Wednesday 29th July 2015

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

July 25, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. Jesus says that we are to learn from Him, He who is meek and humble of heart. But Jesus was not always meek and humble of heart. He talked back to the Scribes and Pharisees, He drove the moneychangers out of the Temple, He talked back to the Sanhedrin, He wasn’t bashful about claiming to be the Son of God. How can we follow His advice about humility when He wasn’t such a good example of humility? — G.P., Florida.
A. In Matt. 11:29-30, Jesus invited His listeners to “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” The Catechism defines humility as “the virtue by which a Christian acknowledges that God is the author of all good. Humility avoids inordinate ambition or pride, and provides the foundation for turning to God in prayer” (Glossary).
No one meets that definition better than Jesus does. Did Jesus acknowledge His Father as the Author of all good and the One to whom He owed obedience? He certainly did. During His Agony in the Garden, Jesus three times asked the Father to spare Him the suffering that He was about to undergo, but then said, “not as I will, but as you will” and “your will be done” (Matt. 26:39, 42). Jesus could have refused to suffer His Passion and death, but instead He humbly submitted to the will of His Father.
Was Jesus showing lack of humility when He chose to be born in a cave for animals? Or when He chose to spend His first 30 years as a humble carpenter in a remote village in Palestine? Or when He chose to live out in the open with “nowhere to rest his head” (Matt. 8:20)? Or when He chose to ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, instead of on a white horse, as kings and conquerors did (cf. Luke 19:35-38)? Or when He meekly submitted to the jeers of the crowd on Calvary and asked His Father to forgive His tormenters when He could have struck them dead (cf. Luke 23:34)?
The opposite of humble is proud and arrogant. Was Jesus arrogant when He claimed to be God, e.g., when He said that “the Father and I are one” (John 10:30)? No, He was stating a fact and pointing people in the direction of His Father. As He was when He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Was Jesus lacking in humility when He scolded the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, or when He called them “blind guides…blind fools” who are “like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth” (Matt. 24:16, 17, 27)? No, He was warning the Jewish leaders that they had better repent of their sins if they expected to get to Heaven.
Being meek does not mean being a doormat, nor does it mean standing idly by while evil deeds are being perpetrated, as with the desecration of the Temple by the moneychangers. There is such a thing as righteous anger, which compelled Jesus to chase these men out of the Temple because they had made “my Father’s house a marketplace” (John 2:16).
In his Life of Christ, Venerable Fulton Sheen offered an answer to G.P.’s question:
“When one takes into account also His [Jesus’] reiterated assertions about His Divinity — such as asking us to love Him above parents, to believe in Him even in the face of persecution, to be ready to sacrifice our bodies in order to save our souls in union with Him — to call Him just a good man ignores the facts. No man is good unless he is humble; and humility is a recognition of truth concerning oneself. A man who thinks he is greater than he actually is, is not humble, but a vain and boastful fool. How can any man claim prerogatives over conscience, and over history, and over society and the world, and still claim he is ‘meek and humble of heart’? But if He is God as well as man, His language falls into place and everything He says is intelligible” (pp. 209-210).

Q. I always read your Q&A first in the second section of The Wanderer and have enjoyed it for many years. Now I find myself in the predicament of many of your other readers in that a relative will be married in a civil ceremony in October, though he and his fiancée are both baptized Catholics.
Apparently, the Church would not allow them to have a Catholic ceremony out of doors since they are both Catholic. Would it be sinful for me to attend? — Name and State Withheld.
A. As you surely know if you have followed Catholic Replies over the years, canon 1108 of the Code of Canon Law says that a Catholic party can contract a valid marriage only in the presence of a Catholic bishop, priest, or deacon, who as the official witness of the Church must ask for and receive the consent of the parties in the name of the Church, and two other witnesses, whose function is to attest to the state that the marriage actually took place.
By taking part in a civil ceremony, your Catholic relative is objectively guilty of two sins — disobeying the law of the Church by entering into an invalid marriage and disobeying the law of God by planning to engage in acts of fornication, i.e., sexual acts outside of marriage.
One hallmark of a faithful Catholic is to follow the teachings of the Church established by Jesus to help us get to Heaven. Another hallmark is not to give bad example by pretending that it is no big deal to violate the teachings of Jesus and His Church. It is a big deal for your relative and fiancée to enter publicly into serious sin, thus separating themselves from God and jeopardizing their eternal salvation. It also would be bad example for you, as a faithful Catholic, to cooperate in their sin by attending the ceremony.
We are well aware of the family pressures to attend such a ceremony, having been through them ourselves when we declined to participate. We know that there could be hurt feelings on the part of your relative and his family, but you need to explain to them that, while you love them, you love Jesus more, and you do not want to do anything that would harm your relationship with God. That includes attending a ceremony that you sincerely believe to be contrary to God’s plan for married couples.
Taking this stand will not be easy, but Jesus never promised His faithful followers a rose garden. In fact, He said that we, like Him, would have crosses to carry in this life, but the reward for fidelity to Him will far outweigh the punishment for infidelity. We will ask our readers to pray for you and for your relative, and for all who find themselves in this predicament in our morally challenging times.

Q. A priest whom I know has recently been named pastor of three parishes in a collaborative. This priest has said that he doesn’t believe in Hell, that he has “simply outgrown my need for Hell. I believe in God’s unconditional love.” What can I say to him? — J.W., Massachusetts.
A. Probably nothing that will convince him to change his mind; just pray for him. Yes, God’s love and mercy are beyond limit, but what of the person steeped in sin who has no desire to repent? There is such a thing as final impenitence, where a person boldly rejects God’s love and mercy right to the moment of death, and is therefore incapable of getting to Heaven.
This priest must surely be aware that Jesus talked more about Hell than about Heaven, using the word “Gehenna” to refer to the “unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43), the “outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth” (Matt. 8:12), and “the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth” (Matt. 13:41-42). Speaking of the Last Judgment, Jesus warned that those who did not help the least of His brothers and sisters will be told, “Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).
For this priest to state his unbelief in Hell is not only to mislead his parishioners but also to reject the explicit teaching of the Church, as stated clearly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called ‘hell’” (n. 1033).
The Catechism also says that “the teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity” (n. 1035), and that those who fail to tell their people about the warnings of Sacred Scripture and the Church neglect to inform them about what the Catechism describes as “an urgent call to conversion” (n. 1036).

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Catholic officials, others react to Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly gay leaders

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The top leaders of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting have made an uneasy peace with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision July 27 to allow openly gay troop leaders and employees to serve in their ranks…Continue Reading

The Remnant REALLY? . . . Is This How We Support Fellow Catholics Battling A Cause We Should All Be Behind?

Planned Parenthood Hires PR Firm to Run Damage Control After It’s Exposed Selling Aborted Babies

The Planed Parenthood abortion business is so desperate to put out the public relations fires that have developed in the wake of it being caught numerous times selling the body parts of aborted babies that it has hired a top…Continue Reading

More than Half of Young Catholic Families Are Latino Despite Recent Decline

More than half of young Catholic families (53 percent) identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic compared with 32 percent of all Catholics, according to a recent survey. Could the presence of Hispanic families in the Catholic Church indicate Latino congregational…Continue Reading

New York Catholic churches closing after decades of service

Parishioners in New York are losing their churches as the Catholic Archdiocese carries out an aggressive consolidation plan. The cuts are driven by declining membership, fiscal insolvency of churches, and fewer priests, according to church officials. While there are 2.8…Continue Reading

Kenyan President to Obama: You Will not Impose The ‘Gay Rights’ Agenda In Kenya

We need to speak frankly about these things” says President Kenyatta in response to Obama’s statement that Kenya must share the same values as the United States on sodomite rights issues. Kenyatta, at the press conference this morning in Kenya,…Continue Reading

Nancy Pelosi: Ignore Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies, Investigate Pro-Lifers

nancyp

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has no interest in digging deeper into the revelations that the Planned Parenthood abortion business is selling the body part of aborted babies Instead, she wants the Obama administration to investigate the pro-life activists who…Continue Reading

Carly Fiorina to Planned Parenthood: You Deny Ultrasounds to Show Women Life Within Them, but Use Ultrasounds to Preserve Organs of Their Dead Babies

Venezuela’s bishops caution against the adoption of no-fault divorce

The Venezuelan bishops last week warned that marriage and families in their nation will be weakened as a result of a court decision ruling that spouses can divorce without any evidence of wrongdoing on either’s part , Christian Telegraph reports…Continue Reading

Rationing? Obamacare Health Care Plans Have 34 Percent Fewer Doctors, Hospitals

According to the Washington Examiner, a new study reveals that Obamacare plans have 34% fewer doctors and hospitals than other health insurance plans. The information was released today by Avalere Heath and proves that exchange networks actually provide fewer heart…Continue Reading

Cdl. Vincent Nichols to Expand LGBT Ministry

WESTMINSTER, July 21, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales, is pushing to expand the Church’s ministry to those in the LGBT community. Monsignor Keith Barltrop, parish priest of St. Mary…Continue Reading

LA gets three new auxiliary bishops, including Fr. Robert Barron

Los Angeles, Calif., Jul 21, 2015 / 07:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Known for his online videos which tackle everything from the saints, to the “new atheism,” to the latest blockbuster film, Fr. Robert Barron will have a new responsibility: auxiliary…Continue Reading

Newsmax

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 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 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

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

A blessing to one another: John Paul II and the Jewish People

jp2

Vatican City, 28 July 2015 (VIS) – “A blessing to one another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People” is the title of an exhibition opening today in the Vatican (Charlemagne Wing, 29 July to 17 September), previously displayed in a number of state capitals in the U.S.A., where it received more than a million visitors. The exhibition, presented as a gift to John Paul II for his 85th birthday, was inaugurated at the Xavier…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Multiply good works like the loaves and fishes

pope113

(Vatican Radio) Before the recitation of the Marian Prayer before the faithful in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recalled Sunday’s Gospel about the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. The Pope explained that “Jesus satisfies not only material hunger, but the most profound of hungers, the hunger for meaning in life, the hunger for God.” He went on to say that  “in the face of suffering, loneliness, poverty and difficulties of so many people,…Continue Reading

How PPFA Manipulates Women Into “Donating” Their Babies’ Organs

By DAVE ANDRUSKO (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News Today, July 15, 2015. All rights reserved.) + + + We’ve discussed at some length a shocking hidden-camera video in which two undercover investigators are shown discussing with a high-ranking PPFA official how these supposed “procurers” of fetal tissue could work with Planned Parenthood affiliates to harvest intact baby body parts. I would also like to talk about…Continue Reading

Analyzing The Heterodoxies Of The “Shadow Council”

By MAIKE HICKSON As some readers might recall, on May 25, 2015, the presidents of the German, Swiss, and French Bishops Conferences had organized a private conference at the Gregorian University in Rome. This “Shadow Council,” as it soon was called, was criticized for its secrecy and obliqueness. The suspicion arose that this meeting was intended for preparing some revolutionary strategies and argumentation in order to promote the liberalizing agenda at the upcoming October 2015…Continue Reading

Defend The Little Sisters Of The Poor — And American Liberty

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributes his column. All rights reserved.) + + + No group in the United States today is making a stronger stand for liberty than the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns dedicated to running nursing…Continue Reading

Aggressive Obama, Passive National GOP . . . Is Third-Party Option Starting To Look Better?

By DEXTER DUGGAN House Speaker John Boehner said the recently released sting video of a national Planned Parenthood official at lunch, munching away and chatting about how to “crush” unborn babies to harvest their organs for money, was “disgusting.” Republican Boehner finally seemed to have found his voice in a Washington where he usually blends…Continue Reading

Is This What Determines Our Position On Common Core?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The mail that we receive at First Teachers is overwhelmingly opposed to Common Core, the federal government’s effort to establish education standards for the country. Certain of our correspondents object to what they see as a liberal bias in Common Core’s curriculum, while others object to what they believe are confusing…Continue Reading

When Trump Talks, People Should Listen

By REY FLORES How many of you recall the old E.F. Hutton television commercials where everyone on an airplane would stop and listen to one man when he says, “My broker is E.F. Hutton, and E.F. Hutton says….” The voiceover would then state: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Donald Trump can do the same…Continue Reading

Thinking About The Church And Our Lives As Catholics

By PHILIP TROWER (Editor’s Note: This essay is an abridged version of a 2009 talk Philip Trower gave to the David Foster Summer School in England.) + + + I want this evening to share some thoughts with you about what being a Catholic has come to mean to me since I was received into…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Obergefell V. Hodges . . . “To Sin By Silence . . . Makes Cowards Of Men”

By FR. PETER MITCHELL (Editor’s Note: Fr. Peter Mitchell is the pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Greenville, Wis. He gave this homily on the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, June 28 — two days after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.) + + + “To sin by silence when they…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Like Love, Assent To Faith Is A Matter Of The Will

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Reaction to my column last week titled “Where Is There Room to Disagree With Jesus? In Hell!” included the following note from a Facebook follower. Kim wrote, “Perhaps the question posed to you was not worded correctly. How about this onea. . . . Is there a line where Catholic teachings are not something Catholics…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Why Is The Gospel Message Unique Among Religions?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 12 In this series of articles on apologetics, we have followed a logical sequence, moving from the simpler to the more complex. So, first we saw how it makes sense that truth is objective, and not subjective; that is, our minds do not create the truth, they learn it, discover it, and grasp it from…Continue Reading

The Four Marks Of The Church — Catholicity

By DON FIER Part 3 As we continued to examine the third mark of the Church last week, that she is catholic (or universal), we saw that all mankind is called to belong to the one true Church, the new People of God. Christ’s clear mandate to His apostles was to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In our parish it is a custom following the final blessing at Mass for the priest to lead the congregation in a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and a Hail Mary. This past Sunday during that prayer, I was reminded of the tradition in the late 1940s and the 1950s to offer prayers for the conversion of Russia following…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Martha

By CAROLE BRESLIN A popular pilgrimage among the Catholics of southern France takes visitors to the Grotte de la Sainte-Baume, located in the hills of Provence about 20 miles east of the port of Marseilles. To reach this holy site, the driver must cover miles of winding, ascending roads to the foot of the mountain. Then the pilgrim ascends a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading