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November 3, 1961     The Observer
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November 3, 1961
 

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By FATHER JOHN RYAN / WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE JEWISH FEAST OF THE PASSOVER? It is the first of the great feasts of the Jewish dispensation which commemorates a very important event in the history of the Jews as recorded in the 12th chapter of the Book of Exodus. The Jews were suffering in their Egyptian captivity. The Lord promised them delivery'through Moses. As a punish- ment on the Egyptians, He "passed over" their houses and slew every first-horn in the land. As a reward to His chosen people, He then freed them from their slavery and di- rected their escape from captivity under the leadership of Moses and his brother Aaron. In gratitude for this great favor, the Jews were to sanctify the first-born of all the chil- dren of Israel and dedicate them to God. In addition, the Feast of the Passover was established as an observance of thanksgiv- ing, to be celebrated every year on the 14th day of the lunar month Nisan. As you know, Our Divine Savior terminated the meaningful celebration of this practice by converting it into the new Feast of Thanksgiving, the establishment of the Eucharist. On the occasion of His observance of this old feast, He ful- filled His promise to give His Flesh and Blood for the life of the world by using the bread and wine of the Passover feast as the means of giving us His Flesh and Blood, the night be- fore He sacrificed Himself on the Cross for our sins. A PERSON TAKES SMALL THINGS THAT DO NOT BE- LONG TO HIM. IS HE DOING RIGHT IN RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION? Thefts of small amounts are ordinarily only venial sins. One who takes small amounts over a considerable period of time, however, may become guilty of sin if and when the small amounts add up to a large sum. This could happen in two ways. First, one might intend at the very outset to take a large sum of money and plan to distribute the large sum over a long period of time. Secondly, the sums taken might be so closely related within a given period of time as to add up to the amount of a serious sin even regardless of the initial in- tention of the one who took them. The possibility of repeated thefts coalescing into a large amount must never be over- looked. In any event, a person who steals commits sin, be it mortal or venial. If his sin is venial, he does not lose the state of grace, as he does when he commits a mortal sin. It is not wrong to receive Holy Communion when one is in the state of grace, even if one has venial sins on his soul for which sorrow has not been elicited. We should not attempt to pass judgment on any one else in matters of this kind. We should always as- sume that a person who receives Holy Communion does so with the right intention and that he has disposed himself pro- perly for the reception of the Blessed Sacrament. Only within the tribunal of the sacrament of Penance should judgment be passed on a matter of this kind. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE EXPRESSION, "CHARITY COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SIN?" In popular usage charity is frequently identified with alms- giving. Within the framework of this very narrow and limited conception of charity, the above words of St. Peter (1 Peter 3, 8) evoke in the minds of some the odious image of "cash on the barter' salvation. It would appear, they argue, that the Prince ~f the Apostles is preaching in effect that one can buy through his alms both the "right" to sin and the "deed" to heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth. Charity is more than a matter of giving alms. "If I distributed all my goods to feed the poor yet do not have charity it profits me nothing" (1 Cor. 13, 3). Charity is love; the love which unites us to God and to all of God's creation; the love which moves us to give to the poor. Charity is a mystery because God is Charity. St. John shows forth the heart of this mystery in his First Epistle: "Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God. And everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God. He who does not love God does not know God; for God is love. In this has the love of God been shown in our ease, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we may live through Him. In this is the love, not that we have loved God, but that He has first loved us, and sent His Sen, a propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God has so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 St. John 4, 7). Nor should we confuse charity with sentimentalism. "In this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and do His commandments. For this is the love of GOd, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome" (1 St. John 5; 2, 3). Charity covers a multitude of sins. In a few simple words St. Peter tells us that if we have true love for our neighbor we will be willing to pass over their sins in silence; not to speak about them; to forget them. Moreover, our own sins will be consumed within the flame of love that we have' for God and our neighbor. IS THERE A CONCORDAT BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND THE UNITED STATES? A concordat is an agreement between the pope and the civil authority of a country regarding the relationship between Church and state. It is designed to avoid conflict in matters which may concern the jurisdiction of both parties. The harmonious relations between the Church and state in this country have excluded the need for agreement by treaty. "k * * Queries for "QUESTIONS YOU ASK" should be sent to: Father John Ryan, St. Joseph rectory, Lena, Ill. It is not necessary to sign your name unless you wish a personal reply. However, Father Ryan reserves the right not to use unsigned questions. Let Christians leave off thinking of the incarnation as a thing past, or a figure of speech, and learn to know that it con- sists for them in their becoming the intimately and humanly beloved of a divine and yet human Lover; and His local para- dise and heaven of heavens. --Coventry Patmore Vol. XVI, No. 44 ~ 1 November 3, 1961 THE MOST REVEREND LORAS T. LANE Publisher THE REVEREND ARTHUR J. O'NEILL Managing Editor MARJORIE GALLAGHER Women's Page Editor ROBERTWILLEMS News Editor BEULAHO'MEARA Business ROBERTJ. S'[ARR Advertising ANN BERTOLASI Circulation The Observer, published weekly at 1060 W. Stephenson St Freeport, Illinois, is the official newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford. Second class postage paid at Freeport Illinois. Subscriptions $4.00 per year prepaid in the United States ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE OBSERVER, 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREET. ROCKFORD ILLINOIS POSTMAST : *aL d f.rm 3S. to th. OBSERVER, 1260 North Church Street, Rockford, Illinois. .e I ions Jt The recent decision of the Communist Congress in Moscow to remove the body of Josef V. Stalin from its honored shrine near Lenin is a macabre act which has strong overtones of the ridiculous. It gives a vivid example of the inexplicable work- ings of the Communist mind. Stalin has been dead for only eight years. Since that time millions of devotees have trudged past the mummified form of their idol. To debunk a national hero is always a difficult job even for those most expert in propaganda. Once the people are sold, rightly or wrongly, on the importance of a personage, the image has a way of perduring. In this case of the removal of Stalin's body and the concomitant vilification of the man, we have the strange situation that the present debunkers were the former salesmen. A few years intervene - between the operations. This could happen only under Communism which specializes in thought control. Stalin of course was an arch criminal. He was responsible for the mass purges and other crimes which are now brought to light in the Communist Congress. For this his embalmed remains are taken from the Lenin mausoleum and placed in an obscure corner of the Kremlin wall. Of those who were close to Stalin, Beria is now dead. Ma- lenkov and Molitov are in virtual exile and will probably be liquidated in the near future. One of the close collaborators continues--Khrushchev. Is someone now writing the dethroning speech for him? The implications of the removal oI Stalin's body are veighty ones. Stalin, it seems still holds sway over the minds of many in the Communist world. This is a threat to the personality cult of Khrushchev. The internal struggle for power are well guarded secrets. But now and then strong evidence of a continuing struggle for power asserts itself. The reburial of Stalin is one of those situa- tions. The workings of the Communist mind are not subject to analysis by any standards which we know. There is in their language no such thing as consistency or recognition of absolute truth. Stalin once a hero is now a traitor. In their system there is an unending struggle between opposites. It is called the dialectic. This exists even within their own closely guarded party. The incident of the vilification of Stalin is an- other source of hope for the world that Commu- nism has within itself the seed of its own destruc- tion. Someday Khrushchev will be buried next to Lenin; someday he will be removed. Perhaps someday Lenin himself will removed. What will remain on which to build the system? for November is the month which the Church dedi- cates to special emphasis on the ancient Christian practice of praying for the dead. This practice, sacred to Catholics, is based on sound and rea- sonable doctrine. It is intimately connected with the whole truth of God's revelation to man. It is a definite Catholic belief that after the forgiveness of sin there remains the temporal punishment due to sin. Very few people outside the Catholic Church have any notion of this after-effect of sin. Yet this is the key to our belief in prayers for the dead. , Given the fact of personal sin--Man must seek reconciliation with God. After the forgiveness of sin there is a need to perform some act of expia- tion which will, so to speak, restore the balance in the reasonable use of God's gift. Sin after all is always a misuse of some God-given ability / whether it be speech, thought, the power of pro- creation or the right to use the fruits of the earth, Some see in this belief akind of detraction from the infinite power of the redemption. If Christ had not redeemed the world it would be impossible for the sinner to be reconciled with God. Through the redemption, the sinner is able to be restored to God's friendship--indeed to receive the new life of God through Baptism. Forgiveness of personal sin means the restoration of this God-life, grace. It means a return to God's friendship--God's accep- tance of man's apology. But there remains the fact that the sin has been a misuse of a gift. This requires some kind of personal retribution. By redeeming us Christ did not take away our free- dom or our resPonsibility. The sinless man who keeps his Baptismal innocence would not have this problem of readjustment. Not so the sinner who has abused God's gifts of nature and grace. The justice of God requires that the sinner do personal penance for his past sins. This teaches him the folly of sinning and should help him avoid the same mistakes in the future. Through the saving blood of Christ, the guilt of man's sin is removed and friendship restored. But man is responsible to make up for his, past per- sonal sins. This in keeping with man's make-up and with God's justice. Man remains free but al- ways responsible. If he sins, he needs forgiveness. This is given by the mercy of God. After forgive- ness, he has a debt which would not exist if he had not sinned. This is required by the justice of God. What if during his mortal life man fails to pay this personal debt? The mercy of God has pro- vided that he may do so in the next life in that condition of soul known as Purgatory. God in His mercy has also provided that the prayers and good works of those yet on earth may be given for the soul detained in Purgatory. / I I I I I .[ Ill I n i n lUll n I n" i IiiIIh ] [ I II I SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM I I I i I I I IIIli Ill I I I I I I I L I "NO OBSTACLES ARE BEING PUT OR WILL EVER BE PUT BEFORE ANYONE WHO WANTS CHILD TO RECEIVE REL OUS H STRUCTDN" "HOBWASH !" I I?II II I I I I I A paradox is a statement that seems to contain two conflicting ideas. It looks like a contradic- tion but when the meaning of the words are understood, both ideas are seen to be true and valid. For instance, this encyclical "Christianity and Social Pro- gress" tells you everything about working condi- tions and at the same time it says nothing about working conditions. It lays a, pro- per foundation for every collec- tive bargaining contract, yet it mentions collec- tive bargaining only once in one short sentence. It is global inI outlook but it can't solve a single grievance ifi your plant. Tells Everything This encyclical tells you every- thing about working conditions. That statement is true because it lays down a broad foundation upon which sound human and hu- mane relations must be built if we are to have a truly human so- ciety. It does not go into detail as to what the working conditions should be in any particular plant or industry. But you can practi- cally build up a whole industrial philosophy from any one of the social principles that it presents. For instance, just as an example, let's take the truth first dnunciat- ed by Leo XIII in 1891 and again today reiterated by pope John, which employers in every age have found it difficult to remem- ber. It is the simple statement of fact, "the worker is not a com- modity." Employee Something Distinct An employer, faced with that truth, and accepting it is im- mediately compelled to think of his employee as something dis- tinct, something different from the machines he owns, the produc- tion he plans, the profit he hopes for. When the thought is carried to In FATHER WILLIAM SMITH, S.J. its logical conclusion, the realiza- tion of the dignity of every indi- vidual human being, regardless of race, color, or social condition, compels the employer to recognize the fact that he is dealing with an equal. He and his employee, each en- dowed with an immortal soul and made to the image of a Divine Creator, will differ in their per- sonality traits, their skills and tal- ents, their role and function in in- dustrial life and perhaps in the so- cial prestige that men around them may give to various occupa- tions and vocations. Basically and fundamentally, however, the rights that each enjoys, as they share the common note of human nature and the duties that both justice and charity place upon them, sustains them as equals in the strictest sense of the term. Basic Relationship Once that basic relationship is recognized, it is immediately evident that the note of equality goes beyond the concept of the in- dividual. They are not merely iso- lated individuals. They are mem- bers of human society, of one hu- man family. It immediately follows that both have a right to organize, to en- gage in collective bargaining, to negotiate and establish a contract, as two free and separate parties to that contract. Working Conditions Then into the picture comes a whole range of working conditions. Let's just take one--that of wages --just compensation for talents used and energy expended. The norm for determining that re- muneration is not simply the suc- cessful selling of commodities in a cat-and-dog fight called "com- petition." The norm is really as large as the world itself. How much or how little effort the worker himself puts into that pro- duction must be considered: The economic conditions of the business can't be ignored. The effect of wages on costs and prices; prevailing wages in other industries and the actual type of competition engaged in; the tax structure and tax rate, the avail- ability of n~tural resources, even the national debt and our obliga- tions as human beings to aid un- developed nations--all these as- pects of the subject and many others are part and parcel of what goes into the determination of a wage-seale in these modern times. A complex problem indeed it is. But underlying all of it, the basic norm, binding with equal force on employer and employee alike, is justice and equity. Other- wise, the inhuman concept of the worker as a commodity creeps back into the picture. Each His Due Justice in its widest sense means to give to every man his due. Equity means fairness; an honest judgment; a decent deal between equals. Those two words--justice and equity--and the simple statement "The worker is not a commodity" --cover every provision and ev- ery working condition in your contract. So, I am not stretching the truth when I say that this encyclical, "Christianity and So- cial Progress" tells us everything about working conditions. And it is all logically deduced from that single basic statement, "The worker is not a commodity." A hundred other citations could be amplified in the same way. Social Ethics The safeguard of justice, sug- gested in the encyclical, is social ethics. Again, Pope John does not deal directly in specific problems of ethics. But his message as- sumes the whole body of teach- ing of ethies and morality that the Church has built up, based on the original teachings of its Founder, through many centuries. An encyclical is not a cate- chism, a commentary on the Sa- cred Scriptures or a text book on economics. It could be called, however, a guide book that an- alyzes modem social problems and points out the principles which must be followed if errors ere to be corrected, evil avoided and a sound social order estab- lished. REAPINGS AT RANDOM O O O by GERARD E. SHERRY This weekend we shall all be celebrating a birthday even though the actual date is not until November 25. We are refer- ring of course to the world-wid~ Catholic observance of the birthday of His Holiness, Pope John XXII1. At the same time we are marking the third anniversary of his pontificate. It is a wonderful thing to be able to recognize the 80th birth- day of our Chief Shepherd and Vicar of Christ. All the more so when our present Holy Father portrays in all his actions and utterances the age of wisdom and perennial youth of the Church. Voice in the Desert These are hard times fbr any man, be he Pope or peasant, king or commoner. The war clouds are looming on the horizon and the world in gen- eral is suffering from spiritual malnutrition. It has made some of us pessimistic as to the outcome, almost to the point of despair. The power of science, in the ~ape of the super bomb, seems to have more influence than the power Of God. Men all over the world seem to have lost touch with reality, and glory in, -or fear, mankind's achievements. In the midst of all this secularistic disap- pointment there sits in Rome one of the few voices w~th the cool balm of reason. Pope John is fully aware of the sad state of the world. He sees where it is all leading us; and he cautions against hys- teria. Instead of worshipping mankind and its achievements he tells us to return to God. His cry for peace, through prayer and penance, rings out above the clamor of the tanks and the guns and the atom bombs. Special Respousibi!ity Pope John was born to simplicity. He has never forgotten his humble origins, even among the splendor of the Vatican halls. His material sovereignty is small as things go these days. But his spiritual sovereignty goes beyond the power of any other human person Stalin's famous question to Church- ill, "How many divisions has the Pope?" looks ridiculous in the light of the real power of the Holy See. It is a power di- vinely instituted, and sustained. It requires no armies or armaments to survive even time itself. When Communism is only a mere page in the history of the world, the See of Peter will still have survived to carry out the tasks appointed to Peter. the first Shepherd. John XXIII is really the Chief Shepherd of the Flock. To him we owe filial obedience that belongs to no man-made in- stitution. Although he sits in Rome he is close to us in a very real way. We in America have a special responsibility to make this obedience and allegiance to the See of Peter something more than lip service, or an ideal. We have little excuse to ~e apathetic or inactive. Modern methods of communication ! make it easy for us to hear the voice of the Shepherd in all its clarity and sincerity. Re exhorts us not to save man-ma~te in- stitutions or systems but ourselves, our souls, and the souls of others. His serenity in the face of world crisis rests assuredly on the firm promise of GOd. Peter may die, but the Rock remains. No Better Birthday Present One ~vay in which we can bear fruitful witness to 0ur loyalty to the Holy Father is by frequently praying for him in these trying times. The material donations to the works of the Church here in America are tremendous. American Catholics give generously to the works of the Holy Father in the mission , fields, and in the Underdeveloped .countries. But the Pope asks more. He seeks also the spiritual aid .from all Catholics--the prayers and good works that are offered up to Heaven for the success of his earthly mission. Maybe we haven't thought enough of this. It is for this reason that the hierarchy of the United States has set aside tomorrow for our remembrance of Pope John XXIII. Many Catholics will not be allowed to join in any celebra- tions. They languish in foreign climes, letted or impeded in other ways in their yearnings for the assistance of the Holy Father. We Catholics in America are most fortunate. What better way to acknowledge this than to heed the constant ex- hortation of the Holy Father to return the strength of the Inner Life. If we became serious about this I doubt if there could be a better birthday present. f umn ine Dear Editor: Editorial support is of inesti- mable value in any volunteer community project, and the re- cent endorsement of the current Rockford Community Chest cam- paign by The Observer is no ex- ception. '- Thank you for helping to bring our message to your Greater Rockford readers. In effect, you have extended a helping hand to the many thousands of people who are benefited by the 24 Red Feather agencies that make up the Chest. Sincerely, Paul E. Lindstedt Dist. Commercial Manager (Chest Drive Chairman) Comment: Catholics and Catholic pub- lications are a vital part el community life. We are happy to take part in community projects. . Dear Father: As an avid subscriber and read- er of THE OBSERVER may I tell you how much I look forward to each edition. I find it fine instruc- tive reading. As a convert to Cotholicism, I take" great joy in Father John: O'Brien's column, "Sharing Our Treasure." Is there a possibility of this wonderful column being published in pamphlet form? Sincerely, (name witheld) Algonquin, Ill. Comment: We are happy that the in- stractienal and inspirational materials are appreciated, Father O'Brien has written many pamphlets and books. on convert work. Notably he edited, The Road to Damas- cus. Most of his works can be Obtained from The Sunday Visitor Press,Huntington, Ind. LONDON- CHURCH UNITY "The Church of Rome has be- come an ally instead of an enemy." Up to the last war and later too, relationstbetween the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England were as bad and as frigid as they could be. Anyone behind the scenes knew how hostile the official attitude of the Roman Church was, Now there has been a remarkable change. Shall I say that the Iron has gone? There is still a great deal to be done in dismissing antagon- isms, jealousies, hatreds and ri- valries, but the way is open be- tween us, and more and more are walking it in the same spirit--now allies in this business and not hostile rivals. By far and away the worgt and most destructive hostility was that in the Church of England itself. The "low wing" of the Church, which put all the emphasis on faith alone, and the "high wing," which put all its emphasis on or- der had between them created "a grim situation." The result Was only lawlessness, cruelty, pastoral confusion and distress, private armies against each other and the faithful Church of England and its great body of honest churchmen powerless, frustrated, distressed, he stated: "The Church itself became a laughing stock to all other Chris- tians. Now that picture has been changed, and not the least by Ro- man Catholics." Anglican Archbishop Geof- frey Fisher, former Arch- bishop of Canterbury before the meeting of the British Council of Churches. SAN ANTONIO- COMMUNISM - "communism is not a phantom; it is a diabolical realty. Ameri- cans seem unaware that we are engaged in a war against fals ideas and pagan ideals. If one is employed, his income good, his financinl standing sufficient to af- ford all the advantages of so- called gracious living, the over~ shadowing dangers do not disturb him. It seems that only an H- bomb will arouse some from their lethargy." The Most Rev. Albert R. Zuroweste, episcopal chair- man NCWC Press depart- ment, in addrbss to Catholic Press South Central regional convention. WILMINGTON, DEL.= GOD IN SCHOOL "As long as we officially keep God out of our public schools al~ all Levels because of a false notio~ of the meaning of our cherished doctrine of the separation of Church and State, we will make succeeding generations increas- ingly unable to stan.d against militant atheism from abroad." Comment of the Rev. Percy Rex, rector of Trinity Epis- copal Church, Wilmington at . a Rotary Club luncheon after . a speaker attacked~ the prae- , tice common in Delaware of reading the Bible in public schools at the start of each day.