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The Missio Dei Newsletter Issue #4- Seeing Through the Lens of Catholic Culture
“I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” -St. Paul, 1 Cor. 1:4–7.
Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell
By Kaleb Hammond
George Orwell (1903-1950) published his dystopian science fiction novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), in 1949, just after the conclusion of the Second World War. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest, most insightful and original dystopian novels in history, alongside Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz, all of which portended the rise of ideological regimes and robotic warfare in the 20th century and the grave consequences which they represented for the development of global civilization. Each expressed the particular worldview of its author, and 1984 illustrates many of the sentiments and beliefs which Orwell held and wrote about in other works. From a Catholic standpoint, despite its potential pitfalls and errors of interpretation, 1984 is an invaluable fictional rendering of the miasma into which the modern world of materialism, relativism and the worship of technical power can fall, a world which has abandoned God and the guidance of his Church, and for this reason, 1984 remains as clear a warning today as when it was first released.
The Patron Saints of Herbal Medicine and the Abbot Who Shaped History
By Judson Carroll
Saint Fiacre is the earliest canonized Patron Saint of herbal medicine, but his story really begins with the evangelization of pagan Ireland. And that, (of course) begins with Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain in 385. When he was approximately age 14, he was captured by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave to work as a shepherd. When he was 20 he escaped from Ireland, having been told by God in a dream to go to a place on the coast where he would find sailors who took him back to Britain and reunited him with his family. Through this experience, Patrick had become a man of very deep faith. He wrote in his memoir, about a vision he received after returning home, "I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: 'The Voice of the Irish.' As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea-and they cried out, as with one voice: 'We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.'" This vision prompted Patrick to become a priest, with a mission of returning to Ireland to evangelize the island of my ancestors.
Meet Me Halfway - On Catholic Marriage
By Christina M. Sorrentino
A healthy relationship when it comes to marriage involves balance and an equal distribution of give and take with regards to making decisions that concern one another. Despite challenges and ups and downs, overall a strong partnership between a man and a woman involves being a team that supports one another. Marriage is a mutual relationship between man and wife. After all, to love, is to will the good of another.
When couples are a part of a relationship it is pertinent that they think about the other and consider his or her feelings, especially when making decisions that will strongly affect the other in the relationship. For example, faith, wedding plans, the raising of children, living situation, finances, etc. The question then is for us Catholics, “What does the Church say on this matter”?
A commonly misinterpreted passage in Sacred Scripture is Ephesians 5:22-25, so then let us take a look at the verses, and understand what it means through the lens of the Catholic Church:
Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ: so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and delivered himself up for it.
It is often that at Mass these verses are omitted out of fear of offending women, and coming off as telling women that they are subordinate to their husbands and need to allow themselves to be dominated and controlled under a reign of tyranny and oppression…
Restoring the Catholic in Catholic Schools
By Gary Houchens
After years of declining enrollments, Catholic schools have recently enjoyed an influx of new students. This growth has surely been driven by pandemic-related school closures and parental concerns about the creeping cultural Marxism found in far too many government-run schools.
But Catholic education has its own identity crisis, and it’s not one that simply welcoming new students can resolve. In many Catholic schools, the curriculum, teaching methods, and overall mission is nearly identical to what you might find in their secular counterparts. Students may attend religion class or go to Mass, but the general vibe in many Catholic schools is that their primary mission is to prepare students for college and careers. And while that’s an important component of education, it’s only a tertiary goal for truly Catholic schools.
It’s time for Catholic education to rediscover its core purpose. And it’s time for Catholic parents to claim their rights and duties as the primary educators of their children. Whether you choose homeschooling, a Catholic school, or a government school, Catholic parents need to make sure their own children are being educated for their eternal destiny.