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them may have been conducive to the breakingdown of a few of their inherited prejudices. In our discussions we most often take our stand upon opinions or doctrines held in common, rather than upon those about which we differ. I think no greater mistake has been made by Catholic controversialists than the drawing of the invidious distinction between the Catholic religion as true and Protestantism as false. The distinction really to be observed is between the Catholic religion as true and Protestantism as partly true. There is, as you perceive, a wide difference in the methods of attack. One, I fear, has served but to alienate further from the Church many good and sincere people; the other may be rendered capable of drawing many to Her.”
A useful, if not necessary, comment on the foregoing is that it behooves the pastor who cultivates cordial and friendly relations with ministers of the various sects in his city, town, or village, to see that his intellectual equipinent is not allowed to deteriorate. The day of the crude, uneducated, often illiterate, Protestant preacher has practically passed away; and the Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist, or Congregationalist minister who is our neighbor and our possible friend may well be a thoroughly cultured, university-bred, versatile, widely-read, all-round scholar. It is accordingly incumbent on the priest who comes in contact with him, either in private or semi-public discussions, to have at his finger-tips, not only the oldtime arguments in favor of the Church, but the correct answers to the latest sophistical contentions of rationalism, pseudo-science, Christian Science, New Thought, etc., etc. His reading must be up to date. While his familiarity with the handbooks commonly proffered to prospective converts may be taken for granted, he has not always perhaps at hand such useful books as “Catholic Flowers from Protestant Gardens," "Tributes of Protestant Writers," "Outside the Walls," and similar collections of non-Catholic encomiums on Catholic doctrine, devotion, or practice. Most men who have had any experience in polemics are aware that a not ineffective controversial weapon is the authority of one of our opponent's recognized leaders aptly and tellingly quoted against the position taken by our opponent himself. Apart from their utility as auxiliaries in argumentation, such books, loaned or given to non-Catholic friends, can scarcely fail to weaken prejudice, lessen intolerance, and stimulate the Protestant mind to salutary cogitation.
There is one other consideration worth while emphasizing in connection with the priest's attitude toward those of his friends, acquaintances, and fellow-townsmen who do not belong to the visible body of the Church: he can pray for them, pray habitually and fervently. In Leo XIII's Encyclical, Sapientiae Christianae, we read: “In the duties that join us to God and to the Church, the greatest thing to be noted is that in the propagation of Christian truth every one of us should labor as far as lies in his power.” Now, irrespective of the validity or the ineptitude of the grounds on which a given pastor may seek to justify his failure to treat non-Catholics with the kindness and affability advocated in this chapter, he can assuredly give no plausible reason for neglecting this charitable duty of prayer for those outside the fold. In his daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or in the privacy of his oratory at night prayer, he may fittingly voice the petition which the Church herself solemnly chants on Good Friday: "Let us also pray for heretics and schismatics : that our Lord and God would deliver them from all their errors, and vouchsafe to call them back to our holy Mother, the Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Almighty and everlasting God, who savest all men, and desirest not that any should perish: look down on such souls as are deceived by the wiles of the devil; that, laying aside all heretical perverseness, the hearts of those who are in error may be converted, and may return to the unity of Thy truth." This much at least, fervent and frequent prayer, would seem to be the minimum of apostolic effort congruous to the priest living among those "other sheep" whom Christ longs so ardently to see gathered into His own fold; but thrice happy the really zealous pastor who supplements fervent prayer by effective works, who treats his Protestant neighbors as friends whom he hopes to see become one day his spiritual children: he is taking long steps toward the eventual fulfilment of his hope, the realization of his priestly purpose in a glorious harvest of souls.
THE PRIEST'S HOUSEKEEPER
Who shall find a valiant woman? Far and from the uttermost coasts is the price of her.—Proverbs: xxxl, 10.
It has often been said—and by those who know what they are talking about—that many a priest has filled an untimely grave as the result of the badly cooked food served to him year after year by the incompetent person in charge of his domestic arrangements. -Australian Priest-Editor.
As a rule, priests do not want to train their housekeepers, so-called. But what they do want, and usuall inquire for, is a reliable person who knows how to cook, understands how to keep household affairs in proper order, and is willing to take upon her the entire responsibility of the parochial home, for a just return of wages.-J. A., O. S. B.
HILE the chief concern of every mortal, and
especially every priest, should undoubtedly be the state of his soul, life must still be lived and our salvation be worked out within the limitations fixed for us by God Himself. Our nature being human, not angelic, our activities cannot well be exclusively spiritual (though they should all conduce to spiritual progress), but must necessarily be concerned, now with the things of the mind, now with those of the body. All our spirituality, whether we call it growth in holiness, progress towards perfection, intensifying our interior life, Christian asceticism, or by any other name, is in fact conditioned by our mental faculties and our physical organs. The interdependence of body, mind, and soul has never been overlooked by either the expert psychologist or the ascetic or mystic theologian; and the most truly symmetrical existence here below is accordingly one in which a faith-illumined soul informs and dominates a sound mind in a sound body. “Without good living,” says a modern philosopher, “there can be no good thinking, and—I speak it reverently—no good praying; for mind and soul must have something healthy to go upon.” Few moralists will deny the substantial truth of this dictum, and none will challenge the assertion that the good, or bad, “living” of the priest is dependent in a very large measure on the competency or the inefficiency of his housekeeper.
The domestic economy of a clerical house being one of those subjects of immediate and perennial interest to priests, coming home, as the Baconian phrase has it, to our “business and bosoms,” one might naturally expect to see it treated, in books and periodicals specifically intended for clerical readers, much more frequently than is the case, at least in this country. An examination of the general index for the first fifty volumes of the Ecclesiastical Review, for instance, discloses only two articles professedly dealing with the subject; and both appeared in Vol. X, as long ago as 1894. The first of the two, “A Training School for Parochial Housekeepers,” is an exposition (by Father Jenkins, of St. Lawrence, Kentucky) of a project to devise means for the establishment of an institute destined to equip and supply priests' housekeepers; the second is a brief discussion of that project by a Benedictine Father who wrote “to prevent a good idea from perishing at its birth.” Perish, however, it apparently did; for no further