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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
December 8, 1923     Arkansas Catholic
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December 8, 1923
 

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! 2 L Puhlihed Weekly by .HE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY of tile DioceSe of Little Rock 309 WEST SECOND STREET Entered as oecond.class matter March !il. 111, at the postofc at gallic Rock Ark.. under the Act of Congress of March 3. Ig75. SUItSCR[PTION PRICE. $2.08 THE YEAR CHANGE OF ADDRESS Wh'n a change o'[ address is desired the subscriber should give both lie old and the new addreu. CORRESPONDENCE [atter mended for pubhcatiou in Tbe Guardian hould retch us not lter tlal Vv'eduesday mormng. Brief news correspondence is always welcome. Tl, e kiudness of the clergy in this matter s corially appre. crated. ,, IEV. GEl). 11 McDERMOTT. .................. Managing EMitot All communications about "The Guardian" should be addrened to  Rev. Gco. I1. McDermott 307 West Second Street. OFFICIAL APPROVAL ]'he Gnardian is the official organ o1 the Diocese of Little Rock, and I pray God that it may be an earnest champion in the cause ot right, utice and truth and an ardent defender of the religion wh ch we al love so well. 1 extend to it my , essing with the sincere hope tlmt its reer may be long and prosperous. JOhN B MORRIS, Bishop ol Little Rock. DECEMBER 8, 1923. Second Sunday of Advent. 0-0 President Coolidge's silence may be golden, but he will have to come down to the silver speech pretty soon. -o-o- Henry has not yet said that he cnnot afford to run. Is he taking a leaf out of the Coolidge book? Or is it vice versa? 0-0 St. John the Baptist, the angelic man, "a proph- et and more than a ,prophet," enters into our' Ad- vent liturg7 and with his austere simplicity leads us to imitate, at least in spirit, his self-denial. 0-0 When we read of the blizzards which sweep over the North we feel that we are specially fa- vored in Arkansas and we can afford to pity the poor fellows who live in the "frozen climate." 0"O The disappearance of little Pearl Turner ilas caused widespread interest all over the State, and far outside. The sympathy of all good people goes Out to the bereaved parents; and this leads to the l'ecognition of the great generosity of the people of the surrounding country who for over two months have given of their time to seek the lost child. Whe we consider such things we come to the conclusion that there is a magnificent well of kindness and goodness in the people in general, a fact which we are liable to lose ight of when we read the daily list of crimes. 0-0 LAY APOSTOLATE The Lay Apostolate, for which the associates of the Apostleship of Prayer are asked o pray this month, proceeds from a truly Catholic spirit in GUARDIAN, DECLMBLR 8, 1923. p'ages 151-155 of this adimrabie book a list of good works is given, any of which is worthy of the true apostle in this moderll world. Would that the laity were delicately sensible of their grave .duty in the great work which can be done only through their willing and unselfish cooperation! While innumerable occasions for the lay apos- tolate present themselves in the layman's daily contact with the world, because unlike the priest he can reach many souls at the mos oppm'uue time and place, there is one form of apostolate which is within the reach of every person, nlan, wohaan or child. It is the apostolate of prayer. As much as 'the zealous priest or layman may bend all his efforts towards stren;thening and extending Christ'ss kingdom, his labors will re- main fruitless unless they bear heaven's blessing. The work of the apostolate is also conditioned thus: "Without me you can do nothing." The zeal for souls, which radiates from the Sacred Heart of Jesus and glows.in priests and religious, may not and should not become frigid at the door of the layman's heart. It mus kindle him like- wise, and find expression at least in a fervent prayer. If he cannot belong to the "ecclesia do- cens," the teaching Church, he does and must be- long to the "ecclesia orans," the praying Church. And who will say that the apostolate of the latter is of less importance than that of the former? Pray for the lay apostolate, but above all be hn apostle of prayer! E. 0-0. "HAIL FULL OF GRACE'" There is, perhaps, no dogma of our faith, un- less it be that of the Papal infallibility, more mis- understood, especially by non-Catholics, than that of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Vir- gin Mary, which was solemnly.defined by Pope Plus IX, of happy memory, on December 8, 1854. Some even absurdly imagine that it refers, not to her own Conception, but to that of her Divine Son. Before proceeding, however, to explain it, it,may be well to say a few words on this matter of difinition of dogznas. To define a dogTna like tins, is not to add a new article of faith, or, in other words, to announce a new revelation. Our faith is that the whole Christian revelation was completed durin g the lifetime, of the apostles. Not during our Lord's own ministry on earth; St. John tells us that Christ Himself said at the last supper, "i have l yet many things to say to you ;but you cannot 0ear them now" (John, xvi, 12). Nor were these I things all to be said in the forty days between His[ Resurrection and Ascension; for,, He went on to I say, as St. John informs us, that when the Spirit[ of Truth is come, He will teach you all truth. "|I Not necessarily all at once, on the day of Pente-/ cost; much might ;'emain, even after that. But ill was to be taught, or revealed, to the Apostles: religion. tends to all people of earth and on this mission is based her "catholicity"then religion to a Catho- lic can never be such a strictly private matter as the spirit of the age would wish it to be. Our Divine Founder, it is true, consecrated His apos- tles to a very specific work in His Church; they were made "other Christs" in power and authori- ty, and as such were to perpetuate His life-giving sacrifice of propitiation, His doctrine and His grace. But thereby Christ did not mean to re- lease the laity from all responsibility in advanc- ing the kingdom of God upon earth. Once these are incorporated into His mystical body, the Church, the weal 'and woe of that body as well as )f the individual members thereof must concn :'them as much as the different members of our :physical body are concerned in the well-being and .suffering of each other. Not only is this truth developed at length by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, but it is likewise based on human psychology. Psycholog- ically speaking, I am indeed "my brother's keep- .or," for the influence that either consciously or nconsciously radiates from my actions, my .:speech and character, will "always register h some l mind and heart, and direct it towards good or ,evil. Lay apostolate, therefore,, in the first.in- :stance resolves itself into the apostolate df a good, Christian example of life. Every Catholic is in this sense an apostle of Christ, inasmuch as by "his fruits he shall be known," or inasmuch as he must preach Christ crucified to the world through his example. Without this living sermon of the laity the preacihng of priests nd mission- aries is robbed of a conisderable portion of its ef- ficiency, if not left totally barren and dead. But the layman is also called to active coopera- tion in the apostolic labor of the Church. In many lines of Church activity, which are perhaps not directly spiritual but nevertheless most essential to the well-being of the Catholic body and to the spreading and strengthening of the faith, and which often the priests and Siters cannot com- pass, his direct help is indispensable. Thus, the efforts of well-informed and zealous Catholics in behalf of Catholic education, Catholic charities, Catholic missions, Catholic literature, is an incgl- ulable aid for the adva'cement of the Catholic cause.., A wealth of information and inspiration along these lines is contained in Father Gar- esche's "Social Organizations in Parishes." On "He will teach you all truth," If the divine mission of the Church ex- are the words of St. John. Not teach the world in general, or any individual Christian, in the ages to come, not even though he should De eminent for wisdom or sanc- tity; but that He, the Holy Spirit, would teach the Apostles, and others only through them. This view has evidently been accepted by mn-Catholic Christians generally, as well as by ourselves; 'or they generally have accepted the Apostolic Epis- tles,, and the Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John himself, as canonical Scripture, and as a legitimate ground of the faith. But after the death of St. John, the last survivor of the Apos- ! tles, the deposit of faith, as we call it, was closed. . It is true that Almighty God of course can, and indeed often has, given light on spiritual matters to holy souls since then; but such private revela- tions, however true and important, can never form part of the deposit of faith, no matter to whom they may be made. The Pope cannot pro- mulgate any such to be believed by the faithful; he cannot add a jot or title to the deposit of faith communicated to the Apostles themselves. What, then, does he do, when he defines any- thing as an article of faith? He simply says that it did belong to that deposit of faith. But ia making such a statement it ,has always been the rule to use extreme care. To announce a doctrine as belonging to that deposit, of which there was no trace in Scripture or tradition, would be" ex- tremely rash and entirely against the Roman cus- tom from the beginni,ng; and in fact such a thing has never been done. But sometimes it may be really necessary for such an authoritative statement that a certain doctrine actually was revealed--should be made. It is quite evidert that the Apostles did hot un- dertake to gve a complete and orderly statement of the whole deposit in their epistles. And it is also evident that tradition, however clear at the begin.ning, would become, on some points at any Christ, though cleariy a matter of conttant tradi- tion, as well as clearly contained in Scripture, was such a point. Precisely what was meant by it was somewhat uncertain. It was then neces- sary to make a formal statement, in precise terms rate, more or less vague. Even the Divinity of by p,oper authority, as to what really had been revealed to the Apostles on Christ's divinity. Ad this was done, with the Papal authority, at the Council of Nicaea. it was not a promulgation of a new doctrine, but a statement as to what the I original one had been. And there would have 10een no possible way for such a statement to be made, except by some authority to which Christ Himself had pl'omised His assistance in such cases of ne- cessity. It is plaLn that such an authority would be required. And it has never been even SUl)pos- ed to reside in any one except the successor of St. Peter in the Apostolic See of Pome, or a eounci acting in union with him. There is then no se- cure way Df keeping the deposit of faith intact, which has ever been seriously thought of, except through the means .just mmtioned. This of itself is enough to show that such is the means which God Himself has chosen. And it is sufficiently supported by our Lord's own words to St. Peter: "Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you (plural) that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail imt; and thou, being once converted, coufirm hy brethren" (Luke xxii, '}31, 32). This, then, is what was meant, in the ease of it would be simply absurd to suppose h fallible in nmtters of science, politics, or. or any other worldly matter. He takes even in governmenr of the Catholic as an earthly ruler may in t:hat of the may add up a column of figures vious; much more easily he may err in ters as those jus mentioned. And to suppose that he could not grievously, would be the heio-ht of fallibility has no relation whatever to ity. All that it means is that when he acting in his capacity as the successor as head of the Church, or as we saY, definitely to proclaim to the Church the Apolistic tradition on points concerning posil of faith," he humbly relies of the Holy Spirit which Christ ]in order to "confirm his "orerner'- n," to on words. the Immaculate Conception as in every other. On this occasion, then in 1854, l{e case where a dogma of faith is concerned--by the the Bishops to Rome, after asking, "defining" Of the dogma. It is simply the cmar enlightenment, their opinions on the statement--suggested indeed by our term "defin- sue. He appointed fasts and public ing"-- as to just what the dogma or doctrille is; obtain the special Divine light needed, combined with the assertion that it really was a the giving out in this matter of a part of the Christian revelation as communicated opinion instead'of the needed Apostolic either by our Lord Himself or by the Holy Spwit, He presented the state of the case in to the Apostles. It would be obviously areason- prepared document,, known as a Bull, able and certainly unscriptural, to expect to fincl ops assembled. Finally as their it distinctly stated in the Bible; for St. John, writ- far as could be ascertained, cord with his own, he concluded ins his Gospel last of all, tells us i its very last verse, that "there are also many other "By the authority of our Lord things which Jesus did" (John xxi, 25), nd of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, course many things also which He said, and the we declare, pronounce, and define, Epistles make no pretense of being a complete trine which holds that the Most stateman,t of the Apostolic doctrine. Mary was, in the first instant of her But we ought to find some indication of it in by a singular grace and privilege God. given on account of the the tradition handed down by Christians from the Christ the Saviour of the human race, earliest ages. And that is just what we find. imnmne from all stain of original We find, as in the words of St. Augustine, that was revealed by God, and therefore none of the early Christian writers would enter- tain the idea of sin as concerned in any way with firmly and constantly believed by all ful." Mary, from the very first moment of her exist- And though at that thne the ence. There was no doubt, and consequentFy no discussion about it; was always taken for grant- had not been definitely settled, it ed. The subject was not, like that of Our Lord's tiniversally believed, that no one Divinity, carefully analyzed, point by point. But Plus had execeded his propel' ,uthOr ' that this exemptiol from sin o1 her part extend- course, is a strong testimony to he ed not only to actual transgression of God's law, lief on this point, sufficinetly shown but also to what it called original sin, was assum- ginniig, but not solemnly defined till ed as a matter of course, hldeed the only matter the Vatican General Council in up to the time of the Reformation which had M. Searle, C. S.P. "The been a subject of argument was one which might seem to us now a small point, namely whether[ Wh t R osevelt she had been affected by original sin at the first a 0 instant, but immediately purified froln it, as St. . " John Baptist is beTieved to have been before his On Nov. 4, 1908, Theodore birth, or whether this original sin had never af- of the United States, wrote to $. fected herat all. But the former opinion was Dayton, O., answering his request nevr'regarded favorably at Rome. As Plus IX statement relative to the religious states in his Bull, there were some who, making liam H. Taft, candidate to succeed a distinction between the first and second moment in the presidency. At this time wh en asserted that the Conception was indeed celebrat- political and social life of our natio ed as Immaculate, but not for the first moment, moralized by the vicious injection But he adds: "Our Predecessors have considered issue, the words of the illustrioUS it their duty to guard and defend with all care illuminating and refreshing. The the Conception for the first moment as the true is still in possession of the man who object of our devotion." from President Roosevelt himself This may seem to us, as [ have said, rather an found reproduced ill the boqk unimportant point. It really is not so,, for the rea- ministrations," by Oscar S. StrauSs, son specially that if the stain of original sin "heel 262. We offer this extract: ever been, even for a moment, on the soul of "So much for your objections to cause he is a Unitarian. Now, for Mary, it might have left some of its consequences there, as it does With us, when we are freed from tions to him because you think it by baptism, brother to be Roman Catholics. 2, In 1854, Pope Piux IX judged that the time they are not; but if they were, or Roman Catholic himself, it ought had come for this point, the only one that could the slightest degree any man's suPP be considered as remaining in any sort of doubt the position of President. You in'the Catholic Church, should be permanently of the voters that are not Catholic settled, especially as fox' many years previously the opinion favorable to the second moment had' port a man for any office, dent of the United States, who is a ceased to be maintained, or even as it would ap- lic.' I believe that when you saY pear held by theologians f any eminence or ab!l- slnder your fellow countrymen. ity. Previous Popes, had, it is true, discouraged moment believe that the mass of it; but eve.n without that, its supporters had zens can be influenced by such been coming over, in their own minds, to the oth- to refuse to vote for any thoroughly er side. And it may be remembered, without of- fit man because he happens to have lense, as being a simple fact, that such is the tend- religious creed. Such a ency regarding doctrine in the Catholic Church, er be treated as a reason for as in the world about scientific matters. Discus- opposing a candidate for politic sion among Catholic theologians tends to agree you aware that there are ment, whereas among non-Catholic Christians, unio where the majority of the it seems obvious that it leads only to inereasing Catholics'? I should reprobate diversity. It can hardly be denied, that as far as terms the Catholics who in those this is concerned, Catholic theology looks more other states) refused to vote for the liRe atrue science than any that is found else- because he happened to be a where, cofldemnation would be. exactly as. What then, did the Pope do in 18547 Protestants who, under reversed Some, perhaps might imagine that he simply refused to vote for a Catholic .... , sat down at his desk, and just wrote a circular this republic will endure for maY: letter, saying that he had determined to decide so, there will doubtless be among finally this point; or that he merely got up in a Protestants and Catholics and pulpit and said that his opinion was perfectly some time Jews. I have clear on the question. But it is to be hoped that President to act in relation to such a misconception of what is meant by Papal cans of Catholic faith as I hope infallibility is,now taking place among the chim- Presiden who happens to be a eras of the past, and that it is generally under- towards his fellow Americans stood that the Pope is not believed by Catholics Had I followed any other course be infallible in everything that he may say or felt that I was unfit to represent write, even on matters of religion. Of course, people." I I 1