Friday 28th August 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 . . .

If You Still Support Planned Parenthood, You Are Simply Not A Decent Person

Another Planned Parenthood video has been released. I promised I would write about every new video that comes out, so here is my write up on the latest. Please read and share. I don’t usually ask you to share things…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Group Sends Cakes to Thank Planned Parenthood Staff After It Sells Aborted Babies

Apparently, Catholics for Choice want their friends at Planned Parenthood to know how appreciated they are since they will be “harassed” tomorrow at the protests across the country regarding their organ harvesting business.  As LifeNews previously reported, tens of thousands…Continue Reading

Facebook’s very (very) suspicious ‘trending’ Planned Parenthood story

Update Aug. 20, ’15 at 7:54 AM EST: I woke up this morning, and lo and behold, the “trending” news topic had changed. It now reads, “7th video critical of organization released by anti-abortion group.” That’s more like it. I…Continue Reading

Questions raised after pro-life activist Twitter accounts suspended without warning: one now restored

ONTARIO, August 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life activist campaigning against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s abortion extremism as well as a pro-life organization on a mission to show the violent reality of abortion through large graphic billboards had their Twitter…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone thankful for San Francisco teacher contract agreement

San Francisco, Calif., Aug 23, 2015 / 06:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Efforts to promote Catholic culture in the San Francisco archdiocese’s high schools and to agree on a contract acceptable for the schools’ teachers concluded on Wednesday with a new…Continue Reading

Catholic Priests’ Forgotten Flock: Catholic Men

The New Emangelization Project has documented that a key driver of the collapse of Catholicism in the U. S. is a serious and growing Catholic “man-crisis”.[1] One third of baptized Catholic men have left the faith and the majority of…Continue Reading

Shortages in Venezuela mean priests are running out of Hosts

Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 15, 2015 / 03:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis has hit the Church in a unique way: the production of Hosts fell 60 percent during the past month, affecting three states in the South American…Continue Reading

Do We really need a new day dedicated to the environment?

The Pope has decided in the wake of his well received encyclical on the environment to institute a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This day will take place on 1st September. At present the 1st September…Continue Reading

There is no equivalence

Here’s a simple exercise in basic reasoning. On a spectrum of bad things to do, theft is bad, assault is worse and murder is worst. There’s a similar texture of ill will connecting all three crimes, but only a very…Continue Reading

Syrian Bishop: on kidnapping of Christians from Qaryatain

(Vatican Radio) The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo in Syria, Antoine Audo says he believes the so-called Islamic State fighters are seeking to push Christians out of Syria and spread terror everywhere. He also warned that if the war continues, as…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cupich will attend synod, Vatican source says

Vatican City, Aug 7, 2015 / 12:35 pm (CNA).- Originally selected as an alternate synod delegate, Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago will in fact be an attendee at the Vatican gathering on the family this fall, a Vatican source told…Continue Reading

A word of caution about the Society of Saint Pius X

Bishop’s Column Written by Robert C. Molrino, Bishop of Madison Thursday, Aug. 06, 2015 — 12:00 AM The 50 years since the close of the Second Vatican Council have been tumultuous for the Church. Forces both inside and outside of…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 . . .

Pope Francis Recalls Feast of St. Monica

Vatican City, August 27, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Deborah Castellano Lubov Pope Francis has recalled the feast day of Saint Monica, mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. Toward the conclusion of Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square in his remarks to Italian-speaking pilgrims, Pope Francis recalled that today, August 27, is the feast day of St. Monica. To the intercession of her and her son, Francis said, “We entrust newlyweds and Christian parents so that, like…Continue Reading

Lex Cordis Caritas – The law of the heart is Love

God’s greatest and most beloved treasure is human life by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki The Bible points us to the truth of what lies at the heart of every moral teaching of Jesus Christ and his church. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, we hear him warn the people to “[w]atch carefully how you live” (Ephesians 5:15). He does this not because he wants to control their lives, dictating what they can…Continue Reading

Pope to parents: find time for prayer in busy family life

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday continued his reflections on family life, focusing especially on the importance of finding time for prayer. Greeting visitors from many different countries, gathered for the weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said families often experience difficulty in devoting time for prayer. But he said a heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or small gesture of devotion into a moment…Continue Reading

Thousands Rally at Planned Parenthoods for End to Tax Payer Funding

United States of America, August 24, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Staff Reporter A national day of protest took place Saturday at Planned Parenthoods across the United States as the federal and local governments are being asked to defund the abortion giant. Though there has been an ongoing call for an end to tax payer funding of Planned Parenthood for years, Saturday’s rallies came in response to a series of undercover videos that have been released in recent…Continue Reading

ACLU: Force Catholic Hospitals To Abandon Catholic Faith

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY The woefully misnamed American Civil Liberties Union is launching a crusade to force Catholic hospitals to act against Catholic moral teachings and the natural law. This is an un-American attack on religious liberty. The ACLU’s intentions came to light this week after it threatened to sue Mercy Medical Center in Redding,…Continue Reading

Kenneth D. Whitehead, RIP . . . A Personal Tribute To An Outstanding Layman

By JAMES LIKOUDIS Last April, the Church in the United States lost to cancer one of its most dedicated and well-informed laymen. His life was dedicated to defending the faith from the major errors that have afflicted the Church in the postconciliar period. I had the great privilege of working with Ken Whitehead when for…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Same-Sex “Marriage” And The Crisis Of Leadership

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bi-monthly]. 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 Book Review . . . Carry On The Fight With Faith

By ANNE W. CARROLL Robert C. Cetrulo, J.D. On the Gift of Life, From Eden to Eternity. Northern Kentucky Right to Life Educational Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1202, Covington, KY 41012, 2015. 189 pp. $10.00. “I tell you not for your comfort, yea not for your desire,/ Save that the sky grows darker yet, and…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Sainthood In Married Life

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Journey of Our Love: The Letters of Saint Gianna Beretta and Pietro Molla, edited by Elio Guerriero (Pauline Books & Media, Boston: 2014); 282 pp.; $17.95. Available through www.pauline.org. Many know the courageous story of St. Gianna’s sacrifice of her life for the sake of her newborn fourth child and recall…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. The Supreme Court has a history of immoral decisions, such as declaring black slaves as property, permitting credit card companies to charge usurious interest rates, allowing the public sale of contraceptives, okaying the killing of unborn babies, and approving sodomy. What’s next? Polygamy? Incestuous “marriage”? Person-animal “marriage”? It would appear that we are on a par with Sodom of…Continue Reading

A Blindness In The Heart

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 35:4-7a James 2:1-5 Mark 7:31-37 In the first reading God speaks through the Prophet Isaiah telling the people that those whose hearts are frightened should be strong and not afraid because God is with them. He then says that on that day the eyes of the blind…Continue Reading

Novena To Our Lady Of Knock . . . The Family Is Reason To Give Thanks

By MOST REV. KEVIN DORAN KNOCK, Ireland (ZENIT) — Here is the homily given Sunday, August 16 by Bishop Kevin Doran for the 2015 National Novena to Our Lady of Knock, which lasted through August 22. The theme was “Always and Everywhere Giving Thanks — The Gift of the Family.” Bishop Doran heads the Diocese of Elphin, Ireland. ZENIT News…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Our Persecuted Faithful Desire Leadership In Tradition

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Many of our Catholic people today are very insecure in their faith and thus needlessly fearful because they are without the experience of the presence of God in an abiding way. Whether because of Islamic terrorism which is committing genocide against Eastern Christians or attacks through a newly re-paganized society and our unjust and anti-Christian…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Jesus’ Greatest Miracle: His Resurrection

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 16 If we take the Gospels as simple historical records about the life of a Galilean preacher, we’ll find in them a remarkable entry: They say that the man died and rose again. He was crucified, had His side pierced after death, and was buried. No doubt about it. The tomb was found empty,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aidan

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Church names many saints as patrons of certain professions, troubles, or countries. St. Benedict is the patron saint of Europe. As the father of Western monasticism, he is credited with building Western civilization. St. Catherine of Siena is also a patron of Europe since she played important roles in settling both civil and ecclesiastical disputes. St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Gospel of John, during the Last Discourse at the Last Supper, our Lord prays for unity. Jesus said: “that they may be one even as we are” (John 17:11). During the most challenging times of Church history, God has sent men to restore peace to His Church. Certainly St. Bernard of Clairvaux should be counted…Continue Reading