By Jotter Visit 10
Deeply Moving Statue
THE discussion on " Anglicans and Our Lady" that has been going on in our letter page may he illustrated by a visit to St. Paul's Cathedral. As you enter On the left, the first thing you now see is a large terra-cotta statue of Our Lady and Child. It is arranged so that one may pray at the feet of the statue and two printed prayers are fixed so that the passer-by may be helped. One of the prayers is the prayer with which we finish the Angelus and the other is also wholly Catholic. As for the statue itself. I can only say that I personally find it not only deeply moving, but most conducive to devotion and prayer. Our Lads' is depicted without any hieratic adornment—just a young woman in whose strong, weather-beaten face nobility and inner-peace glow. The Bambino, sucking His finger, is quite delightful, and I was not surprised to hear that the sculptress is a mother herself. I was told that the statue is for the Lady Chapel when completed, and my search for knowledge led me to be taken behind the great red curtain which hides the work going on to rebuild the bombed High Altar. This is being done slowly by craftsmen and the result will certainly be an immense improvement. Some very fine glass incorporates the arms of the States of the U.S.A. for the cost is being borne by the Americans as a warmemorial.
Bathing at Westgate
AST time I drove to Westgate" on-Sea for Father Basset's annual Leadership Course at the Ursuline Convent, I innocently blotted my copy-book through thinking that sonic photographs of the pretty apostolic girls, playing and bathing, would help to popularise the Catholic lay apostolate among our younger generation, some of whom still tend to imagine that modern apostles are a rather frumpy race apart. I still think so, by the way, but armed myself against further temptation by leaving my camera at home, now that sufficient time has passed for my betise to be atoned. Instead I had nty first sea-bathe this year myself, disporting myself with my youngest son on an inflated rubber mattress pinched from the bathing apostles, both sexes (each in its own way). looking more glamorous than ever. I wish thousands of younger Catholics could be at Westgate on this occasion. They would ilet an intensive liturgical spirituality; they would hear a series of notable addresses on different aspects of the apostolate; they would have astonishingly little to pay, thanks to the generosity of the nuns; and they would have the jolliest days together at the seaside in the whole year. ought to add that they would get to know Father Basset personally —and he is even better than his column. Only that same evening an Ampleforth boy came into our house. and I mentioned that I had been with Fr. Basset. "F'r. Basset," he said, " he gave us the brightest retreat of all my time at school."
cOMPION Mackenzie has in his own way taken the bull by the horns in his long and vivid book, "Sublime Tobacco" (Chatto & Windus, 21s.) Here are the history and praises of tobacco defiantly sung in (he teeth of those who tell 'is that cigarette smoking, at least, is a deadly poison. Sir Compton, it is true, much prefers his pipe and his cigars which, despite the strictures of King James I, "a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless," does not seem to do much harm except to the purse. To me, the early autobiographical chapters are the best reading in the book, especially the story of how the author and his brother at a tender age foiled the elaborate plan of their father who offered them long and strong cigars, and apparently never really forgave them for smoking them to the end with an enjoyment similar to his own.
Snuff for the Brave
THERE is a good deal in the a book about the history of snuff—snuff, the habit of which we are always told, is reviving. For 20 yeais I have been taking increasing quantities of snuff, but I still find it rare to meet a fellow snuff taker. Even in the large quantities which I now use, it is much the cheapest form of nicotine intake. To break away from the snuff habit is. I should say, virtually impossible without a nervous breakdown. And every pinch
is a new joy. Cigarettes, though they occupy the hands and are useful socially, are milk and water by comparison. lames Arbuckle, a Glasgow University student, exactly described my own sentiments 240 years ago: What strange and wondrous virtue there must be And charm, 0 Snuff, concealed in thee!
How bounteous Nature and inventive Art.
Bedecking thee, thus all their powers exert; Their treasures and united skill bestow.
To set thine honours in majestic show!
But oh, what witchcraft of a stronger kind,
Or cause too deep for human search to find.
Makes earth-born weeds imperial man enslave, Not little souls, but e'en the wise and brave !
HOW far we nowadays deem ' great success in business after humble beginnings a social virtue. I do not know. I am puzzled, too, ass to its rating in the hierarchy of "Christian virtues. But the parable of the talents is there, and I suppose it all depends on how you do it and what you do with the results. Anyhow, there is much good reading in a little latelypublished book, " Roads to Success" by Trevor Allen (World's Work 7s. 6d.—paper 2s. 6d.). The story of many household names in business, E. K. Cole, W. E. Ruffin, Raphael Tuck and some 20 others are brightly and often amusingly described. Among them are William and Gilbert Foyle, whose "Catholic Book of the Month " alone makes them well known to many of us. But the story I enjoyed most was about Stanley Burchett who moved from starvation to success through painting pictures, including pictures so small that 20 or 30 would just cover a postage-stamp. He also painted minute scenes on ladies' finger-nails. Clearly, there is still room for the exercise of imagination in making oneself a success.
Going to Mass
AREADER writes: " Re what you said about following the Mass—the booklet I send you is the very best on the Mass that has ever been written." Enclosed was Canon Drinkwater's "Going to Mass" (Catholic Truth Society). The " very hest" for fourpencethat's rare these days. I have read the book, and it is excellent. A pile for sale at the back of churches could do an immense amount of good