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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
August 5, 1911     Arkansas Catholic
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August 5, 1911
 

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., r,= THE SOUTHERN GUARDIAN ii ill The Southern Guardian Published Weekly by THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY of the Diocese of Little Rock Business Office: 315 W. Markham St. Little Rock, Ark. Rt. Rev. J. M. Lucey, V. G., Editor lished kheir truth, we cannot reason- ahly refuse assent, unless we are will- ing to renounce all historical cer- tainty. The Church has always been ollposed to the practice of crying out every extraordinary happennig as a miracle, and when she takes nlatters in her own hands, for instance, at the cannonization of saints, the whole world knows what a dreadful sceptic A. B. Waterman, Business Manager the devil's advocate is, and what a ........................................................................ stuhhornness the Church sets.against SUBSCRIPTION $L5o THE YEAR OFFICIAL APPROVAL. The Southern" Guardian is the offic- ial organ of the diocese of Little Rock, and I pray God that it nlay he an earnest chanlpion iu the cause of right, justice and truth and an ardent defender of the religion which we all love so well. I extend to it nay bless- ing with the slneere hope that its car- eer may be long and-prosperous. John B. Morris, Bishop of Little Rock. SATURDAY, AUGUST, 5, I9IL ST. MARY OF THE SNOW. On this 5th day of August the Church celebrates the feast of St. Mary of the Snow, a peculiar name for any feast, and particularly so at the present season of the year. The legend relates that a weahhy Roman couple, John and his wise, being without children, desired to be- stow their wealth on an undertaking pleasing to God. Accordingly they had recourse to the Blessed Virgin, with a view to find out God's good pleasure in the matter. In conse- quence it was revealed to them that on a spot which they would tlud cov- ered with snow on a certain morning they should build a church in honor of tile Blessed Virgin. To the great anlazement of all Rome the top of the Esquilline Hill was, in spite of tile sumner heat, white with snow on the morning of August 5th. This was takeu as a sure sign of Heaven's will and the ehurehnow called Maria Maggiore, the greatest of Mary's sanctuaries in Romewas built with the fortune of the pious John and his wife. On the 5th of August the Church celebrates the anniversary of its dedication, and recalls the miracu- lous event by the name of the feast. Are such things credible? Can miracles happen? It is a patent fact that nlany leaders of modern science disown the possibility of miracles. And if they are atheistsa position which does no credit to a man of souud reasonthey are at least con- sistent. But if they admit the exist- ence of Ahnighty God, a Supreme Personal Being, with understanding and free will, they cannot logically deny the possibility of nliracles. Miracles are astounding events above, besides, or contrary to the laws of nature. And what are tile laws of nature? A certain unifornl way of acting of tile forces which God set in operation when creating the world. Now, God is certainly not de- pendent on the forces of his own nlaking. He has not ahdicated his control over them, and conseqnently can, hy virtue of his free Will, linked with His onlnipotence, suspetad or change their mode of operation for some wise llnrpose. Such a wise pur- pose is; for instance, to provide His nlessengcvs Io mankind with creden- tials. ThcreR.r," we find that tile prophcts of the Old Testamnct Work- ed miracles in the name and with the power of God, to get a hearing for their messages from God. Christ proved His divine nlission principally by miracles, and the apostles propa- gated Clirist's teachings through the world with the aid of miracles. Protestants, as a rule,, distinguish hetween Scriptural miracles and ec- clesiastical nliracles, adnlitting the fornaer, hut refusing credence to the latter; that is, to all miracles claim- ing to have occurred since the days of the apostles. There is indeed, a distinction between Scriptural and ec- clesiastical nliracles, in.anlt:ch as the historical truth of the former is war- ranted by the Word of God, and therefore accepted by divine faith, while the historical truth of the latter is estahlished by human testimony and accepted by human faith. But, .after all, the severe apparatus of his- torical criticistn has been applied to events of history that cannot be ac- counted for except by the interposi- tion of Divine Power, and has estab- the acceptance of miracles. But if she does accept them we have the greatest hunaan certainty that the events iu question occurred and were real nliracle:;. Whether, then, any particu'.ar event of history be a nairacle has to be strictly proved in each individual case, until such proof is convincing we suspend our judgnlent. And this may he said of the legend with which we. introduced tile present discussion. The fact of its standing in the prayer book of the Church does not prove that the strict canons of historical criticism have been applied to it, or that the infallible authority of the Church vouches for its truth. We must not be too credulous in such matters; hut to assume, by an a priori judgment, that no nfiracles have oc- curred since the days of the apostles, nor will occur in the futnre, is an entirely gratuitous asmmpt;t,n. For God has abdicated neither His onl- nipotence nor His free will, and such wise purposes as induced Hina to oc- casionally suspend the laws of nature in past may still determine Hinl to exhibit His ahnighty power in ex- traordinary ways, viz., to reward faith, to acecrdit His messengers, to further the salvation of men, to honor His special freinds, the saints. INDULGL-ClES. By extending the Partiuncula In- dulgence of the whole Church our Holy Father has given a splendid mauifestation" of his large-hearted- ness. The Portiuncula Indulgence was primarily attached to a little church in Assist, the home of St. Francis, but had, in the course of tim'e, lieen secured by many churches throughout Christendon. Our pres- ent Pope is a great generalizer, where hlessings for the faithful are concern- ed, and hence he has invited the wlole Church to a participation ill these spiritual treasures. The word 'indulgence" has quite a specific nieaning in Catholic theology, and it would he preposterous to guess its significance on etymological grounds. An indulgent father is one who connives at the faults of his chil- dren, aud accordingly some have forthwith thought that the Church, in granting indtflgencies to her chil- dren, closes her eyes against their sins; in other words, they have, by gramnmtical speculation, arrived at the conclusion that an indulgence nleans a permission to comnlit sin. And, of course, such a welcome per- mission is gladly paid for, hence the ahns sometimes enjoined as a condi- tion for gaining an indulgence have been construed into a price which Catholics pay their priests for a per- mission to commit sin. Such are tile luetanlorphosis of Catholic teach- ing in the inlaginative lninds, shy to make i'nvestigation, of non-Catholics, and the resuh is a collection of fables, only not as innocent as those of Ovid. What, then, is an indulgence? An indulgence is a remission of temporal punishment still due for sins that have already heen forgiven. Every sin deserves a punishnaent from God; mortal sin, an eternal; venial sin, a temporal punishment. When the sin is forgiven iu the Sacrament of Pen- nance its guilt is caneclled; that is, God withdraws His displeasure and condones the offense; but, like a wise father, he insists on some punishment for reformatory purposes, lest He in- vite the sinner to repeat the fault so easily annulled. The eternal punish- ment is changed into a temporal one, and aportion of it, in proportion to the sincerity of the repentance, is at once remitted. What remains is a debt to be paid to God by some suffer- ing, voluntarily undergone or inflicted by God, either on earth or in purg a- tory. However, this matter has a differ- en't aspect. All the faithful ou earth are memhers of the lnystieal hody of Christ, and Christ is their head, and hence, on account of this close con- nection, it cannot seem very strange that the vicarious suffering of one may he accepted by God for another. Now, Christ's sufferings have an it- finite satisfactory vahle, and He had which, whilst furnishing amusement no dehts to pay for Himself; more- over, nlauy of the saints, through conlmitting few sins, led very austere lives. None of the deht paying value of these works has heen lost, but flowed, as it were into tile treasury of the Church, of which the successor of Saint Peter, to whonl it was said: "Whatsover thou shalt loose upon earth shall he loosed also in heaven," is the treasurer. Now, we are in a- position to deline an indulgence in its active sense, as ahove we defined it ill its passive sense. An indulgence, in its active sense, is a judicial trans- ferernce, by Christ's plenipotentiary, of the satisfactions of the Head of the Church to its menlbers, or of one nlenlber to another, hi granting in- dulgencies the Vicar of Christ opeus the treasury of the Chnrch and we, in granting iudulgencies, instead of paying off our debts to God by hard work, receive a donation from the su- erahundant satisfactions of Christ and His saints with which to meet our obligations before God. We perform a certain easy work, and, by order of Christ's Vicar on earth, such an amount of Christ's sat- isfactions is applied to us as is equiv- alent in paying value to our doing pennance for fifty days. Silnilarly, all partial indulgeucies are explain- ed. When we gain a plenary indul- gence we appropriate to ourselves SO nluch from the treasury of .the Church as is required to wipe out our debt. Accordingly a man who has actually gained a plenary indulgence is like a man who just comes fronl the baptismal font, all sins forgiven and all punishmetn remitted. Just one more thought, for this time, lest I lose myself ill this vast subject: Does not, after all, the the- ory of indulgences, at least indirectly, 'involve a permission to conlmit sin, beeafise it makes the escape from punishnlent so easy? Such, indeed, would be the case if a sinner could gain iuclulgencies. But a sinner can gain no indulgencies; one must be in the state of grace to gain any indul- gence, and to gain a plenary iudul- gence one's will ruust he detached fronl sin, a degree of conversion which SUl)poses geuuine repentance and nmsterful contrition. Indtflgen- ces, therefore, are no consolation to sinners, hut to penitents. SIGNS OF THE TIMES. i have never worn black specta- cles, and am not naturally inclined to he an alarnlist, but tile diagnosis of our times show solne synll)toms that arc far from consoling. And nly purpose in calling attention to thenl is to emphasize the need of applyillg remedies. First of all, there exists, at the )reseut day, a great disregard of authority, both political and eccles- iastical. \\;,Vitness the alarluiug growth of socialists in the political world, and the spread of modernisnl in the Church. This is the real pois- Oil of nloderuisln, solne gel'IllS of which are floating even in our air, though we are too busy to hatch the eggs of its tiller suhtletiesl mean the non-recognition of ecclesiastical authority as representing the Voice of God amoing men. The renledy lnust be applied in early home-train- ing; children nlust he lnade to nlind their parents, and have reverence for parental authority inured into their natures from childhood. The good root will, in course of tiule, produce a gold tree. Then, the iucreasing number of mixed nlarriages is no good onlen. It not only breeds, but betrays, the existence of religious indifference. Those who enter the nlatrinlonial state should be deeply inlbued with the sense of responsibility for their offspring: and it takes all the devo- tion of father and mother, all the religious atmosphere of a Christian home, to plant the faith, that nlost precious heirloofil, deep into -he hearts of children. That out young do not think of this, hut follow nlerely their fancy ill choosing their partners for life, hetokeus a declen- siou of faith among tile present gen- eration, lqow will it he with the next, if onr young nlen and WOUleU do not bethink thenlseh, es? t:inally the dearth of priests works great havoc ill the Chtlrch. Count- less souls are lerishing heeause there is no One to break for thenl the Bread of Life. Wily is that nlost exalted of vocations not coveted any nlore? Because the spirit of sacri- lice is vanishing fronl tile earth; be- cause nlaterial interests have a stronger fascination than spiritual ones: because religiou has no longer its unquestioned sway even in Cath- olic families. Ill short, the world seenls to he drifting away fronl Christ, and real- izing this, our Holy Father works with superhulnan strength to stein the tide and make it turn back to Christ. May He long be spared to see his noble efforts crowned with sucees. VOCATIONS FOR THE PRIESTHOOD The scarcity of priests can not he attributed to God, as if he, iu these days, had put a limit to the grace of vocations. God has not for- saken His Church. The insufficient nulnber of priests, must, then, be ascrihed to a lack to corresponding with God's call on the part of men. Let ine mention but one remedy for a serious evil. Vocations for the priesthood are not written on the faces of children, though they are gernainally contained in their souls, Give tile germ the proper soil for growth, and the embryonic vocation will develop. Now the proper soil for maturing vocations, is the Cath- olic college. * 1 take it for granted that a nunl- her of boys in Arkansas, proportion-' ed to the needs of the Church, act- ually have vocations for the priest- hood. How are they to he found out? You say: "If ,de knew that our son llad a vocation for the priesthood, i we certainly would send hina to col- lege." But do you know that he has no vocation? If lie is pious and tal- ented, he has a potential vocation, and by giving him a college educa- tion, you furnish him tile means of finding out. Oh! how generosity on the part of parents! In worldly nlat- SERMON PREACHED BY REV. DR. STOCKER, O. S. B. AT FORT " SMITH, JULY "3oth I9zx. Text: .Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation.James I; 2 7. The higher man is to rise above the I rest of God's creation the slower is his development. Man as a rational being is to he guided by reason; and I it takes tinle fo.r reason to awaken and to attain to maturity. Accord- ingly man is, dtlring the first years of his earthly existence, no indepen- dent being: he is linked to his par- ents and the functions of fatherhood and motherhood must continue until Iiody and nlind of the offspring are ripe for self-governnlent. How sad therefore, nly brethern, is the loss of one's parents in the stage of one's infancy: it would be sinlply distast- rous, if no provisions were made to coml)cnsate, as far as compensation is possible for the loss of parents. Let us consider nly deal- brethren the nlagnitude of the loss and the nlanner of coulpensatiou. Little children are helpless as to their bodily needs. The infant grows ]on his nlother's breast, and the years have to pass before the tiny citizen is capable of engaging by himself in the struggle for existence. There- fore God has planted the instinct of parental love deep down in the soul of father and mother so that even their hardest toll is sweetened by the thought: "I anl working for my dar- ling children." Children have not only bodily hun- ger which craves for milk and bread; they have little hearts also that yearn for affection. Again,the loving care of the Creator has fashioned the heart, especially of the mother, to satisfy the love hunger of her child. The nlother's love is to the infant what sunshine is to the fower, whose beauty and perfume mature under the Sun's benifieent rays. And this, iny brethren, results in happy issues not only for the child but for the hunlan family. For a heart once thoroughly sweetened hy a nlother's love will ever he inclined to give a share of it to others: in other words, the love of one's neighbor is I'm( an overflowing of the love that has been pouring into the infantile breast fronl the fountain of the maternal heart. Let all homes be full of love, and there will be no hatred in the world. More even the body and the heart, the soul of the child needs, the ten- der solicitude of parents. As the sotll is so much more l)reclous than the body, any ueglect of tile soul is nlore serious in its cousequences. Now, it is especially the period of early youth, the springtime of life, when the seeds of virtue nlust be planted in the soul and the heartnlust be fashioned to the love of God. A ters they are willing to take a risk, mother's knee is the most ilnportant hut to spend some money for the school-heneh in a nlan's life; and a mother's lips the most sacred oracle. nohle purpose of furnishing a pos- The home lessons of early life grow sihle priest to the church, is beyond into the very substance of the souli their COlnprehension. Supllose your they may he obliterated hnt not wip- son, after finishing his college course, ed out; and many a prodigal son has does not enter the senfinary: is your sacrilice lost? No; you have given your soil a nlost precious legacy, and to the Church the next best thing to a priest, au educated laylnan. If, therefore, the scarcity of priests is to cease, let our colleges he filled with young nlen: a certain percent- age of them, in proportion to the lunlher of students, will certainly he- come priests. Here, Catholic parents, is your great responsibility for the welfare of God's Kingdom. WANTED IT MA.DE PLAIN Bookmaker (explaining race sys tem)You see, If the horse starts at 20 to 1 you get 20; 15 to 1, you get 15; I0 to 1, you get 10. Do you un derstand ? Mr. Smith (who has never played the races)Oh, yes, certainly But what do 1 get if the horse starts at one o'clock exactly? Juvenile Mllapprehenslon. "Papa," whispered Johnny, who was In attendance at the Sunday morn. lng services, "why do the people look so sad when they drop their money [n that plate?" been brought back to his father's house and the path of righteousness hy the fascination of the indelible menlories of youth. Measure, theu if you call, nly brethren, the greatness of the loss sustained hy childreu who lose their parents in early youth. They are cut off from their sources of existence, like plants cut off fronl rain and stm- shine. The whole providential ap- paratus for their physical and moral wellbeing is aholished with the death of father and mother. Those little orphans have hungry mouths too, like other children, but the hands that should work for them are mo- tionless in the cold grave: those poor waifs have hearts too that lmnger for affection;but the nlaternal heart that should heat for them is still in death: those lonely creatures have souls too, vast and inlperish- able, to he made or marred for etern- ity; but the lips of father and moth- er that shuld teaeh them, are silent under the green sod of a cemetery. Oh, nly clear brethren, what have those innocent bahies done that they shonld be without a friend in this wide world? \\;Vhy must they go iu 'ra, g.,s when other children are well dressed ? Wily must their little :hearts paut in vain for a mother's snlile? Why nnlst their inunortal .souls pine away for lack of the sa- cred influence of home training? Such, my hrethren, would he the I . , eondmon of orphans, if no colnpen- sation wer nlade for the loss of pa- rents. But, inasnmch as God is .the Master over life and death, and God has taken away the parents from those children, the want of a com- lensation would be a serious arraign- ment of divine providence. God, to he sure. does not wish those little mnocents to be cast on the streets: they ae His own wardens, and He takes care of theln. However, as iu other matters God helps men through their fellowmen, so He exercises His Fatherhood over orphans through the instrumentality of his more fav- ored children: and with this remark I approach the practical part of nly suhject. It is God's will that you, my brethren, he the fathers of His orphans. God has a right to ask this favor of you; for whatever tenlporal hless- ings you enjoy are his gifts. He has giveu them, He may take them, as in the case of Job. Still what He nlight take, He only asks you to give, that you may have the reward for giviug freely. In asking you t(" take care of His wardens, God doe! 'I" you a great favor: He wishes you to becolne His creditors and to find out how htcrative a business it is to invest a little sum in God's hank. Not to speak of the higher aspect of the situationi"Blessed are the mer- ciful for they shall receive lnercy"-- mere worldly wisdoln should make you anxious to have God as your dehtor. I have read of fomlders of Religious Orders who, when they were in need of funds to build con- vents would adopt an extra orphan child to hring up; and the wisdonl ]of their proceeding was justified by 'their succsss. I am sure, therefore, my brethren, that you will he far- sighted and large-hearted enough. cheerfully to assunle the function of fatherhood for the orphans of the Diocese. A father's main duty is to support the faulily, to furnish food and clothes and shelter. But who will assulne the function of Motherhood for God's orphans? There are those who maintain that every WOulan should" be a mother. Very well: I do not contest the as- sertion, if you will allow nle the in- terpretation. God. foreseeing that, under the operation of natural laws, mothers in the order of nature would often fail,through death or sonle oth- er, cause, has created a reserve force of nlothers in te order of grace, that in cases of necessity, they might be substituted for the failing mothers. nd this reserve force of mothers is found in the various Sisterhoods of the Church of Christ. To look for a monlent beyond our present sub- iect, such mothers in the spiritual sense are required, and on hand, not only for orphans, but for every sort of hunlan infirmity and distress that needs the sympathetic help of moth- erly care. Oh, my brethren, how deep an insight does this considera- tion open into the wise and benigh- nant ways of our heavenly Father's providence ! I It is your 1)rivilege, then, nly breth- !ren, to act as fathers for the orphans !by furnishing them food and clothes, and it is the privilege of the Sisters, those mothers by God's substitution, to furnish thenl nlotherly care and affection. And to crown the work of tender solicitude, the Church, through her priests, superintends the religious ed- ucation of the orphans. Thus, by a comhination of the laity, the Sisters, and the Priests, the Catholic Church furnishes fatherless children the best compensation for the loss of parents: and. in so doing, fulfills the will of God, who said: "Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and wi- dows in their trihulation." Of course no elnpty visit is nleant here: but a visit, through sonle snbstantial token or inerciful nlinistration, that will lnitigate or eliminate the tribulation. You all know, lny brethren, that our Bishop has erected an orphanage, solid and fireproof to last for cen- turies, with a capacity for about 25o orphans. And this he did wtihout taxing the various parishes for the erection of the building. What he now reasonably and justly expects of the Catholics of the State is that they support the orphans Of the dio- cese. Do not make the nlistake of considering the diocesan and orphan- age a local concern, it is a diocesan institution, aud as such depending, in its prosperity, on the charity and gen- erosity of :ill the Catholics of the di- ocese. Let the Catholics of other di- oceses take care of their orphans, but let not the hlanle attache, before God and nlen, to the CathoKcs of Arkan- sas, that they grudge a penny to their mor and fatherless childreu. What you contribute, my brethren the nla- terial support, is not, in itself, the must important detail for the all- around success of the iustitution, but, in a sense, the most necessary iteln. Taking food is not the noblest func- tion of inan, but, unless you have food to take, all your other loftier functions will come to a standstill. Thus, uly brethren, in furnishing the nlaterial support for the orphanage you make its existence possible, you allow the institution to open its doors to wandering waifs, and consequently you have a share in all the good work that is accomplished there by the devoted Sisters and the Priests of the Church. Those boys and girls that will go forth from the orphan- age, well educated and solidly found- ed in the prineiples of the Catholic Religion, will be the trophies of your zeal and generosity, and sure pledges of God's blessings to you, for "Whatsoever you have done to the least of these little ones, you have done to me." Amenl " / CI: :,' "" :i /;' Y- ( ::