The Mission Update
The Missio Dei Newsletter, Issue #5 “Out of the Mouths of Children."
Letter from the Editor
Greetings to our supporters,
I am pleased to inform you all that Missio Dei’s Eucharistic Revival Project book is being professionally edited now. We are editing the introduction to Fr. Chris Pietraszko's book Error, Deadly Sin, and Christ and Jenny duBay's Historical Fiction book on St. Catherine of Siena.
I want to thank all our subscribers who have made our ministry's dream possible. Missio Dei continues to need you to keep our mission alive and to bring these projects from Fr. Chris and Jenny to life.
Please consider that when you support Missio Dei Catholic Ministries, you're supporting not simply writers but missionary disciples seeking the support of other faithful Catholics to help provide the tools for sharing the faith. Missio Dei is fully committed to the first mission of the Church expressed by our Lord Jesus Christ, found in the Gospel of Mark, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mk. 16:15)
If you’re a free subscriber, please consider becoming a paid subscriber, and you will get first access to Fr. Chris’ book. If you’re already a paid subscriber, we thank you for your support. If free and paid subscribers want to make a one-time donation to support our professional editing fund, please click below to donate—it only takes as low as $2, the cost of a soda, to make a difference.
Blessings to all of you!
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
-- St. Teresa of Avila
Featured Weekly Articles
Only Children Shall Inherit the Kingdom
by Kaleb Hammond
Children have always been underestimated. In ancient times, people often saw them as merely inferior adults, as investments which have not yet paid off and as property that can be abused or discarded if they do not fit one’s expectations. Children grew up fast then, seeing suffering and death more immediately than they often do today, when such things are either kept behind the closed doors of hospitals, on distant battlefields or in forgotten city streets. They worked hard as soon as their bodies could take it, preparing them for the life of hardship waiting in adulthood. Even after the rise of the Catholic Church, with its recognition of the dignity of every human person and the sanctification of children by the Son of God who himself became a little child at the Annunciation, for the most part society continued to treat children as they always had.
Are things better today? We are often led to think so. Children in “developed” nations today are given free rein to live as they please, indulging whatever fancies or urges come to them and with few responsibilities or obligations even through the teenage years. If they live in more materially prosperous families, they are showered with gifts at holidays and receive allowances which children of earlier generations would likely have seen as fortunes. They are protected from many of the causes of death which afflicted children in earlier centuries, including birth complications, diseases for which there are now vaccinations or the consequences of hard labor. From this perspective, children today grow up in relative ease.
Nevertheless, as Catholics, we know that there is more to the story. In truth, children are treated worse today than they have ever been.
Be More than just a Parent & Become a Catholic Parent
By Gary Houchens
In a recent essay, I argued that many Catholic schools have lost track of the core purposes of education. In their desire to compete with secular, government-run schools, too many Catholic institutions have placed their greatest emphasis on preparing students for college and careers and sidelined their primary goal of helping kids get to heaven.
But Catholic parents, too, have adopted too many assumptions from the secular culture about their role and responsibilities relative to their children. The clear and consistent teaching of the Catholic Church is that parents are first and foremost teachers (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2223). Schools and professional educators are there to help families educate their children, not to replace them.
What would it look like for parents to fully embrace their responsibility as educators, to embed their vocation as teachers into every aspect of their family’s life? The following are touchstones for parents to consider as they carry out this eternally-important mission.
These ideas are rooted in Church teaching and the principles of classical learning.
Who is my Enemy? Man or Devil?
By Fr. Chris Pietraszko
For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
It would seem there is sometimes a dichotomy between evil spirits and “flesh and blood” when considering our enemies. I would like to reconcile this tension, by first reflecting on the nature of an “enemy,” as that will help us understand better how to resolve what Ephesians 6:12 teaches.
What is an Enemy?
The term, generally considered, can be explained thus: an enemy is one who has enmity with the vision or mission in which you abide in. If two have diametrically opposed missions, as a necessary consequence, both will be thrust into a competition. In business, when someone intentionally works against the mission or vision of that institution, they might be called “actively disengaged.” It is possible for some to passively work against that same vision - and this is a lighter enmity.
Consider it this way - you have a canoe, and two people are paddling. The one steering develops and determines the orientation and destination (mission), while the front person is the power-house that gives the canoe zeal and motion toward that end. Yet if they are in a disagreement about their destination, the power-house could attempt to manipulate the canoe in the wrong direction (active) or simply pout and do nothing. In effect, both will work against each other, and they will end up going in a circle, getting nowhere or lead to over-exhaustion to the only person who does the work.
Scripture teaches us that there tends to be a dichotomy between the mission of Man’s Kingdom and the mission of God’s Kingdom.