
There’s an old saying that the only problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps trying to climb down off the altar. We must remain steadfast in our commitment to Christ and not let convenience and comfort dull our spiritual senses.
Jesus reminded us of the work we must do to maintain the seed of His Word in our hearts. In the parable of the soils, it is the garden of the heart and, more particularly, the soil found there that must be cultivated. Depending on what our hearts are like, there is seed choked off by the weeds of other “stuff” found there, seed dried up due to the hardness and seed stolen by enemies of life.

Walk In The Light As
He Is In The Light

The children were not willing martyrs nor unwilling. They simply had no voice or decision to make. They were not only tiny martyrs; they were surprised by martyrdom.
While Herod was preparing for the slaughter, Joseph was warned to take Mary and the child to Egypt and wait. For all his cunning, the ruler had miscalculated the fact he was dealing with the God of the universe.
How often we forget that, when it comes to our faith, we are living in a supernatural world. We do not embrace a self-help approach where we can figure things out. Grace is much more effective; we can receive this grace from God as we partake of His love.
Just like Herod, we can forget that God is God and we’re not. He not only can inspire prophecy, He can make sure it comes true. How good it is to remember that through the sacraments we, too, participate in the supernatural dimension of the living God.
During his homily for the Solemnity of the Epiphany in January of 2011, Pope Benedict XVI stated, “Herod is an unsympathetic figure to us, one we instinctively judge negatively because of his brutality. Yet we should ask ourselves whether there is not perhaps something of Herod in us too….
“We must remove all idea of rivalry from our minds and hearts, the idea that giving space to God is a limit to the self. We must open ourselves to the certainty that God is omnipotent love, which takes away nothing, which threatens nothing. Quite the contrary, He is the only One capable of offering us the chance to live a full life and to experience true joy.”
St. John states in our first reading, “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of His Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”
Walking in the light of our Lord’s teachings and trusting in His sacrifice for our sins form two key portions of our life in Christ. These are not simply tokens of information from one who is enlightened; we remain enlightened by what had taken place.

Speak For Those
Who Cannot Speak

St. Quodvultdeus, a bishop, wrote many centuries ago, “The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself.”
While the innocents had loving mothers and fathers, there was no one in authority who would or could speak for them. They were seen as property not persons and Herod wanted desperately to rid himself of a potential competitor for the crown.
For today’s society to take seriously the cause of the unborn, we have to rise up as a unified voice. This is paramount.
Every year at the March for Life, I am astounded by the sheer number of participants — particularly among the young. I’m floored by the enthusiasm of those who attend. The number is exponentially higher than what the mainstream media reports.
With all of this, however, we still need more voices from every face of Christianity working together. The culture of death needs to know this is not a feeble declaration; that there are many who speak for the unborn. This is the key!
Quodvultdeus ends his homily with the challenge. “How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.
The death of these tiny martyrs should stir us to action. They were innocent as were those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary and in other violent attacks.
The 56 million who have died through abortion share this same status of martyrdom. To them especially we owe a debt to continue to stand for Life no matter what. One-third of a generation has been killed and the shedding of blood hasn’t stopped.
“A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.”

 

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Trump to Drop Transgender Bathroom Mandate

Obama’s controversial mandate attempted to force schools to let boys into girls’ locker rooms WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) – President Donald Trump is expected to revoke Obama’s transgender bathroom mandate insisting that students be allowed in opposite-sex bathrooms and locker rooms. The…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke is ‘de facto’ suspended, claims Knights of Malta condom promoter

February 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Knights of Malta official at the center of controversy over the Order’s Catholic identity and sovereignty says its patron, Cardinal Raymond Burke, has been “de facto” suspended. Albrecht von Boeselager, a German aristocrat, was…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen says ‘naïve’ Pope and bad advisors are betraying underground Church in China

February 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Joseph Zen says the Vatican is betraying Catholics living their faith out clandestinely in China. In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, he says he has been urged to speak out by Catholics who lack…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen on dubia: ‘Very respectful request by those bishops and Cardinals to have a clear statement’

February 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen in an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo expressed his support for the four Cardinals’ dubia that asks for clarification on the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia’s chapter 8. “I suppose it is a…Continue Reading

These Catholic parishes openly celebrate LGBT. Why aren’t bishops stopping it?

January 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As controversy continues to rage over Pope Francis’ doctrines on communion for the divorced and remarried, an even more controversial practice proliferating in the shadows for decades is becoming increasingly open and explicit: same-sex couples…Continue Reading

Michael J. Novak, Jr. [1933 – 2017]

Theologian, public intellectual, and close friend of the Acton Institute, Michael J. Novak Jr., passed away last night on February 17, 2017. Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico reflects on the passing of his friend and mentor Michael Novak,…Continue Reading

Twitter erupts with dubious reaction to Cardinal Cupich’s post on marriage document’s ‘absolute clarity’

February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich tweeted Tuesday that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia document was in full fidelity with the Catholic Church and absolutely clear in the expression of its teaching on marriage, but users of the…Continue Reading

More essential than ever for Catholic hospitals to maintain distinct identity: Cardinal Burke

Catholic health-care institutions are needed today more than ever, Cardinal Raymond Burke told a conference on Catholic hospitals in Ohio last week. “Our country suffers the scourge of an attack on the dignity of human life,” the cardinal said. He…Continue Reading

Council of Cardinals pledges allegiance to Pope Francis

ROME, February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – In an odd note without explanation placed on the Vatican’s daily press briefing today, the Council of Cardinals, a group of 10 Cardinals which Pope Francis has delegated to work with him on reform,…Continue Reading

Conference Looks Beyond ‘Crisis’ of Catholic Colleges, Debunks ‘Land O’ Lakes Statement’

The day after an historic and widely-covered March for Life, presidents from four Newman Guide colleges and Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick Reilly presented on the future of Catholic higher education at the “CRISIS: Catholic Higher Education and the Next…Continue Reading

Top Restaurants Will Sell Cookies to Raise Money for Planned Parenthood Abortion Business

A handful of Chicago restaurants are baking cookies and selling them through Feb. 24, with the proceeds benefitting the abortion group Planned Parenthood, the Chicago Eater reported.

Roman Catholic Church of Philippines Criticizes Duterte’s Bloody Drug War

The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs in a sermon read out during Sunday’s services, marking its strongest opposition yet to a flagship policy that has led to the deaths of more…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 . . .

San Diego’s Catholic bishop urges citizens to be ‘disruptors’ and ‘rebuilders’ in Trump era

Even before the White House announced stricter immigration policies Tuesday, there were signs of opposition. Addressing people “of all faiths and no faith,” San Diego’s Roman Catholic bishop on Saturday urged Americans to be “disruptors” and “rebuilders.” Donald Trump, Bishop Robert McElroy noted, had campaigned for the presidency as “the disruptor.” “Well now,” McElroy told almost 700 community organizers and social justice advocates meeting in Modesto on the weekend that “we must all

Washington D.C. Becomes 6th Place in the U.S. to Legalize Assisted Suicide

A Washington, D.C. law allowing doctors to prescribe their patients lethal drugs to commit suicide went into effect Saturday after U.S. Congress failed to block the measure, the Washington Times reports. The district is the sixth area in the U.S. to legalize the deadly procedure, following Oregon, Washington state, Vermont, California and Colorado. The D.C. council passed the law at the end of 2016, despite wide-spread opposition from African Americans, people with disabilities, medical professionals,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke urges massive U.S. crowd to defend faith amid Church confusion

cburk12

LENEXA, Kansas, February 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The façade of Cardinal Raymond Burke as a boogeyman of tradition projected by his critics and the media was nowhere to be found last Friday when he gave his usual clear witness to the Catholic faith before an overflow crowd in the Kansas City area. Cardinal Burke delivered a stirring, clear message on defending the Catholic faith amid the current confusion in the Church that was embraced with…Continue Reading

Again More Questions than Answers . . . MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD MEETINGS OF POPULAR MOVEMENTS IN MODESTO

Dear Brothers and Sisters, First of all, I would like to congratulate you for your effort in replicating on a national level the work being developed in the World Meetings of Popular Movements. By way of this letter, I want to encourage and strengthen each one of you, your organizations, and all who strive with you for “Land, Work and Housing,” the three T’s in Spanish: Tierra, Trabajo y Techo. I congratulate you for all…Continue Reading

U.S. House votes to overturn Obama regulation forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The  U.S. House of Representatives voted 230 to 188 today to overturn former President Obama’s “eleventh hour” HHS rule forcing states to give Title X money to organizations that commit abortions. Title X money comes from the government to fund “family planning services,” but technically not abortion. Before he left office, Obama pushed through an HHS regulation that essentially forces states to give Planned Parenthood Title X

Culture Of Life 101… The History Of Future Dreams

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the complete series on artificial reproduction, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “In the year 6565, ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need your wife, you’ll pick your son,…Continue Reading

Ex-Planned Parenthood Worker . . . Recalls Webcam Abortion Opposition, Sees Hope For Pro-Life Cause

By PEGGY MOEN ST. PAUL — Sue Thayer told her February 15 audience here that “an immediate stopper” in a debate with a pro-abort is this quotation from President Reagan: “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” Thayer was addressing the Legislative Dinner of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, held here at the…Continue Reading

Reopening The Question Of Women Priests… A Theological Travesty And A Spiritual Tragedy

By JEFFREY MIRUS (Editor’s Note: Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. This commentary first appeared on CatholicCulture.org, and LifeSiteNews featured it on February 13. All rights reserved.) + + + La…Continue Reading

Even As “Assisted Suicide” Looms . . . Ethics Expert Tells How Roe V. Wade Might Be Reversed

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — “If you want to see what a Roe v. Wade reversal looks like, read Washington v. Glucksberg,” a national expert on medical ethics and the law told a Catholic physicians’ meeting here while he also warned against an accelerating effort to legalize “assisted suicide” in the states. With speculation rising…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… Silence As An Expression Of The Sacred

By JAME MONTI In a recent interview concerning his new book, The Power of Silence, His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah observed, “Before God’s majesty, we lose our words” (Catholic World Report, October 3, 2016). Silence is man’s humble reply to the glory and transcendence of His Creator, a reply that even the high and mighty…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Joy And Dismay . . . Greet Cardinal Tong’s Article On China-Holy See Dialogue

By FR. BERNARDO CERVELLERA (Editor’s Note: In the article below, Fr. Bernardo Cervellera evaluates the optimism of Hong Kong’s John Cardinal Tong over a change in the method of appointing China’s bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal — in words only. (Fr. Cervellera notes that underground…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Signs Of Growth At “The Margins” Of The Church

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Why does a young man of 18 years old put on a suit and tie on Sunday morning, leaving his parents and sisters behind, to drive to a more distant parish? To attend the Traditional Latin Mass. I’d noticed him for a few weeks along with our growing Sunday Traditional Mass congregation and met him…Continue Reading

The Meaning Of Original Sin

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 25 Haven’t you met Catholic people who question the gravity of Adam’s sin? They do believe that all humans stem from a single couple, yes, but they find it hard to accept that stealing an apple is such a big deal. Surely God could not be that much offended by that! Such people argue…Continue Reading

The Liturgical Celebration Of The Eucharist

By DON FIER As narrated in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and in the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper on the night before He died. Jesus and His apostles had just traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the great Jewish feast of Passover in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent reply about the failure of Jesuit colleges and universities to uphold Catholic morality, the Cardinal Newman Society has reported that most members of Congress who graduated from Catholic institutions have pro-abortion voting records. Of the 56 Jesuit college alumni who hold seats in the new Congress, said Matt Archbold of the Cardinal Newman…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church different saints have had special devotions. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard had a great devotion to the Real Presence, and Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco had a deep devotion to the Most Precious Blood. (The Catholic Church recognized this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN (Editor’s Note: Some sources give this saint’s name as Gertrude, but the Vatican’s website calls her Geltrude.) + + + Can there be any nobler calling than to promote adoration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament? St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St.…Continue Reading