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than Thomas Aquinas or Augustine or Bernard; as the declaration of an American secular journal, it is to say the least an interesting sign of the times. There are not wanting other signs that the people of this country are rapidly losing much of that exaggerated admiration, not to say reverence, for the public school system which has come to them by tradition from the middle-nineteenth century. And surely not without reason. They know, for instance, that the report of a Commission recently appointed by the Mayor of Philadelphia is true of many more communities than the one investigated. Said the report: “So much vice was found among school children that the Commission reluctantly concludes that vice is first taught to the Philadelphia child in the class-room. *Sixty per cent of the school-girls interrogated turned out to have learned, before they were ten or eleven years old, a variety of bad habits.”
Submitted to the spiritual test of judging a tree by its fruits, our public school system can hardly be said to justify its continued existence. It is very largely responsible for the facts that onefourth the people of this country do not believe in God; that only two-fifths of them are church-goers, while two-thirds are practically ignorant of all religion; that America enjoys the unenviable preëminence of leading the world in murder, and crime generally, as it does also in divorce; that socialism and syndicalism with sporadic anarchy are increasing to an alarming extent; and that race-suicide is being preached from the house-tops. Small wonder it is waning in public esteem since, like the Veiled Prophet of Ispahan, the system, unveiled in its legitimate products, discloses Mokanna-like unloveliness. The downright truth of the matter is that Horace Mann and the other and later upbuilders of our public school system constructed a civic Frankenstein which, lacking the soul of education, religion, has developed to the country's positive detriment. All the more reason, this, why the Catholic clergy should be unremitting in their efforts to offset its dangers by providing for the religious training of each and all of the children confided to their pastoral charge.
THE PRIEST'S TABLE
They are as sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing.–Shakespeare.
An intelligent friend of mine recently remarked: “I think a man ought to eat what he wants to eat."-"Yes,' I replied,
"provided he wants to eat what be ought to eat."-Pearce Kintzing, M. D.
Be not greedy in any feasting
for in many meats there will be sickness, and greediness will turn to choler. By surfeiting many have perished: but he that is temperate shall prolong life.-Eccles.: xxxvii, 32-34.
NE clerical adage that is safe never to become
obsolete, or to lapse, at least in sacerdotal circles, into innocuous desuetude, is: “After all, priests are men, not angels.” As used by clerics, it is scarcely necessary to remark, the saying is not so much a disavowal of any pretensions to such qualities as in profane literature and in ordinary conversation are commonly ascribed to angels beauty, brightness, innocence, and unusual graciousness of manner and kindliness of heart—as it is a denial of any freedom or exemption from the passions and appetites and temptations to which the average human being is subject. Yes; a priest is a man, not only in the zoölogical sense that he is “a featherless plantigrade biped mammal of the genus Homo,” but in the theological one that he is "a rational animal"; and some of us are perhaps inclined to think that in our own case the last word of the theological definition may well receive the greater emphasis. Without going so far as to endorse the opinion of the flippant essayist who asserts that “Man was created a little lower than the angels—and has been getting a little lower ever since," we are all acutely conscious that the animal part of us, our body, is a stubborn fact of which even the most aspiring and ascetic soul must perforce make considerable account. Not the least insistent and self-assertive organ of this material body of ours is the stomach, and accordingly one matter which neither the priest nor any other nonangelic, mundane being can afford to disregard is the question of food.
If it were at all necessary to proffer any apology for discussing in such a volume as this so material, gross, vulgar, unesthetic and unascetic a subject as mere eating and drinking, one might take high philosophical ground and quote Plato to the effect that: “The man of understanding will be far from yielding to brutal or irrational pleasures—but he will always be desirous of preserving the harmony of the body for the sake of the concord of the soul." If the dictum of the Grecian philosopher be considered insufficient to indue the subject with congruous dignity, the following somewhat grandiloquent paragraph of an American physician will perhaps be thought adequate: “The history of man's diet is the history of the human race. It is the story of his evolvement from the lowest forms of savagery to his present pinnacle. It begins with the cave-dweller, gnawing with wolf-like fangs at a joint of raw bear-meat, and ends with the potentate drinking champagne from a golden chalice. It is the history of oppression and tyranny, and of independence and freedom; of political growth and conquest, and of barbarian invasion and desolation; of health and wealth; of poverty and disease.” Putting aside both the philosopher and the physician, however, we prefer to justify the appearance of the present essay in a book for priests on the entirely sufficient grounds sung by Owen Meredith:
We may live without poetry, music, and art;
It may be urged of course, and not without some specious force, that, granting the real importance of the subject of food and nutrition, still, since the clerical stomach is not different from the layman's, the number of volumes that have already been written on the subject and the endless series of articles dealing with it that are constantly appearing in the magazines and newspapers give all necessary information thereon, and render quite superfluous any specific discussion of the priest's table as differentiated from any one else's. The point, however, is only partially well taken. In the matter of eating, and especially in that of abstaining from eating, the priest's life differs not a little from that of laymen, and hence there are some counsels peculiarly appropriate to him, though not of general applicability. The great