Wednesday 16th April 2014

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Christmas: Peace Or Passivity?

December 19, 2013 Frontpage No Comments

By DONALD DeMARCO

Peace, although universally desirable, remains intellectually problematic. I recall inviting a group of 25 or so university students to give me a working definition of peace. Despite their sincere and studied attempts, they could not offer me a single image of peace that was positive. Peace, for them, was the absence of war, strife, conflict, problems, interruptions, frustrations, and so on. Peace, according to their provisional definitions, was indistinguishable from anesthesia. It was a synonym for Requiescat in pace.
Christmas is about peace in its positivity. Mary is the Queen of Peace. Her Child is a bearer of peace. At Christmastime, our hearts should be filled with peace. We may begin our understanding of the positive quality of peace by reflecting on the Christmas message.
St. Augustine tells us that “peace is the tranquility of order.” If we apply this definition to Christmas, we might ask about what “order” it might imply. Christmas, which is the Nativity of Christ, is anticipated by the ordered mysteries of the Annunciation and Visitation. In response to the Annunciation, Mary replied, “Yes,” “Be it done unto me according to thy Word.” Her Visitation represents a continuation of this “Yes” during her pregnancy. The Annunciation and Visitation are ordered to the Nativity. The affirmation of all three of these decisive events confers peace, the tranquility of order. Collectively, they bring peace to disordered lives who live in a disordered world.
The continuing yeses, or fiats, of Mary would have to be decisive and consistent if the Nativity was truly going to be an event of peace. It would have to be positive and affirming if Christmas was going to bring about peace in a positive and affirming way. In order to appreciate fully the peace of Christmas, we must understand the strength of Mary’s positive affirmations that preceded it.
In diametric contrast with the peace of Christmas is Planned Parenthood’s sinister slogan, “Let there be choice on earth.” With regard to Mary, there certainly were choices. But her choices were always a resounding “Yes.” They were Yes to God, to love, to order, and to bringing Christ into the world. And, as Bishop Fulton J. Sheen has reminded us, “Christianity came into the world because a woman was willing to make a child the center of her life.” Mary brought not only Christ but also Christianity into the world.
In order to be a champion of mere choice, one must remain, as difficult as it may be, serenely indifferent to the outcome of that choice. To venerate choice and remain indifferent to the outcome of choice, however, is to be a moral apathist. It has been said that an atheist is a person who can watch a football game between Notre Dame and Southern Methodist University and not care who wins. We can say that the definition of a moral apathist is a person who encourages people to choose, but remains blissfully unconcerned about the consequences, disastrous or beneficent, of their choices. His enthusiasm is for drinking; he is apathetic about whether the potion is poisonous. He loves jumping; he is unmindful of the height from which he jumps. Conception or contraception, continuing pregnancy or abortion, joyful birth or wrongful birth are all presumed to have the same moral status.
I recall another pedagogical incident in which I suggested to my students that they would not be opposed to the use of contraception specifically on the night when they were conceived. To my astonishment, I was harshly rebuked, being told that they were willing, retroactively, to defer to their parents’ “choice.” I was saddened to learn that a person could be reluctant to affirm his own existence strongly enough to thank his parents for not using contraception that night he was conceived.
If our enthusiasm for life is limited by our obsession with choice, then we have no reason to delight in whatever good choices we might make, never rejoice in Mary’s fiats, never find merriment in Christmas, and never enjoy peace. If moral life is limited to choice, then the good or bad outcomes are simply off the radar screen.
There are medical doctors who advise against showing an ultrasound image of a developing child to his pregnant mother because, as they say, “they do not want to violate her [the mother’s] neutrality.” Apparently, they would prefer that the mother sustain an apathetic attitude toward her own child.
If we are truly indifferent to what we choose, we would surely become indifferent to choice itself. We could hardly celebrate Christmas if Mary had said, “No.” Planned Parenthood, therefore, cannot favor choice the way it claims it does; it favors death — death through abortion.
We rejoice in choices that are good. Let us remember this Christmas that peace came into that little town in Bethlehem because Mary, the Mother of God, made a series of strong, decisive, and salutary choices that brought into the world the Prince of Peace. Let us welcome that peace into our hearts while we extend it to others.

+    +    +

(Donald DeMarco, PhD is a senior fellow of HLI America, an initiative of Human Life International. He is professor emeritus at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario, and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, Conn. Some of his recent writings may be found at HLI America’s Truth and Charity Forum.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Catholic League’s Donohue: Church’s Pedophilia Crisis Is Over

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 06:14 PM By Bill Hoffmann The Catholic Church has far less of a problem with the sexual abuse of minors than other major institutions, says Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil…Continue Reading

Catholic Malta Legalizes Same-sex Civil Unions

Staunchly Catholic Malta has legalized same-sex civil unions and has given gay couples the right to adopt children. The vote comes nearly three years after the Mediterranean island nation legalized divorce. The Maltese parliament legalized same-sex unions and gay adoption…Continue Reading

Remembering Terri Schiavo:

April 13, 2014 Remembering Terri Schiavo: Bobby Schindler comments on Pope Francis, Bishop Robert Lynch, and working on behalf of the severely disabled By Matt C. Abbott The following is an email interview I recently conducted with Bobby Schindler, brother of…Continue Reading

Parents Protest Speaker’s Talk On Morality At Another Catholic High School

For the 2nd time in recent weeks, parents of students at a Catholic high school are protesting that a speaker’s presentation on Catholic morality was harsh and insensitive. Parents of students at the Prout School in Rhode Island have expressed…Continue Reading

‘Pay for it yourself’: Canadian Catholics fighting renewed push for single publicly funded school system

Sarah Boesveld | April 12, 2014 When Leonard Baak’s son hit kindergarten age, his local public school in Stittsville, Ont., was so full it couldn’t even add any portables. So all the other parents in his neighbourhood did the natural thing and…Continue Reading

What Bishop Jugis did NOT say about Sister Jane Dominic’s talk

By Phil Lawler  April 10, 2014 5:05 PM Charlotte’s Bishop Peter Jugis has finally issued a statementregarding the unseemly controversy at Charlotte Catholic High School. In that statement the bishop clearly affirms the teachings of the Catholic Church. But he does not affirm…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Calls Abortion An ‘Abominable Crime’ In Strongest Remarks To Date

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Fri Apr 11, 2014 08:11 EST VATICAN CITY, April 11, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Human life is “sacred and inviolable” and “every civil law is based on the recognition of the first and most fundamental right,…Continue Reading

Jesuit Priest Championed Conservative Catholic Values In Era Of Change

By Jan Uebelherr of the Journal Sentinel The Rev. Cletus Healy warned about the evils of communism, presided over annual vigils at the gravesite of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and wrote “Stations of the Cross for the Victims of Abortion.” These were the passions of…Continue Reading

Fr. Dwight Longenecker on The Absurdity of Evil

By Fr Dwight Longenecker 4/8/2014 Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) This is the frightful absurdity of evil. This absurdity and rage is the demonic poison of hatred and pride, and the only antidote, I have come to accept-the only antidote for which…Continue Reading

Charlotte Diocese Backs Nun Who Gave School Talk Promoting Church Teaching On Homosexuality

BY KIRSTEN ANDERSEN Mon Apr 07, 2014 18:27 EST CHARLOTTE, NC, April 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The bishop of Charlotte is backing a Dominican nun who has been at the center of a fiery controversy since last month when she gave a…Continue Reading

Catholics, Methodists, & Deportations

Moral certainties and uncertainty on parade. By Mark Tooley – 4.6.14 Last Tuesday some Catholic bishops hosted a mass at the Arizona border with Mexico that largely was a plea for legalizing the 11 million or so illegal immigrants in the U.S. They…Continue Reading

Resisting The New Blacklist

nozilla

April 4, 2014 By Rebecca Hamilton There’s a new blacklist. Its members are anyone who dares to oppose gay marriage, or gay behavior of any sort. The punishment, even for icons of the tech industry, is to have their careers…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  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 subscribe 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 145 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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Pope Francis . . .

Pope to seminarians: Be shepherds like the Good Shepherd

2014-04-14 Vatican Radio (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday met with members of the Pontifical Leonine College of Anagni, a regional seminary for several of the Diocese around the city of Rome. The College was founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1897. In his address, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of forming seminarians in “a climate of prayer and…Continue Reading

Featured Today

Rome Media Symposium . . . Shine The Light Of True Religious Liberty

By ALAN SEARS (Editor’s Note: Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom [www.adfmedia.org], offered the following welcoming remarks to those attending the ADF’s March 24-27 Catholic Media Symposium in Rome. Raymond Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, also spoke at the event.) +    +    + Good evening friends. It is an honor to…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… The Justina Pelletier Case And The Abusive Child Protective System

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

Will “Health Care” Kill American Medicine?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY My mother, a doctor’s daughter who became a doctor herself, sometimes accompanied her father when he made house calls in the Livermore Valley of California during the Great Depression. Her job was to open and close the gates at the ranches and farms they visited. In those tenuous times, as she…Continue Reading

A Government Admission Of Wrongdoing

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO Last week, National Intelligence Director Gen. James R. Clapper sent a brief letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he admitted that agents of the National Security Agency (NSA) have been reading innocent Americans’ e-mails and text messages and listening to digital…Continue Reading

Human Garbage — Living And Dead

By BARBARA SIMPSON (Editor’s Note: Barbara Simpson hosts a radio talk show on KSFO 560 in San Francisco, and has a 20-year radio, TV, and newspaper career in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Dexter Duggan profiled her in The Wanderer dated March 20, 2014. This column first appeared on World Net Daily, and is…Continue Reading

Reminder

Your Prayers Are Requested . . .

We sadly report that our longtime news editor, Paul Likoudis, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. He will be incapacitated for about six months as he undergoes chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. His From the Mail column will be suspended. We ask your prayers for Paul’s full recovery. If you would like to help Paul with his overwhelming medical expenses, a…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Parents Must Teach Chastity As Does Pope Francis

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Recently Pope Francis urged chastity for prevention of HIV as Pope Benedict was also known to do, and, as a result of which, opprobrium and vituperation were rained down upon him. The two Vicars of Christ agree in this matter because the teaching comes not from men nor from them but from God. The chastity…Continue Reading

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity… Who Were Jesus’ Brothers?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Just as Jesus came not to destroy but to fulfill (Matt. 5:17), the New Testament is consistent with the Old, and in Jesus’ time brother had also a variety of meanings. For instance: In Matt. 5:22 (Sermon on the Mount), brother means a fellow man, purely and simply, because of our common origin…Continue Reading

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. When was it decided that Sunday is the Sabbath and not Saturday? Is it in the Bible? — R.E.G., Nevada. A. Yes, it’s in the Acts of the Apostles where it says that “on the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread [i.e., celebrate Mass], Paul spoke to them because he was going to leave…Continue Reading

A Day Holy To The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Easter (YR A) Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Col. 3:1-4 John 20:1-9 In the Book of Nehemiah (and that of Ezra), we read about how the priests and the scribes went through the crowds of the people who had gathered to hear the words of the Book of Deuteronomy telling them that it was it was a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernadette Soubirous

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of mankind, God has chosen the lesser person to be His messenger, prophet, or king. He chose, Moses, the stutterer, to lead the Jewish people out of the slavery of the Egyptians. He chose Ruth, the pagan Moabite, to be an ancestor of Jesus. He chose King David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Julie Billiart

By CAROLE BRESLIN Across North America there are churches and schools named after St. Julie Billiart. They carry on the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur founded by Julie and her friends during the turbulent years of the late 18th and early 19th century of the French nation when Catholics were being persecuted. Throughout the history of…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading