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Catholic Northwest Progress
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March 15, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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March 15, 1963
 

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4---THE PROGRESS Friday, March 15, 1963 'Must Be Experienced' here is a lot of truth in the old dic- tum, "One picture is worth ten thousand words and one experience is worth ten thousand pictures". It is espe- cially applicable to the area of religious vocations. The wonder and joy that wells up in a man's heart when he looks down into sin soiled hands and sees God cradled there; the peace and se- renity that fills his soul as he carries Christ to the sick an First Friday Com- munion calls; the warm grateful sen- sation of just being a priest that catches him unawares as he drives through the parish or walks from the sacristy; the thrill of hearing little children and old men call him "Father"--these things can never be described by all the words and pic- tures in the world. And what about being a Sister? We are not referring to the "I Leapt Over the Wall" or "Nun's Story" type of re- ligious, but to the kind of girl who taught you arithmetic and grammar in the seventh grade. Who can picture or adequately describe the happiness that fills her waking hours? Taken on the whole, priests and Sisters are happier than their married counterparts in the world. But the happiness of a woman who has given her life to God and re- ceived His Divine Son in mystical mar- riage must be experienced before it can be understood. Those of weak faith and little dar- ing cannot experience the superior joys of a supernatural life. God has reserved the gift of Himself to those who are willing to risk their lives in search of Him. Anyone who is willing to sacri- fice anything less than himself for Christ is unworthy of Divine satisfaction. The sad thing about the lack of vocations in the modern Church is not so much that the Church is being de- prived of workers  but rather that many souls are for lack of faith and courage passing up a life filled with supreme happiness here and hereafter. Perhaps it is just as well that super- natural joy cannot be previewed by words and pictures. Only those who have cour- age, generosity and faith are rewarded with Divine experience. The next time a son or daughter tells you they want to become a priest or religious don't discourage them because of your own lack of personal experience in things Divine. Original Sin Erased' By LOUIS F. BUDENZ Communist leaders to speak on their campuses--in Vir- ginia, at Brown and Yale, and on the West Coast -- is undoubtedly helping to make possible the preparation of secret Red cells, as is usual, which will prove as trouble- some to American security as any Caban schools. The Americans must come more quickly to an understand- ing of what Communism actu- ally aims for is indicated by the biggest of all present Red drives. It is the preparation of the comrades for the coming of the Communist society and the "perfectability" of man. Orig- inal sin shall be "proved" to be a superstitious fiction. No non-Communist has any idea of the thrill that electri- fies the follower of Marx and Lenin when he contemplates Khrushchev's promise at the 22nd Soviet P a r t y Congress that the Communist society will begin to exist only 17 years from now. APPILY at long last several of our lead- ing newspapers have c o m e around to an under- standing of the Sine-Soviet de- bate. Conspicu- ous among these is the Providence Journal; which has been all along heading in the other di- rection. LOUIS On March BUDENZ I, it s u r- prises us with this editorial conclusion: "Westerners need to keep in mind that in any event, whether they act in concert or discord, both Moo and Khrushchev will still con- sider themselves blood ene- mies of capitalism and will be giving top priority to ways and means d 'burying' the West." This is a salutary attitude, which could well be carried out into every other field of Then, according to the pro- relations with the Communists: g r a m of the Communist There can be no basic compro- party of the Soviet Union, there will be introduced free care of children away from their parents, free food and free medicine, free municipal transport, free public cater- ing, grants to unmarried mothers and to mothers of many children. These moves are scheduled to be followed by the gradual ending of all costs for any service or facility. Out of such a condition will come, the program says, "a new man, who will harmonious- ly combine spiritual wealth, m o r a I purity, and a perfect physique." Later we will have to look sharply into what is meant by "moral purity," since Engels and Lenin with their stand against the "bourgeois family" and L enin's great friend, Clara Zetkin, with their views for the destruction of raise with them and no trust put in them because of this, their ideology. Emboldened by the undoubt- ed fact that the United States has failed to free one segment of any captive people f r o m Soviet rule, Moscow has now embarked u p o n much wider ventures. We all know from the C.I.A. that our "victory" in Cuba has turned out to be the success for Khrushchev's "strategic re- treat" that this column said it was. The Continental Congress for Solidarity with Cuba, scheduled for mid-March, aims to strengthen the school of sedi- tior L subversion, and sabotage which now exists there. The complacency of our own universities.in permitting t h a t family present peculiar ideas on the subject. The world-wide campaign is featured by a torrent of books. Outstanding among t h e s e is "The Laws of Social Develop- ment" written by Grigory Glez- erman for the Foreign Lan- guages Publishing H o u s e of Moscow. This is a clever and sophisticated production, which aims to tear the banner of phil- osophy from the hands of re- ligion. Its purpose is to assert that dialectical materialism -- the fundamental denial of the ex- istence of God -- inevitably produces historical materialism or the economic laws of so- ciety. Out of these laws will come without fall world socialism and then the Communist so- ciety. Such is to be entered into at first by Soviet Rus- sia, but also by all the "so- cialist countries" quickly fol- lowing the Soviet lead. It is amusing to note that this promise has been constant- ly postponed. To r e a d Fred- erick Engels in his "Anti-Dueh- ring," one would think that both the "withering away of the state" and Communism were to come the day after the socialist revolution. V. M. Molotov as Soviet Premier in the late Thirties promised that Moscow would introduce Communism in five years unless war intervened. But World War II did occur. In 1939, at the Soviety Party Congress, S t a I i n said that Communism wolud come only after "the encirclement of capitalism by socialism." It will be interesting to see what excuses are given in 1980 for further postponement of this "perfect society." It may be, ironically enough, that the Sine-Soviet dispute will be the alibi. But in the meantime, un- less we grasp this goal of com- munism quickly, the West will be visited with endless disas- ters, difficulties, and defeats. u-'"- Congratulations! By REV. G. JOSEPH GUSTAFSON, S.S., Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy, St. Thomas Seminary, Kenmore T LEAST SOME good news trickles out of darkest bloody Africa from time to time, with no credit to U Thant. We have reference to an article published in The Tidings of Los Angeles many months agowhich carried a report from Msgr. Anthony Brouwers, founder and director of theLay Mission-Helpers Association in the Archdiocese. Said Msgr. Brouwers, "In most areas, the rate of conversions has been the same; in a few instances it has increased." And, again, "The Church is making the transition from Colonial Africa to free Africa without a hitch. She has remained out of politics." Msgr. Brouwers heads up a group which rep- resents one of the most interesting experiments in U. S. Church history. After a year's special training in theology, scripture, and history of the area to be missionized, his protegees pledge themselves as a gift to far-away places. The first group was assembled in March, 1955. On July 4, 1956, Cardinal Mclntyre re- ceived the solemn promises of the first six Lay Missioners. In the seventh group to be screened and trained for assignments in Africa and Latin America is included two medical doctors, a dentist, their families, nurses and teachers, a journalist and printer, a social worker and secretaries. Some 150 (our own latest figure have now taken their places in the missions. It would ap- pear reasonable to expect many, many more to follow in their apostolic ways. We are happy to take this occasion to salute Msgr. Brouwers, to congratulate his wonderful apostles, and to promise them the prayers of our readers. This most interesting experiment in U.S. Church history has now passed out of the experimental stage. --(Magdalene: Detail of the Entombment. Courtesy Seattle Public Library.) Magdalene stood curled in terror, looking down at the feet of Christ. he had been taken in the act of adultery and brought to test, perhaps disgust, this man who preached so much of love. He would not stare at her and shame her more, instead He looked at them and saw right through the ugly righteousness. He knew that she was not alone to blame for being what she had become. Every eye that ever looked at her and never saw beyond the beauty of her skin had trained her to believe that this was all there is to love. She had been taught by smiles and glances since her early youth that all the infinite loneliness of soul can be somehow satisfied with pleasure through desires of the flesh. Prostitutes are made not born. Every time that yu have looked in such a way and leered at little girls, every time you lavished praise upon a face and form as if it was the only prize of life, you trained another for adultery and for the deepest sorrow in the world. How many mothers with patient care have trained their little girls for this . . . So who in all the world can dare to cast a stone? Yet so many hurl abuse and spread a name and fame from mouth to mouth until they ring her life around so that she can in no way find escape then, trapped, they quickly stone her with their words. All these things and more Our Lord could say with just a glance, so He,,Iooked. away and stooping down was writing" " on the ground when they having heard this, went away one by one, beginning with the eldest; and he was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." She did not try to run away or hide. She stood serene and safe surrounded by a secret mystery of love she could not understand. "He questioned her: 'Woman, where are they? Hath no one condemned thee?' She replied: 'No one, Lord.' Jesus said to her: 'Neither do I condemn thee; go, henceforth sin no more.' " What is this mystery ,of love that finds response deep at the heart of all that is, for which, forsaking lust, forsaking all the loves that human hearts find dear, the lowest harlot just as quick as lovely virgin hides herself away and follows Him to pray behind a grille... Mary Magdalene would never be the same again. She followed Him no maffer where He went and gave up all to show her gratitude. "Now one of the Pharisees asked him to dine with him; so he went into the house of the Pharisee and reclined at table. And behold a woman in the town who was a sinner, upon learning that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment; and standing behind him at his feet, she began to bathe his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and an.ointed them with ointment." Magdalene was beautiful again, despite her tears, her face was radiant with joy. She paid no heed to sneers or knowing smiles for she could only see the One she loved, she could only hear His words: "Wherefore I say to you, her sins, many as they are, shall be forgiven her, because she has loved much. But he to whom little is forgiven, loves liffle." And they who are at table with him began to say... "Who is this man, who even forgives sins?" She sat back, looking up in wonder, hugging her knees and smiling as she listened to His words. He said to the woman, "Thy faith has saved thee; go in peace." A nd it came to pass afterwards, that he was journeying through towns and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. And with him were the Twelve, and certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, who is called the Magdalene, from whom seven devils had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Suzanna, and many others, who used to provide for them out of their means." Here is a life invented by Love, Love alone is its reason, it has no other meaning and needs none. Vocation is an act of Love. But could it be that in the all-possessing Providence of God no love is ever lost, that every passion and desire serves to open up a heart, perhaps with wounds, that it may open tothe spark of ecstasy and began a search to find a flame brighter than the lights that any lips can name? She followed Him and was often found with Mary, His mother. They ended up together, deep in grief, at the foot of the cross. How well she must have understood this need for agony and selfless passion to redeem the selfish passion of so many sins. She was among the last to leave the cross and first to see unveiled the glory of His victory. --Rev. Earl L.aBerge God's World: We Must Pray By REV. LEO J. TRESE E HAVE TO PRAY. It is an obligation that we cannot escape. It is not only that we as crea- tures owe obeisance to our Creator. We do. But, even more essentially, it is by prayer that we maintain our union with God and keep our soul open to the flow of His grace. Prayer is as vital to our spiritual life as his air hose is to the physical life of the deep sea diver. Nobody can say exactly when and how much we ought to pray. Certainly no day should begin without offering the day to God, and no day should end without thanking God for the graces of the day and begging His forgiveness for the sins of the day. Between these fixed points, our own spiritual needs and our own generosity towards God will help to establish our prayer schedule. It would be utter nonsense for anyone to say, "I haven't time to pray." This is a mat- ter of life or death. Time must be made for prayer, even if the daily paper must be neglected, or TV, or social activities, or recreation. We never say, "I haven't time to eat." We know that we have to eat if' we wish to continue living--and so we do. The important thing is to have a fixed and definite time for prayer. The period should be long enough for us to gather our thoughts and to allow for something more than a hasty Our Father and Hall Mary. We may be able to use some of our lunch hour for the pur- pose. We may be able to set aside some time before or after dinner. If ours is a jam- packed day, we can find time for prayer by rising a little earlier in the morning. It is important, also, to build a fence around our prayer time to protect it against tres- pass. We do this for our meal times. The dinner hour is kept as sacred as we possibly can make it. "No, not then," we say, "that's our dinner hour." When schedules grow tight, prayer never should be the first thing jettisoned. Happily, most Catholics are alert to the importance of prayer. "I have not time to pray," is not heard nearly as often as the complaint, "I just can't keep my mind on my prayers. I have so many dis- tractions." To voice such a complaint is merely to confess that we are human. The mind is more of a mischief-maker than is a child of four. Some- times, talking to God in prayer is like trying to talk to a friend on the phone when there are two or three small children in the room. We have to remind ourselves that unwanted distractions do not destroy the effectiveness of prayer. Once we have settled ourselves to pray and have fixed our gaze upon GOd with the intention of communing with Him, then no number of distractions can invalidate our prayer. Inevitably there will be times when the mind is espec- ially preoccupied. We may have to p e e k at God by fits and snatches, as we might watch a TV program when people are walking back and forth in front of the screen. It may be that at the end of ten or fifteen minutes of prayer we can only say, "Dear God, I haven't a thing to offer you except a lot of distrac- tions." Let us say it, then. God will accept the offer- ing with as much loving pleasure as if we had had Him in sight all the time. Amid the tornado of our dis- tractions, God still was there in the calm heart of the whirlwind. Fortunately, we know that prayer is not always such a struggle. If we have prayed regularly and with preserver- ence, there have been some wonderful moments when we have felt the intimate near- ness of God. We have found new courage and strength. We have gained new insights. We have seen ourselves more clearly through God's eyes. We have discerned the direction in which we should walk. It is worth a dozen distracted prayer-times to experience one such clear-eyed vision as this. Do American Churches Abuse Tax Privileges? By JOHN B. SHEERIN, C.S.P. ax exemption for churches is again under scrutiny. The Pres- byterians at their Gen- eral Assembly in May will discuss and vote on a pro- posal to seek repeal of Fed- eral tax exemption on the profits of certain church-owned businesses. The National Con- ference of Christians and Jews is also concerned about tax exemption for religious soci- eties and is studying a back- ground report. Dr. Eugene Carson Blake in 1956 told a group of Protestant leaders that more and more property is coming into church hands with every passing year. He wondered how long it would be before the United States would find itself dominated by Church wealth with the inevit- able consequence of revolution or expropriation. Studying @uestion According to the "National Observer" of February 18 Dr. Blake now heads a commission studying the tax exemption question for the National Coun- cil of Churches. The Commis- sion will present its report at the April, 1964 National Study Conference on Church-State Re- lations. When Dr. Blake first tackled the tax exemption problem in 1956 he conceded that "perhaps part of my concern is because too large a share seems to be falling into the hands of one church." I do hope that Dr. Blake's Commission will not be unmind- ful of the present amiable cli- mate of Catholic-Protestant re- lations and will not stir up controversy by focusing on the wrong angle of the question. The wrong angle would be the denial of abandonment of the traditional American principle of tax exemption for church property. Should Scruitlnize Abuses The right angle would be scrutiny of certain abuses of the venerable principle. Un- doubtedly exemption for bus- inesses and investments that have absolutely no conceivable relation to religion. The American tradition is to encourage religion by tax ex- emption and on the ground that religion contributes to the com- mon good of the community and the Republic. The National Observer quotes Rev. Dr. Emanuel C. Carlson, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, as conceding that churches re- ceive from the Government services for which they make no payment but he poses these questions: "How many more drunk- ards would there be if it weren't for the church? How much more juvenile delin- quency would you have? How much more lost time at work?" A Grave Evil? The abuse of tax exemption privileges by church bodies should be condemned but I wonder if they are grave enough to warrant the present excitement. According to the "National Observer," Dr. Blake points out the evils that may develop within a century if church tax exemption is not curbed as well as the evils that were spawned by the grow- ing wealth and property of the churches in 16th century Eng- land, 18th century France, etc. But I honestly cannot see that there is a fair parallel between the situation of an official State church in the past and a church in pluralistic America. The majority of churches here do not abuse their privilege of tax exemptions, in my opin- ion, and as for those who do abuse it, the question is: is this abuse a grave substantive evil? If it is not a grave evil, the trouble can be cured by something less than State or Federal legislation. 907 Terry Avenue, Seattle (4) Telephone MAin 2-8680 Secnd'Class Mail Privileges Authorized at Seattle, Wash. Published every Friday by the Northwest Progress Co. President, Most Reverend Thomas A. Connolly, D.D., J.C.D. REV. JAMES H. GANDRAU--Editor MARY BRESNAHAN--Associate Editor