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December 20, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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December 20, 1963

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,4---THE PROGRESS Friday, Dec. 20, 1963 Signs and Seers 1 own through the ages, God has I , always communicated with men through signs. There was the tree of good and evil, the flood, the burning bush, the plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea, the tumbling walls of Jericho. But signs must be read carefully or their meaning is lost. The Father kept sending signs for thousands of years, but fallen man never really understood the message. Finally, God came Himself in Person so that there could be no mis- understanding. And, as is the Divine custom, the Father gave many signs to let the world know where His Son could be [ound--A beautiful star more brilli- ant than a miUion neon lights pointed out the way. Angels announced the good news to shepherds on the hill- side with joyous words." "A saviour has been born to you who is Christ the Lord and this shall be a sign to you: You will find an infant wrap- ped in swaddling clothes and lying in )a " a 1 l Hger. A miraculous star, an Infant and a manger were signs that God had come to earth. But all this happened a long time ago. How many generations have come and gone since the angels sang and shepherds adored the First-Born of a Virgin? How many are there today who have never heard of that star or understood the nature of the Babe asleep in the manger? What has gone wrong? Why are there no more signs, has God run out of signposts? Has He given up on modern man, lost interest in the human race? We know such questions border on blasphemy, but still the ques- tion persists: "Why is there no star, or angel or visit of the Magi to tell our generation that Christ was born on Christmas Day?" How foolish we are, for the world is filled with signs this Christ- mas if only we know where to look. Perhaps the signs are so numerous and obvious that we miss them. Even at this moment, press, radio and television are nnouncing good news which is, in a way, as joyous, as mar- velous and as significant as that re- ported by heavenly messengers. "Pope Paul VI to visit Holy Land during Orthodox Christmas." To some, this is just another headline, as the bright light of Bethlehem was just another star. But to men of faith and good will, this statement has Divine significance. It tells the world, if only it will listen, that that Babe called "Jesus" Who was born 1,900 years ago, must indeed be the Son of God, and Paul VI must likewise be His messenger. or what human institution could with- stand the scars, the erosions, the heresies and schisms of 20 centuries and still survive? Yet, the Christianity which Paul represents has so survived. His Church has buried kings and dynasties, presidents and governments. She has sur- vived corruption from within and assault from without. By all things human, She herself should have died at least a thou- sand years ago, and yet that Church lives on and on. This Christmas, after 1,900 years have passed, the 263rd ambassador of the Infant born on Christmas Day, re- turns to Bethlehem and the whole world is influenced by his coming. There are no lack of signs this Christmas--only a lack of seers. Wise Men God&apos;s World: He "l//BI - Speaks to Each of Us f . .  By REV. LEO J. TRESE ' .  IN the dark of the first  t Christmas morning, the Pessimism About, 'ouncil By REV. JOHN B. SHEERIN, C.S.P. N the closing days of Church ever so aware of her- to vote as he wanted them to the second session of self, so in love with Christ, vote. the Council, the pessi- so blessed, so united, so willing Secondly, he undoubtedly felt to imitate Him, so ready to that Religious Liberty and the shepherds showed a re- markable responsiveness to God's invitation. "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made i known to us," they said; and i hastened off to seek their new- i" :ii born Savior. As we meditate on this pas- : 5 sage, we scarcely can escape a feeling of shame at our own : sluggishness in responding to the urgings of God's voice within us. Because, let us make no mistake, God does speak to each of us, time and time again. True, He does not speak to us through a visible emissary as He spoke to the shepherds. That was a special message which God wanted all the world to hear. For His personal com- munications to you and to me, God does not set the night sky on fire. Gently and softly He intimates to our mind and heart His will for us. A thought forms, "I really ought to do thus and so." An impulse stirs, "I must do it. I shall." Voice of God This, let us remember, is a reality of spiritual life. It is not mere poetic imagery. The term, "voice of God," is a met- aphor, admittedly, since God has no vocal cords. But God's communication with the indi- vidual soul is not a metaphor; it is what we commonly term an inspiration of grace. These inspirations of grace are a necessary consequence of God's infinite love for us. FATHER TRESE must find in our lives some. quiet moments for God. We must "go into the hill country" from time to time where, in peace and quietude, God's voice can be heard--the inspirations of grace can rise to the sur- face of consciousness. This is a time when we just look at God. Without prayer book or rosary beads we just look at God--and listen. If we make an annual re- treat, we know that this is an ideal time for sharpening the ears of the soul. However, once a year is not enough-- and once a day is not too often. An excellent time and place for this attentiveness to God is the empty church; perhaps five or ten minutes on our way home from work, or at least after Mass on Sun- day. Our own room at home can (Act of October 23, 1962; Section 4369, Title 39, United States Cede) 1. Date of filing: November 8, 1963. 2. Title of publication: The Catholic Northwest Progress. --= 3. Frequency of publication: Weekly. 4. Location of known office of publication: (Street, city, county, state, zip code): News i ublishing Co., 2312 3rd Ave., Seattle, King County, Washington, 98121. 5. Location of the headquarters or general business offices of the publishers (Not printers): 907 Terry Avenue, Seattle, King County, Washington, 98104. 6. Names and addresses of publisher, editor, and managing editor: . Publisher (Name and address): Most Reverend Thomas A. Connolly, D.D., J.C.D., 907 Terry Avenue. Editor (Name and address): Reverend James H. Gandrau, 907 Terry Avenue. Managing editor (Name and address): Reverend James H. Gandrau, 907 Terry := Avenue. ...... i 7. Owner (If owned by a corporation, its name and address must be stated and also immediately thereunder the names and addresses of stockholders owning or holding 1 _=- cent or more of total amount of stock. If not owned by a corporation, the names and addresses of the individual owners must be given. If owned by a partnership or other unincorporated firm, its name and address, as well as that of each individual must be i given): The Catholic Northwest Progress Company, 907 Terry Avenue, Seattle, Wash., = -=_= 98104. There are no stockholders. =--: 8. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities (If there are none, so state): There are none. 9. Paragraphs 7 and 8 include, in cases where the stockholder or security holder i appears upon the books of the company as trustee or in any other fiduciary relation, the _ name of the person or corporation for whom such trustee is acting, also the statements in the two paragraphs show the affiant's full knowledge and belief as to the circumstances and conditions under which stockholders and security holders who do not appear upon the books of the company, as trustees, hold stock and securities in a capacity other than that of a bona fide owner. Names and addresses of individuals who are stockholders of a corporation === which itself is a stockholder or holder of bonds, mortgages or other securities of the pub- lishing corporation have been included in paragraphs 7 and 8 when the interests of such individuals are equivalent to 1 percent or more of the total amount of the stock or securities of the publishing corporation. 10. This item must be completed for all publications except those which do not carry --= . advertising other than the publisher's own and which are named in Sections 132.231, - and complained that the Coun- cil was e n d i n g in disaster. __-=-=_ They claimed that the Pope had switched sides and was =--= now in the camp of the reac- - tionaries and that he was plan- terminate the whole ning to i Council. - The powerful minority in the _=-= Theological Commission, ac- cording to the calamity howl- --= ers, had prevailed upon the - Pope to take no action with =-= regard to the statement on the Jews or the chapter on Reli- gious Liberty. And so the Pope, frightened by the possibility of schism and the =-= plight of the i Italian govern- ment, had de- _ cided to put - an end to the -===_ theological "opening to ==== the left" as ==- well as to the political aper- tura. Now we find - that same pes- simism coming FR. SHEERIN ==:= out in some -== of the press summaries of the session. Time, in its December 6 issue, paints a grim picture of the "disappointing record" of the session and even blames Pope Paul for the failure. It -= quotes him as saying to a visi- - "I -: tor, fear that the Bishops fulfill His mission?" Council Record The record of the second session is far from disappoint- ing. The Bishops approved by a vote of 2,158 to 19 the Liturgy schema, which calls for a thor- ough and radical reform of the whole liturgy. The Holy Father then ratified and promulgated the schema. Secondly, the Bishops, by an overwhelming majority, declared themselves in favor of the collegiality of Bishops and instructed the Theological commission to prepare a schema that would embody the main principles of collegi. ality. It is true that a minor- ity in the Theological Com- mission has been dragging its feet in this matter but they can obstruct only temporar- ily. Eventually the majority in the Commission must win out over the minority. Again, the vote on the Ecu- menism schema has not yet been taken but there is no ques- tion about the mind of the Bishops. They voted 1,996 to 86 to accept the schema as a working basis for discussion and I have no doubt whatso- ever as to the eventual approv- al of the schema in its final form. It is true that Pope Paul did not mention Religious Liberty or the Jews or even 132.232, and 132.233, Postal Manual (Sections 4355a, 4355b, and 4356 of Title 39, United States Cede): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Single 'Issue Nearest Preceding Plllng Date 12 Months To a. Total Number Copies Printed (Net Press Run) ........... 39,745 37,131 b. Paid Circulation: = 1. To term subscribers by mail, carrier delivery or by other means .......................................... 37,541 35,314 2. Sales through agents, news dealers, or otherwise ...... 900 :' 900 i c. F'ree Distribution (including samples) by Mail Carrier, or by Other Means ..................................... 702 702 .--=_ d. Total No. Copies Distributed (sum of lines B1, B2 and C) 39,143 36,916 I certify that the statements made by me above or correct and complete. (Signature of editor, publisher, business manager, or owner). h i - Editor. =-= are rushing toward the brink collegiality by name in his of schism." closing talk December 4. But :-=- As to the Pope's suspicion if he had done so, he would . about the faith of the Bishops, be accused of influencing the we might consult the line in mind of the Bishops in mat- | his losing talk December 4 in ters on which they had not | which he says, "Let us rejoice, yet voted. In other words, my Brothers, for when was the that he was pressuring them Jews are two topics that need more prolonged discussion be- fore the Bishops will be in a position to vote on them. Reassuring Words On these two topics Cardinal Bea had some reassuring words in his talk December 2 in which he said that we can be grateful that a hasty vote was not taken on these very important subjects. Moreover, he assured the Council Fathers that the two chapters would definitelybe discussed at the next session. "What is put off," said the Cardinal, "is not to put away." When Religious Liber- ty, for instance, is up for a vote next session, it will cer- tainly be approved. Bishop DeSmedt, in introducing the schema at the second session, received more applause than any other speaker at the sec- ond session. Is there danger that a per- verse minority may frustrate the will of the Bishops be- tween now and the third ses- sion? I think Pope Paul has eliminated any fear on that score by saying in his clos- ing discourse that the Com- missions will prepare the schema for the next session "in accordance with the mind of the Fathers as expressed especially in the g e n e r a 1 congregations." Yes, there is a powerful mi- nority opposing aggiornamento but I think of no more effec- tive way to help them and to betray Pope John than to give way to pessimism about the next session. Father ]ames H. Gandrau and The Progress staff wish all its readers and advertisers God's choicest Blessings this Christmas. May the : Infant Son of God fill your soul with that peace and joy which He alone can give. A Beautiful M nd By REV. G. JOSEPH GUSTAFSON, S.S., Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy, St. Thomas Seminary, Kenmore ope Plus XII has in the last year been the object of a theatrical and utterly cheap melo- dramatic smear. You have probably read some- thing of all this. To our mind, this Pope will always remain a hero, untarnished by gossip and mere ignorance, or worse (in our book) vapid sentimentality. Your "sentimentalist" always wants to "love" something, as if he really knew that love means duty. It doesn't matter whether it's the celebrated blanket of our friend Peanuts (who can be enjoyed) or the inscrutable sanctity of "deah little animals subjected to (oh my deah!) utter horrors in labor- atories of research men." One utterly, but utter- ly, loves something. But, curiously, one does not love unborn children. And one is passively indifferent to the suffering peoples of the world. In a higher and to us nutty new morality, one only wants to see that there should be fewer people. As if He simply will not leave us to flounder about by ourselves. Some day, in heaven, we shall see in its fullness the part that God has had in our lives. We may be humbled then to discover how few of our thoughts and resolutions have sprung spontaneously from ourselves. The sad thing is that God speaks to us much oftener than we hear Him. One reason for this is that sometimes we do not want to hear Him. We are afraid that what God is trying to say may cost us something in the way of sacrifice. We ig- nore God's voice, as a small child wilt ignore his mother's call to dinner or to bed. More often, perhaps, God cannot make Himself heard be- cause His voice cannot pene- trate the noise of our activity. Inspirations of grace usually are very low-keyed. We have to listen for them. It is notable that the only denizens of Beth- lehem who heard the angels on Christmas morning were the shepherds, secluded and silent under the stars. Quiet Moments For spiritual health and prog- ress we must, we absolutely be a citadel of quiet, too. There, with door shut, we can sit and !ook at the crucifix and say, with the child Samuel, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth." There will be times, almost certainly, when nothing happens, when God seems si- lent; but it is worth many such periods of silence to be alert and listening when God does speak. Our Own Search On Christmas we shall fol- low the shepherds in spirit as they hasten to Bethlehem in search of their Savior. We, each of us, have our own journey to make, the journey to our own Bethlehem, our own search for Christ, our own discovery of our part in God's plan. It is only on such journey- mg and in such seeking that we shall find security, peace of mind and happiness. Our journey is longer than that of the shepherds. It stretches through years, and the route is not quite the same for any two of us. Somehow we must manage to listen to God's voice; we must learn from Him the next step on the way. But For That Holy Baby Boy I wonder how the world would be If there'd never been a Christmas Tree A Christmas tree with lights so bright That light the starry winter night, '.4 Christmas tree with dolls and toys For eager little girls and boys. We'd have no tree on Christmas morn If Jesus Christ had not been born. No lights, no gifts, no toys, no joy But for that Holy Baby Boy. existence is the evil and not the way in which people may actually exist. A long digression. We leave it in after re- I wonder how the world would be IVere it not for Christianity This doctrine stands for love and right And not for hatred, swords or might. A doctrine full of hope so bright That even sinners find the light. Our world would be with slavery torn I/]esus Christ had not been born. No hope, No freedom, to enjoy But for that Holy Baby Boy. Ann Louise Applegate reading this stuff. As for Pius XII, whom we hope to see.. ..."_''@:'[/1/.."  1 ..... .   - "< .x,,\\; ...... (,-" "': .-:-'L--'-'- beatff!ed before we end our winter of d,s -"'1'1 P' content, he was, above all, a beautiful mind JId&ILILIlIJ.UtlEIU{ 11- .......... . 't_ He was the spiritual her of the magnihcent ',-.,,-f--"'-- Leo XIII. He wrote sublime encyclicals. He made magnificent addresses to all the groups he spoke to--whether the subject was athletics or the age of the universe. His rather technical encyclical "Humani Generis" has, to our lesser mind, both put the finger on the troubles which besiege the in- tellectual Catholic or non-Catholic world to- day and pointed the way to their solution. It is an intellectual joy and consolation to us to have lived in the possibly now dead era of a Plus XII. No tawdry play on New York's Broadway can change such facts of history. 907 Terry Avenue, Seattle 98104 Telephone MAin 2-8880 Second-Class Mail Privileges Authorized at Seattle, Wash. Published every Friday by the Catholic Northwest Progress Co. President, Most Reverend Thomas A. Connolly, D.D., J.C.D. REV. JAMES H. GANDRAU--Editor MARY BRESNAHAN--Associate Editor