Friday 23rd August 2019

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

The Joy And Beauty Of Sacrificial Love

June 10, 2019 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By JAMES MONTI

There is something profoundly intimate about chapters 13 to 17 of the Gospel of St. John — the apostle’s meticulous account of Our Lord’s Farewell Discourse at the Last Supper. For those who might wonder where the Sacred Heart of Jesus is mentioned in the Gospels, they can find it in these pages. For it is here, as our Lord stands upon the threshold of His transitus, just hours away from His Passion and death on the cross, that He pours out His Heart, telling us how very much He loves us, and beseeching us to love Him in return:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love” (John 15:9); “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23); “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit” (John 15:5).
The love to which our Lord so ardently invites us in these words is a sacrificial love: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Is this not the reason why He spoke of it at such length just before His Passion? Indeed, the Last Supper Discourse can really be seen as a preparation that our Lord gave the apostles for what would transpire on Good Friday, an explanation of what He would do on Good Friday, an explanation that they would not fully understand until after Good Friday: “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand” (John 13:7).
Thus to understand what it fully means to imitate Christ we need above all else to look upon the crucifix. Whatever our vocation in life may be, it is in the crucifix that we will find its deepest meaning. For a priest, to comprehend fully what it means to be an “alter Christus,” what it means to give himself totally to God in divine worship, and to give Christ to his people through the sacraments and preaching, he will find his ultimate pattern of life in Christ Crucified.
The priestly rite of Ordination intimates this in the prostration of the ordinands, their physical posture upon the floor resembling that of Christ on the cross; later in the rite, when the bishop presents to each newly ordained priest a chalice and paten with the “oblata” for the Mass, he instructs them, “conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s cross” (Rite of Ordination of a Priest, n. 163, © ICEL, 2002, ©USCCB, 2003). Even the black of a priest’s attire communicates his death to the things of this world in likeness to Christ’s total self-giving oblation and death on Golgotha.
For those called to leave all to follow Christ in the religious life, conformity to our Lord on the cross is brought to its utmost perfection through the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Their obedience mirrors Christ’s obedience “unto death” (Phil. 2:8), their poverty echoes our Lord being stripped of His garments on Calvary, and their chastity recalls Christ taking the Church as His virginal Bride, pouring out His Blood for her.
Just as is the case with the priesthood, so too the decision of a young person to enter religious life requires sacrificial love not only from the man or woman embarking upon this state, but also from his or her family.
In the annals of the saints, there is perhaps no more beautiful example of a child helping a beloved parent to embrace this sacrifice than that of the Carmelite mystic St. Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906). The letters she sent to her widowed mother following her entry into the Carmel of Dijon, France, are among the most exquisite testaments of a daughter’s imperishable love ever penned. In a letter from mid-October of 1902, Elizabeth wrote:
“Oh, darling Mama, you are not alone. He is there, He, and those who have left you for Him! Tonight, in the silence of this dear little cell, alone with Him I love, my soul and my heart go to find you; and I think that if, in reality, I were there with you, I would be less so, for you can really feel there is no distance for hearts, and that of your Elizabeth is always yours” (text in St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, I Have Found God: Complete Works, Volume II, trans. Anne Nash, Washington, D.C., ICS Publications, 2014, letter 141, p. 72).
A comparable albeit different conformity to the crucifix is required of married couples. In speaking of the love that a Catholic husband is to give his wife as taught by St. Paul (Eph. 5:25-27), St. Thomas More (1478-1535) quite directly describes it as a sacrificial love, explaining:
“St. Paul here exhorteth men to love their wives, so tenderly that they should be of the mind, that to bring them to Heaven they could find in their hearts to die for them, as Christ hath died for the Christian people to bring them to Heaven, and that men, to that intent that they may bring their wives to the glorious bliss of Heaven, should here bring them well up in faith, in hope, and charity, and in good works, like as God hath washed His Church of all Christian people” (Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, book 8, in The Workes of Sir Thomas More Knyght, sometyme Lorde Chauncellour of England, wrytten by Him in the Englysh Tonge, ed. William Rastell, London, 1557, p. 744).
More’s concept of a husband sacrificing himself for the sanctification of his wife is echoed in Dietrich von Hildebrand’s beautiful affirmation that true love between Catholic spouses is filled with “a fervent desire for the eternal welfare of the beloved” and “an insatiable longing to see the beloved more and more transformed into Christ” (Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love, Manchester, NH, Sophia Institute Press, 1991, pp. 46, 48).
Of course most parents, at least those who take their vocation seriously, understand that raising their children will require sacrifices from them that begin as soon as a child is born. But for Catholic parents who recognize the dangers of the age in which we now live, the sacrifices that will be required of them to protect their children from false teachings and moral evils can become almost a dry martyrdom.
My late mother used to recount to me that at the end of a conversation she was having with a fellow Catholic parent, a Catholic husband and father who like her was fighting to raise his children in the faith in this modern era of doctrinal confusion, he said as he was getting into his truck, “Each day we have to die a little for our children.”
Many of the Catholic laity, whether single or married, and often enough priests and religious as well, will find themselves at some point later in life called upon to give to their parents what their parents early in life gave them. The care of an ill or aging parent is a summons to sacrificial love that requires generosity, compassion, patience, and perseverance.
It is a profound act of reverence for the mother and father who gave us life and taught us our faith. If those given this duty would but see with the eyes of faith, they would begin to discover in the weak and wearied limbs of their aged father or mother a glimpse of the suffering limbs of our Lord in His Passion.

Love Bears All Things

There will be occasions in our lives when the happiness of another person will come at the expense of our own. The most common and mundane example of this is the loss of a game, but there are others involving a more costly and painful loss or sacrifice.
In such instances our fallen nature will tempt us to sinful envy, jealousy, and resentment that another has gained what we have lost, but a true love of God and neighbor summons us to accept the outcome as the will of God, and even to rejoice in the happiness of the other person, to rejoice that God has heard and granted his prayer, that his aspiration, his hope, his dream has been fulfilled.
Nowhere, perhaps, is this expressed more compellingly than in the well-known Litany of Humility of Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), wherein we find the petitions, “That others may be loved more than I, / That others may be esteemed more than I, / That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, / That others may be chosen and I set aside, / That others may be praised and I unnoticed, / That others may be preferred to me in everything, / Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.”
In this form of sacrificial love as in all others, if we can look upon the crosses that God allows into our lives and the sacrifices He asks of us with faith, if we can summon the God-given courage to embrace such crosses, to run toward them, as it were, rather than run and hide from them, we will find peace and even joy. Yes, there is a sublime joy in shattering open the alabaster jar of myrrh, in anointing the sacred feet of our Lord with the most precious and fragrant ointment of our costliest sacrifices and sufferings.
I recall the observation made by a Dominican priest in a talk I attended years ago that the religious habits of men and women religious are the nuptial garments of Heaven. One can thus see in the habits of monks, friars, and nuns as well as in the distinctive black vesture of priests a visual celebration of their sacrificial love, an expression of the joy of having totally sacrificed their lives for the love of God, just as the wedding garments of the bride and groom at a wedding are an expression of the joy of giving themselves totally to each other in holy Matrimony.
All true love is sacrificial — St. Paul’s definition says it all: “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Public Service Announcement:

The devil exists as a personal reality, not as a symbolic reality.

Jesus was not tempted in the desert by a symbol.

Load More...

Leader of Jesuit order: Satan doesn’t exist as ‘personal’ reality, only ‘symbolic’

August 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The devil is a not a personal reality but a symbol for evil, the head of the Jesuit order said this week. Satan, the devil whom the Catholic Church says was behind the fall of…Continue Reading

American Catholics Must Stand with Hong Kong

The autonomous territory of Hong Kong is in a fight for its life. For over two months, the citizens of Hong Kong have persisted in protesting an attempt by the Hong Kong chief executive to impose an amendment to the…Continue Reading

German archbishop in Auschwitz: Stand up against hubris of the politically powerful

Krakow, Poland, Aug 14, 2019 / 02:31 pm (CNA).- On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, a German archbishop has called for a stand against hubris and arrogance of those in political power. Speaking…Continue Reading

Vatican ‘struggling to put out fire’ of public scandal over JPII Institute purge

ROME, August 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The “firefighters for the new direction” being taken at the John Paul II Institute in Rome are “struggling” to put out a blaze of public scandal, as controversy sparked by a recent purge of professors threatens to reach the door of the Pope’s…Continue Reading

Survey on Catholic belief in the Eucharist prompts calls for better catechesis

Washington D.C., Aug 10, 2019 / 03:32 pm (CNA).- After a recent survey found that two-thirds of Catholics do not believe Church teaching about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Catholic commenters are stressing the importance of better…Continue Reading

Apple News bans LifeSite without warning: says it ‘shows intolerance’

July 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A little over one week ago, Apple approved LifeSiteNews’ application to publish our news on their Apple News platform. Today, without warning, Apple News abruptly reversed course, telling LifeSite that they had deleted our channel and all…Continue Reading

Kamala Harris’ “Medicare for All” Plan Will Force Americans to Fund Abortions

Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris released her own Medicare-for-all proposal today. Just like the proposal handed down by pro-abortion presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Harris’s plan would force Americans to fund abortions. Harris confirms her plan will cover abortions in an…Continue Reading

Pew report: Only half of America’s Catholics know what the Church teaches about Communion

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) ― Do only half of America’s Catholics know what their Church teaches about Holy Communion? In a recent report called “What Americans Know About Religion,” the Pew Research Center suggested that Catholics are divided…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Businessman Michael Lindell, Creator of MyPillow, May Run Against Pro-Abortion Ilhan Omar

Michael Lindell is a pro-life businessman and the creator of MyPillow, a successful invention and company in its own right. Lindell was responsible for helping to fund production of the popular movie “Unplanned,” but now he’s turning his attention to…Continue Reading

Tucker Carlson: big business is now at war against your family

July 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The first thing to note about Tucker Carlson is that when he’s on stage and riffing on his irritations, he is hilarious. He began his keynote speech at the National Conservatism conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday…Continue Reading

Teacher sues Catholic school for firing her over pro-abortion posts on social media

BERKELEY COUNTY, South Carolina, July 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A former teacher filed a wrongful termination suit against a South Carolina Catholic school that fired her for championing legal abortion on social media in violation of long-settled, well-known Catholic doctrine.…Continue Reading

Bombshell Claim: Scientists Find “Man-made Climate Change Doesn’t Exist In Practice”

A new scientific study could bust wide open deeply flawed fundamental assumptions underlying controversial climate legislation and initiatives such as the Green New Deal, namely, the degree to which ‘climate change’ is driven by natural phenomena vs. man-made issues measured as…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  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 150 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

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

U.S. Catholic bishops hire a new spokeswoman — one month after another stirred controversy with her pro-Trump tweets

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ organization announced Thursday that it had replaced its public affairs director — a woman who triggered debate last month with tweets enthusiastically backing President Trump and striking out at Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Thursday that church and politics veteran Chieko Noguchi is its new head of public affairs, a position that speaks for the Catholic Church…Continue Reading

Thousands of Aussies protest bill to decriminalize abortion in New South Wales

SYDNEY, Australia, August 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — As the winter night fell in Sydney, thousands amassed in the heart of the city, protesting a radical proposed new law permitting abortion on demand until birth. The rally began in Martin Place, a pedestrian mall in the center of Sydney’s business district, at 6 PM and lasted until 9 PM. Thousands of protestors marched from Martin Place to the front of New South Wales Pa

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal of sex abuse conviction

Melbourne, Australia, Aug 20, 2019 / 06:31 pm (CNA).- The conviction of Cardinal George Pell has been upheld by the Court of Appeals in Victoria. After an appellate panel announced its decision at a court proceeding Aug. 21, the cardinal was returned to prison. “By majority (2 to 1), the Court of Appeals has dismissed Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for the commission of sexual offences. He will continue to serve his sentence…Continue Reading

‘Unplanned’ actress establishes scholarship for pregnant women

Columbus, Ohio, Aug 18, 2019 / 04:55 pm (CNA).- Ashley Bratcher, lead actress in the pro-life movie “Unplanned,” has helped establish a scholarship for women pursing an education during an unexpected pregnancy. “Women can pursue their careers, live out their dreams, and have richer, more fulfilling lives while balancing motherhood. Sometimes, it just takes a little help,” Bratcher said in a recent press release from Heartbeat International. “I wanted to be a part of empowering…Continue Reading

Trump rule to nix Obama order forcing religious contractors to hire LGBT workers

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration is proposing a rule that would permit government contractors to make employment decisions that are consistent with their sincerely held religious tenets and beliefs, without fear of sanction by the federal government. If adopted, the rule would reverse an Obama-era executive order that restricted religious federal contractors’ ability to consider employees’ adherence to their faith on matters of sexuality and gender. In 2014, former President Ba

Advertisement3

Cardinal Pell . . . “Amazon Or No Amazon, The Church Cannot Allow Any Confusion”

By ED CONDON MELBOURNE (CNA) — George Cardinal Pell has written a letter to supporters saying he is “disturbed” by the preparations for the forthcoming synod on the Amazon. The text of the two-page, handwritten letter — images of which were shared with Catholic News Agency and confirmed by sources close to Pell — has…Continue Reading

China’s High-Tech Tyranny

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate, www.creators.com, distributed this column.) + + + There are passages in the State Department’s latest reports on human rights and religious freedom in the People’s Republic of China that read as if they ought to be in some futuristic…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Pulling Back The Veil Between Heaven And Earth

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints, by Joan Carroll Cruz (TAN Books, 330 pages, Paperback and Kindle). Available at amazon.com. This book deals with miracles involving the Eucharist and saintly figures. The text ranges from miracles occurring in the eighth century to those occurring in more…Continue Reading

Diocese of Scranton . . . Launches Investigation Into National Shrine Rector Rossi

By ED CONDON WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNA) — The Diocese of Scranton has begun an investigation into allegations of misconduct on the part of the rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. “Bishop Joseph Bambera, bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, has commenced the process of launching a…Continue Reading

China’s Human Rights Sham

By JOHN J. METZLER PARIS — It’s never polite to question the deteriorating human rights situation in China, but let’s do it anyway. The hidden and systematic repression of ethnic Uighur Muslims in China’s western Xinjiang province and the high-profile crackdown on pro-demonstrators in Hong Kong, many of them Christian, are both rooted in the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Are you looking for some solid Catholic books for your high school religious education program, books that have been found to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Then you should get copies of the five-volume Catholicism Series. The topics covered include the Creed and Apologetics (Catholicism & Reason), the Commandments and Sacraments (Catholicism &…Continue Reading

What’s At Stake… In The Purge At The John Paul II Institute

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: Fr. Shenan Boquet is president of Human Life International. Fr. Boquet’s commentary below on the John Paul II Institute first appeared at HLI.org on August 12 and is reprinted here with permission. All rights reserved.) + + + Essence Of Battle Is Ideological In the past few weeks, a long-brewing skirmish over the…Continue Reading

Enter Through The Narrow Gate

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Isaiah 66:18-21 Heb. 12:5-7, 11-13 Luke 13:22-30 In the first reading today we hear something that would seem unthinkable to the Jewish people who heard these words when Isaiah spoke them seven hundred years before our Lord came into the world. For generations after that these words must…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Spiritual Materialism Cannot Save Your Soul

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Some call it cafeteria Catholic. It manifests itself as a demand to take one thing Christ handed down in the Church while rejecting others likewise handed down. The Eucharist is the Real Presence of the Lord and it is thus the source and summit of our faith. The sight of the faithful going forward at…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding a recent discussion in this column of Communism and socialism, and the sway that these collectivist ideologies hold over many Democrat politicians today, D.M. of Virginia sent along an excerpt from Whittaker Chambers’ 1952 book Witness that accurately describes the nature of Communism and its impact on the world over the past century, when its practitioners caused…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Stanislaus Papczynski

By CAROLE BRESLIN New orders of religious are frequently born from existing orders. The discalced Carmelites were born via St. Teresa of Avila, who was inspired to live a more strict observance of religious life: more seclusion, simpler meals, and more prayer time. St. Teresa of Calcutta belonged to a religious order in India, but desired to serve the poorest…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Mariam Baouardy

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Bible, there are numerous references to Galilee with about 80 in just the New Testament. Galilee is an area in northern Israel and it includes the city of Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, and the site of the Sermon on the Mount. In John 1:46. Nathaniel responds to Philip, who told him of Jesus, “Can anything good…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)