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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
December 18, 1920     Arkansas Catholic
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December 18, 1920
 

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PAGE FOUR Published Weekly by THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY of the Diocese of Little Rock 309 WEST SECOND STREET " Entered as second-class matter March 21, 1911, at the postcfflce ,tt Little Rock, Ark., under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1879. SUBSCRIPTION PRICE. $2.00 THE YEAR CHANGE OF ADDRESS When a change of address in desired the subscriber should give both tile oM nnd the new addrcss. CORRESPONDENCE Matter intended for publication in The" Guardian should reach us not later than %Vednesday morning. Brief news eOl'l'es|)oadence is always welcome, The kindness of the clergy in this matter is cordially app reeiated. 'ery R4v. A. Stocker. O. S. B., D. D ................... Editor-in-Chief ]ev, Edward A. Flannery ......................... Contributing Editor I(cv. Gee, H. McDcrmott ............................. Manngh*l Editor All eommun:eations about "The Guardian" .houhl be addressed to the Rev. Gee. It. McDermott, 31,9 West Second Street. OFFICIAL APPROVAL The Guardian is the ,,ltlcial organ of tim diocese of Little Rock. and I pray God thut it may be an earnest ehampieh in lilt! cause of right, justice anti truth and an ardent defender of the religion which we all love so ell. I extend to it ,ny blushing witi* the sincere holm that its career may be long and prosperous, 14 JOHN B. MORRIS. Bishop of' ittle Rock. v Little Rock, Ark., December 18, 1920. OFFICIAL. COLLECTION FOR STARVING CHILDREN. Reverend and Dear Father: . This" week The Guardian is publishing a letter from the Honorable Herbert Hoover, Chairman of the European Relief Council. By reading Mr. Hoover's letter you will see how urgent is the need of the suffering and starving children of Central Europe. I know you liave been severely strained during the last few years, but as long as we have anything to give, the fellow feeling for mankind impels us to be generous even up to the point of heroic sacrifice. While I am loath to continue appealing to you, I feel that I shall not do so in vain, as long as your charity abides and the need, which is so apparent, is before you. Please do what you can to take up this collection some Sunday early in January. Meanwhile read the letter of Mr: Hoover at all the Masses on December 19th, and strengthen his points in whatever way your prudence and good will may suggest. I am also bound to remind you that the Holy Father wishes an offering to be made in behalf of the children of Central Europe on the feast of the Epiphany. Please send these collections to my secretary, Rev. John P. Fisher. " JOHN B. MORRIS, Bishop of Little Rock. J. P. Fisher, Secretary to the Bishop. O-O The purpose of the Catholic Normal School is not, as one of the local church papers imagines, to fit Catholic teachers for positions in the public schools of the State. We have our own schools and our desire to bring them to the highest point of efficiency is a sufficient explanation of the Normal Institute. If State certificates are cov- eted for our teachers, it is to convince even the skeptical that the teaching in our parochial schools is in competent hands. = O-O The same local paper is of opinion that Catholic girls have no business to apply for positions as teachers in the public schools. We take it that they have exactly the same right as anybody else. For religion cuts no figure in the public school. If for this very reason we cannot send our chil- dren there, it does not follow that Catholic young ladies who have proved their competence as teach- ers and obtained their certificate may not teach in them. Catholics pay their taxes for public schools just like everybody else. From the stand- point of the State all Catholic children have a right there, and no less have Catholics who hap- pen to have a teacher's certificate a right to apply for a position in the public schools. And tlie only legitimate test to be applied to them is the one of educational fitness. O-O ANOTHER FRIENDLY DISCUSSION WITH THE BAPTIST ADVANCE. Our attempt of explaining the Catholic doctrine of baptism to the Baptist Advance has involved ,as in new difficulties with our esteemed contem- porary. While our taste does not run along the line of religious controversy, the chivalrous spirit ,of our opponent has overcome our disinclination n this particular case. And as this discussion may bring out points of view that will be interesting to b0thCatholic and non-Catholic readers of The Guardian, we will pursue our subject. That an explanation of a Catholic doctrine raise difficulties instead of setiling doubts the mind of a Baptist isbut aatura For there the of The THE GUARDIAN, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1920. cupies our attention at present, to the effect that, "All the common ground occupied by Roman Cath- olics and Baptists could be covered by the edge of a razor." Hence it happens that what we bring in to explain one doctrine only enlarges the area of the field of controversy. Incidentally we ]nay re- mark that this is a rathe]" strange situation when we both have practically the same Bible and both believe in its divine inspiration. Should not thi fact, together with the hundreds of different de- nominations, all swearing on he same Bible, le: us to the conclusion that the Bible never-'as in- tended to be the ultimate Rule of Faith? Before we come to one or two particular diffi- culties raised by our contemporary, let us state the Catholic conception of the Church. For in this doctrine we see the fundamental difference be- I twcen us and the Baptists. Briefly told, then, the Church, according to our faith, is not a separate entity from Christ, inasmuch as it is His Body. Through the Church Christ contiimes the Incar- nation and extends His work of redemption to a; times and all places. When we hear the Chute' we hear Christ;  hen we are baptized, confirmed, absolved from our sins, ordained, it is Christ that does all these things through the sacraments which are His own actions posited by representa- tive ministers; when we receive Holy Communion we come into personal contact with Jesus; when We go to Mass we assist at an actual re-presen- tation of the world-redeeming sacrifice; when we love the Church we love Christ, for, in I. C,w. 12, 12, the Church is actually called Christ. To the earnest student of these tremendous mysteries we recommend the epistles of St. Paul, especially the one to the Ephesians. Now The Advance tells us that if John 3, 5: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," rcl'ers to baptism, there is no room for a baptism of de- sire. Let us see. As there is a physical ordec th: has its definite laws, so there is a spiritual order that has its ordinary laws likewise In either case hose laws may be stated categorically without :lualification, though the possibility remains that f3od may make an exception from His own laws in either order. Thus I may say truly, "If a m:m drawn out of a lake is dead, he cannot be quick- ened again," though I know that he might be brought to life by a miracle. Similarly, the ordi- nary way of access to the kingdom of God is lhrough the baptism of water, but there is an ex- traordinary disl:el::ation, a':. it were. A n?iraculous intervention in the spiritual order, .or those who cannot get the baptism of wa- lter. So it is,' not a jugglin,,, with words if, while referring John 3, 5 to baptism, we still claim a baptism of desire. The general principle (John 3.5) does not exclude a possible exception. But what is this baptism of desire? It is a sincere desire, frustrated by insurmountable cir- cumstances, to comply, after having complied] with all the conditions within his reach, also with f this condition of entrance into the kingdom of I God. If the person in question knows something / ,f baptism, hemust have an explicit desire for it; if he lmows nothing of baptism, an implicit desire suffices. We suppose a poor fellow who is well affected towards his God, and ready to ac- cept all of God's conditions of salvation, but who, through no fault of his ,has never heard that bap- tism is one of these conditions. Inasmuch as his heart's desire extends to all conditions, it implic- ity extends also to baptism. Thus our faith must mplicitly embrace all of God's revelation, though we may be so unfortunate as to know only a small 'ortion of it explicitly. To sum up. The ordinary way of salvation is through the Church and its sacraments, through which Christ is carrying out His redemption of he world. And this way is imperative for all those who know that this is Ced's way. In the case of ,hose who do not know of this way, Christ's re- -leeming love accepts the sincere yearning of their hearts, which is in itself an effect of His grace, of giving God the best service they are capable of. "God is no respecter of persons. But in every na- tion he that feareth him, and worketh righteous- e3s, is acceptable to him." (Acts 10, 34-35). S. .... 0-0 A NEW DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. By an Encyclical of October 5 Pope Benedict has declared St. Ephraem, the Syrmn, a Doctor I ff the Universal Church. This great teacher ell he Oriental Chnrch is not a yew light that ha recently risen on the firmament of the Church. For he lived in the fourth century of the Chris- ion era. His writirgs have long been a source o  iiffht l'c..h ic he Fast ad in the West. The ac- e.ion of the Holy Father has simply bestowed the highest official recofition that can be given to a ':cacher in the Church of God. If we compare the Fathers of the Churc', with the Doctors of the Church they have the common recessavy requisite of sanctity. To be a Father of-,the Church, however, the saint must have lived in the earlier centuries of the Church. St. Bernard, who lived in the 12th century, is gen- arally considered the last Fathei, of the Church. While then a Father must have the distinction of antiquity, a Doctor must be distinguished by emi- latest the Church. iS St. A1 died nmn We are sure that there will be no new Fathers, Though his task seemed to end when but some Doctors may not have been born as yet.'began His work the spirit of the Ba From the foregoing we conclude that St. lsion was destined to abide. The man Ephraem is both a Father and a Doctor of the rotfice he filled remained, for wfiile the Church. He has sanctity, antiquity, and eminent tinues to celebrate the birth of the learning. He has, besides, two characteristics which, among all Doctors of the Chu'ch are pecu- liarly his own. First, his writings are in the Sy- riac language, which is very closely akin to the Ara'rnaic spoken in Palestine at the time of Christ, while the other Doctors wrote either in Greek or Latin. St. Alphonsus wrote much in Italian, but got his title of Doctor principally for his great Latin Moral TheologT. St. Francis de Sales is the only one among the Doctors who used almost ex- clusively a modern language, the Frendh. The other characteristic of St. Ephraem is that he was only a deacon, while all the rest were either bish- ops or priests. The writings of St. Ephraem, says the Pope in his encyclical, comprise almost the whole doc- trine of the Church; there are commentaries on the Scriptures, on the mysteries of.faith, sermons about the Christian duties and the interior life, hymns for the feasts of our Lord, the Blessed Vir- gin Mary and the Saints, for Lent and the Roga- tion days, and for funerals. In all of them we per- leive the radiation of a most candid soul which may be truly styled a burning and shining light of the gospel, presenting the truth in such a manner that we are induced to love and follow it. St. Je- rome testifies that already in his time the writ- ings of our Doctor were publicly read in the churches, and that he recognized "the acumen of his sublime genius even in the translation." The Holy Father uses the occasion of draw- ing, in the course of his encyclical, some lessons from the life and writings of the new Doctor of the Church. The saint was a poet a.nd musician. According to the church historian Sozomen he wrote some three million verses. Now as heretics used these two arts of music and poetry to make their conventicles attractive, St. Ephraem, the "Cithara of the Holy Spirit," offset their strata- gems by using the same means with superior skil to lure souls and keep them riveted to the Church. This is a lesson for all pastors to make the church services as attractive as zeal and circumstances permit. Their main assistants are active altar .;ocieties and interested church choirs. The apostolic zeal of St. Ephraem, continues the Pope, is especially needed in our time, when, after the world war, it is incumbent on us to re- establish in Christ whatever is left of human civilization, and to recall society gone astray tc God and to God's holy Church. "May all those whose office in the Church it is to instruct others press in the footsteps of St. Ephraem, and learn from him how diligently and how assiduously they will be necessary to prepare men for; memoration of that event in the John sought to make ready the Jewish the reception of the same Redeemer. ance he preached and the virtues of stands as an example must be feast is to be worthily celebrated. reason why the Church centers our the Baptist during the Advent The life of John the Baptist, ingly out of touch with our time and admirably adapted to teach us lessons we stand sorely in need. To our thirty years he spent in the desert nmch time wasted. We are impatient results in very short order, so that understand why so many years were of a life without any seeming career for which John was intended. count the days of his public ministry that he labored and preached scarcely. years. Thirty years of preparation short labor, appears a woeful waste of to build a disproportionate entrance snmll building. Yet the designs of Whom a thousand years are as but do not fit into man's restricted view. limity of John's calling--the greatest ever given to man demanded such ness in the incumbent that thirty sacrcely enough to fit a sou] for the cation. From which we may infer God tries us with apparently when our hopes are deferred, our plans our fondest wishes set at naught, He fying our souls to carry out a divine which He will assign us later in life. The humility of John contrasts the boastful spirit which holds us in: vanity. So little was actually known pie at lal'ge as to the character of whom they expected that most of were under the impression that John the Saviour. So widespread was the and so deeply was it rooted that if J he might have deceived the people the homage they would tender. In were so persuaded that with linquished the thought that if he Messiah at least he must be elm of prophets come back to life. If had so desired, though he ]night not sonated Christ, he might have should engage in preaching the doctrine of Christ credulity of the crowd and accrued for there is neither stability nor spiritual P rc P:2hl e taii;:Pe:" r eI n etde hf o n o r in the piety of the faithful unless it be firmly ,, , ap .... p ,  : grounded in the mysteries and precepts of the[;::': ']:;: vn;n:ei thl:Sfld:r:;:2e  faith. , " ........... l a breath ,hotbreaks on the ear for wonKs- O0. are o marn somemmg rom me ..... . , , .... Idles ]n the distance and s lost to b* Anchorite of Edessa, VlZ., that they will be me Institute again the contrast betw, more useful to the Church the ,eer tney repre- , ....... o .... ............ _ ..... rune numiJky ann ne ,pirk ot me t sent oeo]'e uou ann men wnat mew nao]t SlgTI1- .. . ....... r mos o us nan sucn a emptauon ties. The monk, according to an old saying of th Oriental Fathers, should be a "filius pac ' (which interpi'eted from the oriental into our idioha would mean a "keeper of his covenant"), and "an angel whose business is mercy and peace and the sacrifice of praise." Finaliy--for it is impossible to give a com- p'lete review of the document which comprises fourteen pages of the Acts apostolicae Sedis--the fact that the new Doctor is from the Orient sug- gests the ardent wish and prayer to the Holy Father that the age-long rift between the East and the West may be healed, and that all the Oriental Christians may be imbued with that low end devotion to the Apostolic See for which St Ephraem was so distinguished. We c:ose ,with one St. Ephraem's hymns in which he introduces the Lord Jesus addressing Ills first Vicar on earth in the following manner: "Simon, my disciple, have made you the foundation of my holy Church, I have called you rock before that you might sus- tain my whole edifice. You are the inspector ol those who build me the Church on earth. If they want to build wrongly: I have placed you as the foundation, restrain them. You are the head o he fountain from which my doctrine is drawn, you are the head of my disciples, through yo- kvill quench the thirst of all the nations .... The 'cy of my kingdom l have iven you, and be- hold! I am setting you as chief over all my treas- ures." S. o-o THE BAPTIST. During the Advent-season the Church gives prominent place to the figure of John the Baptist. In prison John sev.ds messengers to inquire from Chrir.g information that will set their minds at re=t corcerning the mission of the Saviour. In are,her Advent gospel Christ pays that wonder- ful tribute to His precurser, calling him the ,oTeatest of thozh born from woman. It is net by accident that the figure of the austere forerurner of the Lord is presented to our view during the days that precede the festival of The function of John was to pre- the for the oommg- of the us it is to be feared that we might] the proffered praise and added some own to the general laudation. Then his valiant defence of virtue of the strongest enmity that could be against him. We begin to see why among the wild blasts of the desert: years when we hear him thunder accusations against Herod, the ruler That needed courage of su John's training made him God's occasion. It was easy enough to from the wrath of the king. hve blinded his eye to the monarch. He could have can:led on saving the lower classes and have Herod unrebuked to lose his that was not the character of the that flagrant scandal was a the path of virtue John would not:". Though he was well aware that he of personal injury he would not keeP pounded at the door of Herod's until there was no alternative for the arch. He must silence John or ways. As he was not ready for the he cast John into prison from which ing pac.=ion of a gui:ty v, oman him to come forth alive. IIow different ap;ain from the present is this fearless conduct of Easy enough to correct the lowly evil of the l.owly sort; but the world is rather quiet when it is a cusingthe ri/:h, the powerful and llace. The consequence is that the  the world grows lax. When we to the evil of those who rule and. sins of those above us, it is a shorf our respect for the virtue of open despisers. We must hate sin, .ommits it and we must call it by ro matter where it is committed. o suffer for our boldness, but we to suffer with John and be who are called by Christ