Wednesday 7th October 2015

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Memorial Of St. Alphonsus Liguori… Marian Catechists Strive To Imitate The Mother Of God

August 20, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


(Editor’s Note: Raymond Cardinal Burke is the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. He delivered the homily below on August 1 at the Marian Catechist Consecration Weekend, held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wis.
(The readings for August 1, the Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori, were: Romans 8:1-4; Psalm 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; Matt. 5:13-19.
(Cardinal Burke’s homily is reprinted with permission; all rights reserved.)

+    +    +

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and for ever. Amen.
Each First Friday of the month, I offer the Holy Mass for the intentions of the members of the Marian Catechist Apostolate and for God’s continued blessing upon the Apostolate.
It pleases me very much that the First Friday of August occurs within our annual Consecration Weekend, so that you, the members of the Apostolate, are present for the Holy Mass offered for your intentions. I express, too, my pleasure that the Consecration Weekend takes place at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the common home for the members of the Apostolate who carry out their service in so many different parts of the Church, especially of the Church in the United States.
The Apostolate is at home in every household which undertakes the home-study courses of the Servant of God Fr. John Anthony Hardon of the Society of Jesus, but it is at home in a special way here, for the very ground on which this Church of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe stands was blessed by the Servant of God before the ground was prepared for construction.
Our beloved Fr. Hardon saw the then-future Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a point of reference for his beloved Marian Catechists whom he also placed under her guidance and protection as the patroness of the Apostolate.
On this First Friday of the month, on which we honor the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the glorious pierced Heart which God the Son first took under the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us pray that we may all grow in a deeper knowledge of the word of Christ, handed down to us in the Church, and in a more ardent love of Him, giving ever more completely our hearts, one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, into His Most Sacred Heart.
Coming on pilgrimage to her Shrine at La Crosse, we ask the Mother of God, Our Lady of Guadalupe, to draw us ever nearer to her Divine Son, as she did for the wine-stewards at the Wedding Feast of Cana, making us ever more obedient to her maternal counsel: “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5).
In the image of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus we contemplate the Mystery of Faith, the mystery of God’s immeasurable and unceasing love of us. God our Father sent His only-begotten Son in our human flesh as the supreme act of His love. The Heart of God, the figurative image of His love found in the Old Testament (Deut. 10:15), became a human heart at the moment of the virginal conception of His only-begotten Son in the womb of the Virgin Mary. That same human heart was pierced by the spear of the Roman centurion after Christ had died on the Cross for us.
From that same Heart, now glorious at the right hand of the Father, Our Lord never ceases to pour forth into our hearts the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit. From Christ’s pierced side, there flowed blood and water as the sign of the unceasing flow of divine grace from His glorious Heart into the hearts of His disciples after His Resurrection from the Dead and His Ascension to the right hand of the Father.
The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, stood at the foot of the Cross, one in heart with the Heart of Jesus. When His Heart was pierced, so, too, her Immaculate Heart was mystically pierced, in accord with her enduring mission of Mother of Divine Grace.
As Marian Catechists, we strive to imitate the Mother of God, even as we daily call upon her intercession, so that our hearts may participate ever more fully in the pure and selfless love of the Most Sacred Heart, so that we, with Mary, may communicate to others the love of the Heart of Jesus. Mary draws our hearts to her own, so that she may lead us to give our hearts to Jesus, most especially by means of instructing others in the word of Christ or by offering prayers and sacrifices for all who are Marian Catechists.
As Marian Catechists, we consecrate our minds and hearts to the Mind and Heart of Jesus under the direction and protection of the Mother of God Whom Christ has given to us as our Mother when He was dying upon the Cross.

God’s Justice And Mercy

Today, we also celebrate the memory of St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Regarding St. Alphonsus, Dom Prosper Guéranger declared: “To this great saint, great in works and in doctrine, are directly applied these words of the Holy Ghost: They that instruct many to justice shall shine as stars for all eternity” (Prosper Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, Time After Pentecost, book IV, tr. The Benedictines of Stanbrook Abbey [Fitzwilliam, N.H.: Loreto Publications, 2000], p. 237. Cf. Daniel 12:3).
In a time of great confusion regarding the moral teaching of the Church, St. Alphonsus held steadfastly to the word of Christ as it is handed down to us in the Church. He understood the meaning of the very word of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Do not think that I have to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:17-20).
St. Alphonsus understood that Christ had come into the world, in order that He might win for us the grace to live according to God’s law written upon every human heart and according to the laws which He gives to us in His holy Church for the sake of our growth in faith, hope, and love.
Christ did not come to advance either laxism or rigorism. He did not come to teach and promote an ideology of law. He came, rather, to give us the freedom which disposes us to cooperate with God’s grace in all things. In fact, as the Gospel makes clear, Our Lord condemns those who would fail in their duty to obey the law and to teach it to others. Christ teaches us the justice which acknowledges our sins and, at the same time, trusts in God’s never-failing mercy toward His children who confess their sins with true repentance.
St. Paul, in the Letter to the Romans, helps us to deepen our reflection upon the relationship of law and freedom. He reminds us that it is sin in our lives which makes us weak before the demands of the law and enslaves us to itself. Christ, by His saving Passion and Death, has won for us the victory over sin, enabling us to obey the law in all things and thus to be free. St. Paul declares:
“For what the law, weakened by the flesh, was powerless to do, this God has done: by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for the sake of sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous decree of the law might be fulfilled in us, who live not according to the flesh but according to the spirit” (Romans 8:3-4).
St. Alphonsus Liguori taught the virtue of justice which demands obedience to the law in service of God and of our neighbor, and, therefore, leads the sinner to seek pardon and to make reparation. Dom Guéranger comments:
“Every deviation, whether towards rigor or weakness, offends the rectitude of justice; but, especially since Bethlehem and Calvary, no sin so wounds the divine Heart as distrust; no fault is unpardonable except in the despair of a Judas, saying, like Cain: My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon” (Guéranger, pp. 238-239).
Following the teaching of St. Alphonsus Liguori, let us never presume to excuse lightly our sins and, at the same time, let us never despair of God’s mercy and the help of His grace to forgive our sins, if only we repent and make reparation, and to set us once again upon the path of justice and charity.

The Miraculous Medal

Through the investiture with the Miraculous Medal, which takes places at the conclusion of the celebration of the Holy Mass, we express sorrow for our sins and, at the same time, with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we express confidence in God’s forgiveness. We pray through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, conceived without sin, that our hearts, like her Immaculate Heart, may be pure, may belong totally to the Heart of Jesus.
The investiture with the Miraculous Medal expresses in a particularly strong manner our union of heart with the Immaculate Heart of Mary who draws us to place our hearts totally within the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus. Since the form of the Miraculous Medal was first revealed to St. Catherine Labouré in 1830, many miracles have been associated with the wearing of the medal (cf. Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, “Miraculous Medal,” Modern Catholic Dictionary, fourth printing [Bardstown, Ky.: Eternal Life, 2008], p. 353).
The greatest miracle which devotion to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal brings about is the union of our hearts, through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For Marian Catechists, consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the devotion of the Miraculous Medal is especially important, as the Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, founder of the Marian Catechist Apostolate, always insisted.

By Word And Example

Let us now lift up our hearts, one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, upon which we gaze in the Most Blessed Sacrament. With the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let our hearts belong totally to Our Lord Jesus, so that He may purify, heal, and strengthen them with His immeasurable and unceasing Divine Love.
As we unite our hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, let us ask God’s blessing, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, upon the time of the Consecration Weekend.
Let us pray, in a special way, through the intercession of St. Alphonsus Liguori, that the holy time of the Consecration Weekend will strengthen us in sorrow for our sins and in confidence in God’s forgiveness, so that we may be true Marian Catechists, not only in word but even more so by example. Let us trust always more in the word of Christ to us as catechists:
“But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:19).
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love, have mercy on us.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.
St. Juan Diego, pray for us.

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 . . .

Synod Showdown Report—October 5, 2015

We’re just out of the first press briefing of the Synod 2015, and things have pretty much picked up where they ended last year. The lead story, if you want to say there’s a lead to this, was a question…Continue Reading

Gov. Brown signs controversial assisted-suicide bill

Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths. Brown appeared to struggle in…Continue Reading

Someone is Lying About the Pope’s Meeting with Kim Davis

Papal spokesman Father Thomas Rosica flatly denies Kim Davis met privately with Pope Francis when he visited Washington, D.C. which stands in flat contradiction to Davis’s claims. In Roscia’s telling Davis was part of a large number of people as…Continue Reading

Top Universities Defend Research Using Body Parts From Aborted Babies

Some of America’s top universities have signed a letter urging states not to support legislation that would ban the sale of aborted babies for research. The letter comes after ten videos surfaced exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business, along with…Continue Reading

Catholic Hospitals Sued For Refusing Emergency Care To Pregnant Women

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday announced that it is suing Trinity Health Corporation, which operates 80 hospitals nationwide, for refusing to provide pregnant women suffering from life-threatening emergency complications with abortions. Trinity Health hospitals have “repeatedly and systematically…Continue Reading

Too Scared to Pray? ISIL Cancels Prayers for Fear of Russian Airstrikes

The Islamic State terror group cancelled Friday prayers in the Syrian city of Raqqa and emptied mosques there out of fear of further Russian airstrikes, according to activists and city residents. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,…Continue Reading

Putin defends Russia’s ban on youth-focused gay propaganda: ‘I believe we should leave kids in peace’

MOSCOW, September 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In 2013, Russia passed an amendment to the country’s Child Protection Law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” which also safeguards children from being adopted by homosexuals. Western governments, led by the…Continue Reading

EXPOSED: The billionaire Planned Parenthood donor who wants his donations kept very, very secret

Sept. 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Three weeks after I left my job at the clinic, Planned Parenthood took me to court. I am always asked, “Why would they take you to court? Did they have something to hide?” Well, yes.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Brought Back Into Roman Curia By Pope Francis

Raymond Cardinal Burke has been re-appointed to Congregation for the Causes of Saints from which he had been removed in December of 2013.

The Secret Meeting of the Papal Trip

Washington, D.C. One meeting during Pope Francis’ whirlwind trip to America has remained secret. Until now. It was, arguably, the most significant meeting, symbolically, of the entire trip. It should, therefore, be brought to the attention of the public, both…Continue Reading

Angry Pope Blasts Mayor of Rome as a ‘Pretend Catholic’

Pope Francis raised eyebrows in Italy on Tuesday by slapping down the left-leaning mayor of Rome as someone who “pretends to be Catholic”. The unforgiving assessment of Ignazio Marino — a man the Italian media love to hate — further…Continue Reading

Bishop Fellay Petitions Pope Francis

A petition to Pope Francis: uphold marriage! The Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X has just published a petition to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, asking him to publicly defend the institution of holy matrimony. Bishop Fellay…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 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 makes first direct intervention; was Cardinal Erdö undermined?

Pope Francis makes first direct intervention; was Cardinal Erdö undermined? There appear to be two main contingents at the Synod: one favoring the proclamation of the fullness of the truth to be taught with clarity and Christian charity; and the other favoring mercy at any and all costs October 06, 2015 03:00 EST Fr Nicholas Gregoris Pope Francis arrives for the morning session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct.…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 2


(Vatican Radio) Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. opened the daily press conference by explaining what had happened in the morning session. He said that the general secretary of the Synod, Cardinal Baldisseri, had explained “certain processes of the methodology” and its new elements. Lombardi said that Pope Francis also thought it was important for him to make a contribution and so he too said a few words. “The Holy Father thought it important to say that…Continue Reading

Card. Alencherry: pastors called to prophetic role

(Vatican Radio) The third General Congregation of the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops opened on Tuesday morning with the celebration of Terce (mid-morning prayer). The homily for the Liturgy was delivered by Cardinal George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Major Archbishop and President of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church. In his homily, Cardinal Alencherry reminded the Synod Fathers that “the pastors of the Church in the present times are called to take…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 1


(Vatican Radio) The first of the daily press conferences to report on the proceedings of the Synod of the Family took place at 1pm Rome time on Monday. The Synod began on Sunday with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica and the first session sat on Monday morning. Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, was accompanied by Cardinal Péter Erdö from Hungary – who is the…Continue Reading

Liberty Counsel Says . . . Pope’s Words And Meetings Support Conscientious Objection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Liberty Counsel issued the following statement on October 2: Mat Staver, county clerk Kim Davis’ attorney, is the chairman of Liberty Counsel: + + + Despite a statement this morning by a Vatican official, the Pope’s own words about conscientious objection being a human right and his private meeting with Kim Davis…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Ideal Artist

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Santayana, George. The Life of Reason: Reason in Art. A critical edition, co-edited by M.S. Wokeck and M.A. Coleman. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2015. lvi + 276 pp. The Life of Reason is Volume VII, Book Four, of the Collected Works of George Santayana. Professor James Gouinlock of Emory University…Continue Reading

Why Isn’t Kim Davis A Hero To The Left?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I have been waiting for weeks now for the keepers of the flame in the liberal establishment to express some begrudging admiration for Kim Davis’ decision to go to jail, rather than violate her conscience by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky. Or at least some ambiguity over what…Continue Reading

What’s In A Motto?

By DONALD DeMARCO Pope St. John Paul II’s 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio is a thorough and thoughtful discussion of the harmony between “faith” and “reason.” It does not break new ground but reaffirms to a modern audience what St. Thomas Aquinas and more recent thinkers such as Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson have carefully…Continue Reading

Non-Catholic Communities As “Means Of Salvation”

By FR. BRIAN W. HARRISON, OS Many dissident traditionalists claim that Vatican Council II’s Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio (UR) is irreconcilable with traditional Catholic doctrine. The passage most commonly singled out in support of this claim is the affirmation in article 3 of the Decree that “the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Pope Francis’ Visit Leaves Us Blessed And Strengthened

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The chair under me is rolling from starboard to port and back as I write to you this week because I do so aboard the USS San Antonio at sea. In my ministry here I am following through on something Pope Francis has asked of all of us: I am seeking souls at the periphery.…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Church Of Christ Is Universal, For Everyone

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 22 It is true that Jesus came first for the Jews. Many individuals accepted Him, like the apostles, disciples, and their converts, but as a nation they refused Him. So the apostles spread their mission to the Gentiles — that means, to our ancestors. But even if the Jews had accepted Him, the apostles would…Continue Reading

Mission Of The Catholic Laity: Priest, Prophet, And King

By DON FIER Thus far in our examination of the vocation of the laity in the mission of the Church, it has become manifestly clear that theirs is a role that is distinctive and indispensable. Characterized especially by their secular nature, it pertains in a unique way to the lay faithful “to illuminate and order all temporal things with which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Recently we got a new pastor who has resumed the holding of hands during the Our Father that our previous pastor had eliminated. Has this now become part of the liturgy? And what is the purpose of the holding hands to begin with? Also, what do you think of “Polka Masses”? — C.G., Wisconsin. A. No, holding hands during…Continue Reading

Wisdom Is Worth More Than Gold

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11 Heb. 4:12-13 Mark 10:17-30 In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that no creature is concealed from God, but that everything is naked and exposed to Him to whom we must render an account. We know from the Gospels that our Lord, on several…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. John XXIII

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Although rare, it is not unknown for a poor man, who had no connections and did not seek to develop them, to rise above all other men in stature and in influence over mankind. Such was the case of the sharecroppers’ son, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, he was obedient and kind, but…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas of Hereford

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the High Middle Ages the power of kings began to disintegrate, as shown by the Magna Charta, which was established in 1215. Although neither party of the agreement held up to its commitments, the beginning of more democratic rule had arrived. Three years later a noble family gave birth to a man who played a significant…Continue Reading