Sunday 31st May 2020

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

The Joy And Beauty Of Sacrificial Love

June 10, 2019 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


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


Supreme Court rules 5-4 AGAINST a California church that challenged Gavin Newsom’s unconstitutional public gathering restrictions

Why is it “legal” to burn our cities but officially illegal to go to church in CA?

John Roberts disappoints again

What a disgrace.


Minneapolis Mayor Frey, the poster boy of liberal progressive Democrat leadership literally gave one of his police stations to the looters last night.

Load More...

US bishop reverses plan to ban Communion on tongue as churches reopen

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Douglas Deshotel has revised his decision to allow only reception of the Eucharist in the hand amid the coronavirus pandemic. He credited guidelines issued by the Thomistic Institute for correcting his previous…Continue Reading

Sainthood causes open for St John Paul II’s parents

A ceremony launching the causes of the Wojtyłas took place at the Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wadowice, John Paul II’s birthplace. At the ceremony, the Kraków Archdiocese officially formed the tribunals that will seek…Continue Reading

President Trump on National Day of Prayer: “Never Forget That All Things are Possible With God”

On this National Day of Prayer, Americans reaffirm that prayer guides and strengthens our Nation, and we express, with humility and gratitude, our “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”  As one Nation under God, we share a legacy…Continue Reading

Coronavirus In Minnesota: Archbishop Hebda Gives Guidelines For Reopening Catholic Churches

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Archbishop Bernard Hebda, head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, says he anticipates reopening churches on May 18, which is when the state’s current stay-at-home order expires. In a letter to Catholics, he outlined strict guidelines…Continue Reading

Joe Biden Calls Killing Babies in Abortions “Essential Health Care That Cannot be Delayed”

Today, presumed Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden stated that abortions are “essential health care that cannot be delayed” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden’s statement was in response to a question during a virtual town hall in which pro-abortion…Continue Reading

Archbishop Viganò: Third Secret of Fatima has not yet been fully published

April 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a stunning new interview, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio in Washington, D.C. and the prelate who accused Pope Francis of covering up the crimes of Theodore McCarrick, has now publicly stated…Continue Reading

George Pell: In the suffering, we find redemption

Every person suffers. None escapes all the time. Everyone is confronted with a couple of questions. What should I do in this situation? Why is there so much evil and suffering? And why did this happen to me? Why the…Continue Reading

Covid-19: First Catholic bishop dies of coronavirus

Ethiopia’s Apostolic Vicar, Bishop Angelo Moreschi, has died. He is the first Catholic Bishop to succumb to the coronavirus pandemic. By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ Italian missionary and Apostolic Vicar to Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate, Bishop Angelo Moreschi, SDB, died on…Continue Reading

Catholic church offers curbside confessions during coronavirus outbreak

STILLWATER, Minn. — Drive-thrus, curbside pick-up, contactless methods. We’re becoming best buds with terms like these as we try our best to stay home, and flatten the curve of the coronavirus outbreak. However, today, we’re not talking about food or…Continue Reading

All priests, half of seminarians at traditional Catholic order infected by coronavirus

OPFENBACH, Germany, March 20, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Almost all priests and roughly half of the seminarians currently at a German seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), a traditionalist community of priests and seminarians, have been infected by…Continue Reading

Catholic Herald US to shut down offices

The Catholic Herald’s U.S. edition is shutting down its offices in Washington, D.C., after less than two years of publication, people familiar with the matter told the Washington Examiner. The magazine, which claims to be “America’s only national Catholic weekly…Continue Reading

Middle school hangs LGBT flag in cafeteria, bans flag of traditional family

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A small town Minnesota school has become a center of controversy because of a LGBT pride flag hanging in its cafeteria. Following several weeks of parental and community concern, packed school board meetings, and…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


  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


Today . . .

Supreme Court rejects challenge to limits on church services; Roberts sides with liberals

WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at worship services that have been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Over the dissent of the four more conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, in the San Diego area.

Twitter censors Trump hours after he signs executive order combatting social media censorship

UNITED STATES, May 29, 2020  (LifeSiteNews) — Twitter has censored a new post by President Donald Trump within 24 hours of him signing an executive order to combat social media censorship. The social media giant covered a tweet published by Trump earlier today with the words: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

Catholic Bishops Pander To Washington State Politics Rather Than Defend Their Faith

Washington state Catholic leaders would rather stick it to the president than let him defend their right to celebrate Mass. Following President Donald Trump’s direction on Friday for states to allow houses of worship to reopened and to declare public worship as essential, Gov. Jay Inslee immediately thumbed his nose, and Washington bishops quickly follow suit. In a disappointing response, the bishops demonstrated that rather than stand up for their flock and acknowledge the president’s commitment to religious…Continue Reading

Book calling for Catholic blessing of homosexual couples was requested by Austrian bishops’ conference

CNA Staff, May 26, 2020 / 11:02 am MT (CNA).- A book considering how homosexual couples might receive a formal, liturgical blessing of their union in the Catholic Church was written in response to a request from the liturgical committee of the Austrian bishops’ conference, according to the book’s principal author. The work includes contributions by a number of German speaking theologians and a liturgical section, including a suggestion for how such a Church blessing…Continue Reading

Trump announces that houses of worship are ‘essential,’ calls on governors to open them up

President Trump on Friday announced that new Centers for Disease Control guidance will classify houses of worship as “essential,” as he called on governors to allow them to open “right now” after being closed during the coronavirus lockdowns. Trump announced the policy for churches, synagogues and mosques, during a short briefing at the White House. BALTIMORE PASTOR RIPS UP CEASE-AND-DESIST LETTER MID-SERMON: ‘WE’RE GONNA DO IT GOD’S WAY!’ “The governors need to do the right thing and allow…Continue Reading


Does Life Have Any Meaning?

By DONALD DeMARCO W. Somerset Maugham was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930-40s. His most popular novel, The Razor’s Edge (1944), which was made into a most successful movie two years later, is about the search for meaning. It takes as its theme the Zen…Continue Reading

Jinping Takes Up The U.S. Challenge

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Is the U.S. up for a second Cold War — this time with China? What makes the question newly relevant is that Xi Jinping’s China suddenly appears eager for a showdown with the United States for long-term supremacy in the Asia-Pacific and the world. With the U.S. consumed by the coronavirus…Continue Reading

Man Who Smeared Wartime Pope Dies

By RONALD RYCHLAK (Editor’s Note: Ronald Rychlak is a distinguished professor of law at the University of Mississippi Law School. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Catholic League, which distributed this article on May 15.) + + + Rolf Hochhuth has passed away in Germany at the age of 89. He…Continue Reading

Pope Francis . . . Merges Two Alaska Dioceses Into New Archdiocese

(CNA) — Pope Francis merged two dioceses in Alaska on May 19, creating the new Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau which will cover a territory larger than Montana. The Pope appointed Bishop Andrew E. Bellisario as the metropolitan archbishop of the newly formed archdiocese in southern Alaska. The Diocese of Juneau, located on the Alaska’s southeastern panhandle,…Continue Reading

Does Pelosi Believe A Baby Has A Right To A Mother?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of Creators Syndicate distributes his column.) + + + When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on CNN with Anderson Cooper on Monday, May 18, she started the interview with an effusive statement about Cooper’s “new baby.” “Well, first let me…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. You recently wrote about Reiki as something not in accord with Church teachings. What about yoga? — L.S., via email. A. In his book Catholics and the New Age, Fr. Mitch Pacwa said that the word “yoga” is Sanskrit for “yoke” or “union” and, in Hinduism, it describes “the general category of various kinds of disciplines meant to unite…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Pandemic Brings Unseen Into View

By FR KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church and her work for souls, unseen and unknown so often by so many in a world which has made God so invisible, has in some ways become more tangible in these months when so much of “normal” life has ground to a halt. Many of our physical activities and concerns, our business and…Continue Reading

Manifest The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of Pentecost (YR A) Readings: Acts 2:1-11 1 Cor. 12:3b-7, 12-13 John 20:19-23 In the second reading, St. Paul tells us: “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God.” In these verses, St. Paul…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. While I’ve read letters in religious publications from prisoners begging for Catholic materials, I have never had any success making contact with Catholic chaplains who might have requests for certain items. I’ve tried both prison and diocesan addresses, and no one responds. Any suggestions? — N.D., Illinois. A. Perhaps readers who are involved in prison ministry can recommend places…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… A Pope Francis Primer

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We are immersed in cultural and political wars, with opposing parties engaged in perpetual bickering and posing for effect. On the political front we are faced daily with the spectacle of elected officials who don’t want to work. Instead, they go on the attack and attempt to impeach the reputations of others. False criminal accusations…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Titus Zeman

By DEB PIROCH “Even if I lost my life, I would not consider it wasted, knowing that at least one of those that I helped has become a priest in my place” — Slovak priest, Blessed Titus Zeman. + + + Czech Communists attempted to eliminate the Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia, beginning in 1945, Prime Minister Klement Gottwald working hand-in-hand…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort

By DEB PIROCH During the month of Mary, we turn to St. Louis Marie de Montfort (1673-1716), a saint inseparable in devotion to Christ’s Blessed Mother. His feast falls on the anniversary of his death, April 28, as if he is joyfully pointing us to the Marian month ahead. Many are familiar with Pope St. John Paul’s personal motto, “Totus…Continue Reading