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of a certain magazine, sent abroad for the purpose of ascertaining the treatment accorded the stranger within the gates by the various, Protestant churches, is not without its lesson for those places of worship not included by the young woman in her itinerary. It was interesting to note the editorial comment of some of the religious papers, especially the non-Catholic ones. They seemed to feel that they had been spied upon, and resented it, while one was honest enough to say such a thing could not have happened in Catholic churches, for people went there to pray, not to engage in social intercourse.
One of the things that must always strike one as strange is the appearance a Protestant church presents at the close of the services. It suggests more a theatre, when the show is over, than anything else, with the late worshippers talking and laughing, shaking hands and giving introductions. And yet, when you come to think of it, is not the spectacle our own city churches present toward the close of Mass infinitely worse? There are many people who seem to think they have fulfilled the obligation of hearing Mass on Sunday and holidays if they remain until the Consecration. There are a great many more who seem to think the rising of the people who intend to communicate is the signal for the close of the service, while the majority hold the last Gospel and the prayers said afterward are intended solely for the priest and the altar-boys. The sight and sound of our city churches at the early Masses are not edifying by any means, and one wonders what sort of consciences those people have. If it is considered an indication of bad manners to leave one's seat in the theatre until at least the curtain begins to fall, what shall we call this exit from the House of God during a time so solemn as the giving of Communion? It does appear that if one can spare the time to spend twenty-five minutes in
the church, one could wait another five or ten minutes longer—that the priest, to say nothing of the religious aspect of the case, is entitled to as much respect as is given to the star actor or actress. Often noting this outrush from the church, I have wondered what could be the pressing business that interfered with the manners, not less than the sacred duty, of these people. When I, too, reached the outside I beheld it, seeing the men lined up along the curbstone, the women waiting below the steps.
That these are wasted words, I realize keenly, having had to witness the efforts heroically made by a certain pastor to prevent the engrafting of city behavior on his carefully tended flock, and weekly beholding the dismal failure attending them. If people will go out of the church at Communion or the benediction, they will do it, and nothing short of a cordon of police at the door will prevent it; and it is not likely that pastors will resort to that measure to teach reverence and politeness.
Realizing the uselessness of this, let us talk of something else, and which the experience of the young woman sent by the magazine suggested. While it is true, as the editor of the religious paper observed, Catholics go to church to pray and not to form social ties, it should also be remembered religion has its social side also, received directly from the Founder Himself. We cannot think of the Lord Jesus without the little company of devout men and women who immediately recognized His sacred mission; and if the Gospel shows us the Master teaching in the synagogue or by the seashore, it follows up the picture with the Guest at the dinner prepared for Him, or the Friend resting under a hospitable roof.
Can we honestly declare that this other feature of the Church in its inception characterizes it to-day? In country places it may exist, but in the larger towns, in the city parishes, do the people holding seats in the same pew know one another? Do they make an effort to do so? They may be among the oldest members of the congregation or -the latest arrived, for aught we know or care. So they are orderly during the twenty minutes or half hour we kneel or sit with them is all we ask. But, you say, it would be impossible to know every one in the parish. But, really, would it, if every other one wanted to know you likewise? There is nothing in the world easier than to get acquainted with people when both are willing. But it would not be desirable, you add. Exactly! I was waiting for that. It is not the impossibility of the undertaking but the undesirability of it. And you call yourself a follower of Christ, who object to knowing a fellow follower? There were "undesirables' in the day of Christ, you remember, and yet, singularly enough, it was those very ones He went out of His way to know, even to looking for them in the branches of the sycamore tree. And the Pharisees complained to His disciples that their Master ate with the publicans and sinners; but it is not recorded that Christ ever pointed to the publican and sinners with the warning cry, "Woe to you!"
O fellow Christians! we have so little of Christ in us!
But the dwellers in the parish, whether they be long settled there or newly arrived, are not such great objects of concern when they are united in the bond of the family. Their friends are somewhere in the city, and even if they are actual strangers in it, the companionship to be found under the rooftree is a saving anchor. It is those without such close associates, the boy and girl, the young man and woman, and those in their declining days, whose condition should make us pause. I have known of men and women going month after month to a church, and not so
large a one either, without meeting so much as a glance of recognition from the other members of the congregation. They were strangers not only in the parish but in the city, with their social life no less than their fortune to make. If the young man were invited to the Y. M. C. A. can you blame him so greatly that he went, when the officers of the church society were too engrossed with the petty business of its government to seek out the stranger and give him a brotherly welcome? Unless very unobservant, any member of the parish who attends services regularly for one year recognizes the stranger when he appears; and plainly enough it is that stranger who should become the object of solicitude. He may be worthy of it, in which case the congregation has acquired another valuable member; if otherwise, who shall say what this friendliness of his fellow worshipper may not effect?
There is so much loneliness in the city, a loneliness far crueller than that known in the most deserted places of the country. In the country you do not expect that the birds and the wild animals shall forsake their natural ways to keep you company; but when in the midst of your fellow men you receive only silence and the glance of coldness, —ah, then you drink the cup of loneliness to its dregs! And, I daresay, if we could but read hearts as God reads them, we should see the first letters of the sin we deplore, the crime we shudder at, traced by the fingers of loneliness. A man must have great resources within himself to be able to meet this loneliness and not finally be conquered by it.
As you sit to-night in the happiness of your family or in the pleasant society of your friends, think of the men and women in the cheerless, lonely lodginghouses. They are separated by miles, perhaps by an ocean, from their loved ones and the friends of their vouth. Strangers they are in the land of the stranger. Not theirs the duty to make the first advance toward relieving the ghastliness of their situation, but yours, to whom these streets and people and that church yonder, where you and this stranger worship side by side, are the associations of a lifetime. It is not asked of you to open the door of your own social world to that unknown person until you have tested his worthiness, for we owe something to our own protection; but it is asked of you to accord him the treatment due a fellow being, and not that allowable in dealing with a creature of a different order from our own.
And yet I sometimes \vonder if that very prudence which those who claim to be so wise caution us to exercise in OHr dealings with those who fail to •arry with them a gilt-edged letter of recommendation, is not rather the policy of fools. If it had guided the actions of the Lord Jesus would He have sought the strange man, small of stature, amid the foliage of the sycamore tree, and bade him to hasten down as He must sup in his house that day? Would He have called unknown and rude fishermen to leave their nets and become catchers of men. or propounded the deepest of His doctrines to the Samaritan woman by Jacob's well? Nay, by every law of prudence that we follow, these were not the people to be selected. But, you may object, Christ -was the All-Wise. He knew. O mv
friend! was it not rather that Christ trusted? Did He not trust that the desire which prompted Simon to run ahead and climb the tree under which the new Teacher must pass struck deeper than curiosity, and thus He met that awakening soul with swift recognition? that He sought for love and loyalty behind the rude exterior of the Galilean fishermen, and the truth that lay below the deceptive appearance of the woman at the well? Always, always, you find Christ trusting those with whom He came in contact. Was not Judas to the very last admitted to the Upper Chamber?
That is the trouble with us Christians; we mistrust our fellow Christians. We 'have not gotten over the feeling that made our forefathers invent the loving cup, which the guest must grasp with both hands, to show he carried no dagger for us behind his back; the feeling that was born when Cain lifted his hand against Abel, and which will remain with us so long as we continue to cherish it. If all the sin that curses this earth were reduced to its first cause, it would spell distrust. Be cautious, man, of thy brother, is the warning whispered into every ear, and though we may not obey it to the letter, the echo of it never dies in our heart. The result—we are those islands Matthew Arnold beautifully compares us to, speaking to one another across the water, conscious all 'the time of the knowledge that we were once parts of a great contient.
By J. M. Fitzgerald
Build on thy sins, but rise thou far
Of wisdom. Shine, the peril-star.
The Catholic Sentinel
Socialists are constantly protesting against being classified with anarchists. Socialism ami anarchy, they explain, have exactly opposite ends in view. An all-powerful government is the ideal of the one. and no government at all, the ideal of the other.
Such a distinction is very well in the abstract, but when it comes to everyday life, anarchists and socialists seem sadly mixed at times. A case in point is furnished by French socialism. A large wing of the party is frankly engaged in an effort to make governmental authority ineffective in France. This wing of the party preaches anarchy to the army and professes.its willingness to destroy ihe government of the Republic rather lhan sec France engaged in a foreign war.
Mr. Jean Jaures; who is looked upon as the official mouthpiece of French socialism, in a speech in Faris on September 8, voiced the sentiments of the anarchists of his party. He asked for a court of international arbitration of the widest scope and declared that if France Tefused arbitration with another nation "instead of marching to the frontier it would be the duty of the proletariat to revolt and throw down that government of crime by force of arms.''
At the International Socialist Congress in Stuttgart a few weeks before, Mr. Jaures and his followers embodied their anarchistic views in a resolution and tried to have it passed, but the German socialists overwhelmingly defeated the proposal. It will be seen, therefore, that a man can be an anarchist while calling himself a socialist.
It is sufficient commentary on the professions of French freethinkers that Mr. Jaures. a high priest of French free
thought, should preach that it is a crime to disagree with him, a crime worthy of
The Real Foes of Science
The Catholic Standard and Times
In shattering the pretense now being industriously promulgated by the enemies of the Catholic Church that the present Pope has created an unbridgeable chasm between the Church and Science, the facile pen of Dr. James J. Walsh, of this city and Fordham University, is doing yeoman service. Dr. Walsh is in himself a living example that that pretense is just a pretense, and nothing else. He is an indefatigable seeker after the bottom truths in many sciences, as well as a lucid and diligent chronicler of results and the lives of the Catholic scientists who achieved them. He has abundantly demonstrated the absurdity of the assertion made by that lively New York luminarv which took the name of "The Sun" to itself, that the designation "Catholic scientist" must be henceforth, after the Papal Syllabus of Frrors, only a contradiction in terms. Now he has turned his artillery on President Andrew D. White's book on "The Warfare of Science With Theology." This book is widely read, and it was lately quoted by the Fvening Post as showing that the Church has been the persistent enemy and persecutor of Science and its votaries. It was a comparatively easy task to demolish Professor White's case, because the man deemed good enough te be the head of an American university seemed to be ignorant of the very rudiments of the subject he had the temerity to start. He quoted a Decretal of Pope Boniface VIII as issued against dissection, and says that this document made the practice of dissection a sin against the Holy Ghost. Dr. Walsh makes k plain that President White knows nm more about Papal Infallibility, which he quotes, that he does about the meaning of the Decretal he was discussing. He wrote to the Evening Post editor:
"President White asserts that there is a Papal bull forbidding dissection. The bull he quotes does not'forbid dissection, but prohibits a practice—that of cutting up the bodies of the dead and boiling them in order to transport them to long distances—which any modern sanitary authority would at once condemn. Four centuries and a half after the issuance of that bull, one of the Popes. Benedict XIV, was asked if it applied to dissection, and he pronounced that it did not. In the meantime there had been a Papal medical school at Rome for over four centuries, and for two centuries of that time the greatest teachers in anatomy that ever lived did their work at this Papal medical school. The list of professors of anatomy at Rome includes such names as Eustachius Varolius, Columbus, Caesalpinus, Aranzi, Malpighi and Lancisi. With the exception of Vesalius and Harvey these are the greatest names in the history of anatomy. They did their work at Rome. yet President White says that "dissection was a sin against the Holy Ghost.'
"President White quotes a bull which is supposed to forbid chemistry, the text of which shows that what it really forbade was the fraud of pretending to make gold and silver which was the gold brick industry of the Middle Ages. The Pope (John XXII) who issued this bull founded three medical schools and required that the course in them should be seven years, three for preparatorv study and four for professional work."
It was unfortunate for the president of Columbia that he selected the period of Pope Boniface VIII for his assault on the truth. It enabled his antagonist to "get his head in chancery" and keep it there till he had punished him to his liking. Dr. Walsh wrote, in a subsequent letter to the Post, this clincher:
"The curious thing is that the date of this bull is almost exactly the date of the first medico-legal dissection of which there is any record. Bodies had been dissected for at least a century at Salerno, but immediately after the date of this hull the evidence for the frequency of dissection accumulates. Before twenty years had passed there were prosecutions for body snatching in Italy, because students were too ardent in their search for material.
* * * "At the very time when President White says Vesalius was practicing dissection at the risk of his life because of ecclesiastical opposition, Columbus, his great rival, was making as many as fourteen dissections in one year at Rome, and his public demonstrations in anatomy were attended by as many as four hundred persons, including at times cardinals and other high ecclesiastics."
Dr. Walsh dismisses President White's history as absurd, though amusing:
"He even makes an amusing misuse of the word infallibility in order to make the Pope responsible for the prohibition of dissection. Pope Boniface VIII as an infallible teacher should have had a foresight of the consequences. He uses the word infallibility in the sense in which no properly taught schoolboy should use it. entirely contrary to its real meaning, in order to fix the responsibility for the prohibition of anatomy on this Pope."
The first requisite in the solution of any equation is a clear perception of the meaning and value of its terms. In President White's case his bigotry evidently interposed an insuperable obstacle to the realization of that essential condition in his very remarkable "history."
Dr. Walsh deserves the thanks of the Catholic public for his masterly handling of this latest bogey and fraud. It is as neatly and effectively done as the finishing stroke of a star matador in the arena.