Tuesday 16th September 2014

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Testing Strengthens Our Faith

August 7, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER

Twentieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A)

Readings: Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
Matt. 15:21-28

In the first reading God says through the Prophet Isaiah that we are to observe what is right and do what is just. This is certainly nothing new; for Christian people it is supposed to be what our lives are all about. What is interesting about these words of the Lord, however, is the context in which He places them: My salvation is about to come, my justice about to be revealed.
Perhaps this is not as stark as our colloquial manner of speaking when someone is preparing to die and we say that they have to get their house in order. Nonetheless, it is a pretty serious statement and a call from God to look at our lives and make the necessary changes. For the people of Israel who were given the message, it meant that they would be returning soon to their homeland and that God would execute justice on their oppressors. But it was still a call for the people to amend their lives.
In the larger context, we can certainly understand the statement about salvation in the context of the Messiah. God’s justice was indeed revealed in Jesus, particularly on the cross. It is also on the cross that reconciliation with God was achieved and that we were called to union with the Lord.
This is the reconciliation St. Paul speaks of in the second reading when he talks about the disobedience of the Jewish people being the means by which God brought about the reconciliation of the world. Although the disobedience of the People of God caused the crucifixion, it also brought mercy for us and for them. As St. Paul says, the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. This is true for the Jewish people and for us. Praise God!
Like the people of Israel at the time of Isaiah, so we today are being tested in our faith. It seems that hardly a week goes by without some new, major problem for the Church. This is, to say the least, affecting the people and the priests in a severe manner. Some of the Israelites chose to leave the Lord and become like the pagans around them. We are dealing with similar problems.
However, we have to see it all as a blessing. First of all, there is a point of admitting that we deserve what we get. I realize that there are many innocent people being negatively affected by the sad and tragic events going on in the Church today. But if we can see this from a spiritual perspective, we can see that God loves these people so much that He is allowing their faith to be tested.
This test is not an end in itself; rather, it is a means to a far greater end. God not only wants our faith to be strengthened, which can only happen when it is tested, but more than this, He wants us to become holy. Once again, this can only happen when we are purified. This kind of purification will result in our observing what is right and doing what is just; this is exactly what the Church and the world need right now.
Unfortunately for us, this can only happen when we become humble. This was the point of God allowing the people of Israel to go into exile; it is also the point of His allowing us to be tested and purified. Until we become like the woman in the Gospel reading today who was willing to accept her nothingness, but still plead for the good of another, we cannot say that we are truly observing what is right and doing what is just.
Most of the time we are seeking our own interests, rather than really acting in charity, which seeks the good of another. How much love for souls do we really have? Are we willing to put others before ourselves? Do we really desire the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls or does this mean very little to us?
Just as the words spoken by Isaiah foretold a major change for the people of Israel, I think it is impossible not to recognize that the events that have been happening in people’s lives and in the Church signify a major change for the Church. This will not be a change of doctrine or liturgy; it will be a change to being truly holy, being zealous for God and for souls, being the leaven in the world.
This is the call God has given to each of us. Most of us, I am afraid, have to confess our disobedience. But thanks be to God that His call is irrevocable. Pray for the grace to cooperate with God and to become holy.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Hermeneutic of Continuity: Pope Benedict XVI’s 10 Step Guide to Vatican II

pope200

In 2005 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that sparked a “Holy Revolution.” The good pontiff’s comments were received as “epoch-making” by many of those faithful to Sacred Tradition.1 At the heart of…Continue Reading

Satanists Sell Out Controversial Oklahoma ‘Black Mass’ Event, Will Stage Exorcism Despite Christian Protests

The Satanist group that will stage a controversial “black mass” at an Oklahoma City civic center has said that all 88 tickets for its Sept. 21 event are sold out. The co-founder of the group revealed that the ritual will…Continue Reading

Catholic League Bowing Out Of New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade

NEW YORK –  The Catholic League says it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because parade organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion Catholic group march. Catholic League head Bill Donohue said Thursday that his organization…Continue Reading

Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a Sept. 10 press conference in D.C. “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself…Continue Reading

MURDER OF CATHOLIC NUNS SHOCKS WORLD

The triple murder of three elderly Italian religious sisters in Burundi has their religious family and the local community reeling. The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Monday’s death of a third missionary, Sister Bernadette Boggian, who wasdecapitated, according to a…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall Sept. 8, 2014 New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have…Continue Reading

Founder: Catholic Studies programs help colleges fulfill call to faithfulness

St. Paul, Minn., Sep 8, 2014 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- University-level Catholic Studies programs are an essential response to the increasingly fragmented college experience, said the man who founded the first such program 20 years ago. “At the heart of…Continue Reading

A ‘dereliction of duty’? Catholics react to Cardinal Dolan’s role in St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s decision to act as grand marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade despite its decision to allow an openly homosexual organization to participate has drawn strong criticism from Catholic writers and outrage from many…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Caves

notredame

The following comes from an Aug. 30 email from the Sycamore Trust, “alumni protecting Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.” Notre Dame is complying with the abortifacient/contraceptive mandate in renewing its student health insurance program for 2014-15. Aetna, the insurer, will now provide students with…Continue Reading

Vatican’s Cardinal Burke dismantles ‘Who am I to judge?’

burk

Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s highest court – the Apostolic Signatura – has given a lengthy televised interview in which he decisively rectifies the false notions about Pope Francis’ “Who am I to judge” quote that has been…Continue Reading

You’ve Been Dolanized!

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City has finally thrown in the towel and agreed to let gay Irish groups march. The announcement was made yesterday. In response, Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington posted on…Continue Reading

Gays to march in NYC Parade, with Cardinal Dolan as 2015 Grand Marshal

dolan

A gay group of employees from NBC will march in next year’s New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade behind their own banner, a source with knowledge of the ongoing parade controversy has told the Irish Voice. On Wednesday, September 3, at…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'


Today . . .

Pope At Santa Marta: Learning From Our Lady Of Sorrows

pope524

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis marked the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows during Monday morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, with a reflection on how Mary learned, obeyed and suffered at the foot of the Cross. The Holy Father said that in the liturgy of the day first we are shown the glorious Cross, then the meek ​​and humble Mother.…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Homily for Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

pope523

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis marked the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Sunday with Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s basilica during which he presided over the Sacrament of Marriage of twenty couples. Below please find the official text of the Holy Father’s homily: Today’s first reading speaks to us of the people’s journey through the desert. We can…Continue Reading

Birth Statistics Show Collapse Of The Family

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column; all rights reserved.) + + + If you count a generation as spanning 20 years, then approximately 36 percent of the American generation born from 1993 through 2012 — which has begun turning 21…Continue Reading

Deacon Describes Last Hours… Convicted Killer In Prolonged Execution Was Baptized

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Although most news attention focused on the nearly two hours it took for a convicted Arizona double murderer to die during the execution by lethal injection in July, he had been baptized a Catholic not long before, according to a deacon who helped Joseph Wood prepare for death. Ed Sheffer,…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… A “Better Life Index” That Ignores What Makes For A Better Life

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. 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…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… The Weeping Madonna Of Syracuse

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY This little-known event involves a small plaster figure of our Lady showing her Immaculate Heart, which wept tears on numerous occasions in the city of Syracuse (Siracusa), Italy, for four days from August 29 to September 1, 1953, attracting thousands of pilgrims. Although not an apparition as such, this seems to…Continue Reading

One Size Doesn’t Fit All… Common Core Opponent Wins Surprise Statewide Victory

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Last winter a woman with a low public profile was turning up at local conservative meetings around here, hoping to stir some interest in her identity and her candidacy. Was the task hopeless, like trying to sell snow shovels in Phoenix? Her message? I’m Diane Douglas, I’m against Common Core,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . “And Who Is My Neighbor?” The Embryo And The ALS patient

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 20 bewails his isolation as a result of the scorn of nonbelievers: “The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.” He describes his temptation to throw in the towel as a prophet tasked by God with a message for mankind: “I say to myself,…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? Celibacy In The Teachings Of St. Paul

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 St. Paul was not one of the twelve, but he is known as “the Apostle,” certainly because of the richness of his apostolic zeal in teaching, possibly more than all the other apostles put together. He was educated in the faith by Jesus Himself, and after that intense training, he became as zealous…Continue Reading

The Implications Of Faith In One God

By DON FIER Over the past three weeks, we have reflected on but an infinitesimal fraction of all that the faithful affirm when they reverently and genuinely say the first four [or five] words contained in the Creeds of the Church: “I believe in [one] God.” In saying these words with heartfelt sincerity, one is acknowledging his belief in who…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I have recently read a book entitled Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll. I was taken aback by its premise and wonder about its veracity. Do you have an opinion on the book? — E.J.S., New Jersey. A. You have good reason to wonder about the veracity of Constantine’s Sword (and the movie based on the book) since its author,…Continue Reading

Magnify The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9 Phil. 1:20c-24, 27a Matt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, Isaiah cries out to all the people that they are to seek the Lord while He may be found. This becomes extremely important to us because Scripture speaks of the possibility of the Lord coming to…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

By CAROLE BRESLIN After returning from a visit to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and giving a retreat to her Missionaries of Charity there, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, told a class of lay faithful, “Americans are living in a dream world.” He spoke of the thousands of people dying on the streets of Calcutta where Mother had begun her work…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Mary, The Mother Of God

By CAROLE BRESLIN I have a confession to make. It was not until I was nearly 40 years old that I learned about the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. While I understood the seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter, I never paid much attention to the feasts and the time of the year they were celebrated. For example,…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