how can it be right to go to Mass with the intention of praying as an individual? The Mass is a communal action—as is the rest of the liturgy. We cannot exclude those around us, whether they be friend or stranger. How better could we partake in this sacrament of union than by consciously making an effort to feel this unity by going with our families? Thus the small `bleod family ' fits into its place in he family of Christians ".
And: " So you feel more 'alone with God ' when you are not with one of the family, do you'! Well now, it seems to me that the last thing I want to do when attending a public act of worship is to feel *atone with God The more brothers and sisters—whether in the flesh or in Christ—around me at such functions the better! If I want to be ' alone with God' I go into a church where there is no communal act of worship taking place, or into my room or somewhere . . "
AND now the letters for me: "I entirely agree with your ideas about young people preferring not to sit with their parents at Mass, and that a time can surely come in the course of the adolescence of any of us when our spiritual life becomes an intensely private affair: this has certainly happened with me.... "
From a parent: "Knowing how often adolescents fall away from Mass attendance once they leave the family circle, I have always encouraged my children to go to Mass ' under their own steam '. As soon as I am satisfied that they can be relied on to behave properly, let them please themselves whether they sit with me or not. I hope by this to establish the independent habit be/ore they leave the family home."
ONE final remark: " May I tell you that your article was a great relief and comfort to me? As an adolescent I tried very hard to sit apart from my family in church, and yet we were an extremely united family .. . I expect and hope your article will set many a young person free to lose himself in the congregation, and hence to become
spiritual writers of the 14th century. He made one want to read them.
"Fpshowed how Walter Hilton, in his 'Letter on the Mixed Life ', i.e. the contemplative and the active life, was one of the first to put forward the ideal of an interior life of prayer for the ordinary business-man with the responsibilities of a family.
" Hilton was writing for every Christian who wants to live for God, and love and serve Him in his busy. everyday life, and so his