Approach of Holy Week
HOLY Week is not far off now, though next Sunday with its rose-coloured vestments will bring a moment of liturgical rejoicing. It's not a bad moment to make plans for a serious and intelligent participation in Passiontide and Holy Week. Make sure, for example, that you have your Holy Week books to follow the services with some understanding. A more remote preparation is to get the little two shilling book, He Loved Them Unto The End, in which Fr. Gordon Albion's six Holy Week addresses over the B,B.C. are reprinted. They were very popular at the time and they deserve the close study and meditation which this printing makes possible. You can order a copy from Paternoster, 67 Fleet Street, E.C.4. And 1 was glad to read in the foreword of the Archbishop of Birmingham: " It is remarkable that in this age of materialism such a series of addresses should be delivered through the medium of a national and monopolistic radio system." Critical as we must be of so much that goes on, we sometimes forget to say "thank you " for public realisations of the undying spiritual aspect of life and society.
' Spiritual Development '
IN sharp contrast with the ups and downs of our own materialism is the latest news from the Soviet lone of Germany. There a Potsdam court has ruled that an unfaithful husband can divorce his wife for ideological reasons, i.e. because she is not sufficiently Communist in sympathy. Indeed the court held that the husband's infidelity with a Marxist woman working in his office was all part of his proper " spiritual development." I often think that with the amount of half-truth propaganda that goes on to weaken Western firmness in the face of Communism. it is well worth reminding ourselves of the sort of moral outlook that is taken for granted where the Red Flag flies.
Rings who met Popes
DEEPLY knowledgeable about all " matters of Papal history and Papal ceremonial and organisation is our news editor, Maurice Quinlan. Much of it is recorded, I believe, in an immense MS. which he probably uses as a pillow at night. At any rate the letter in last week's issue about Kings of England who have met Popes immediately elicited from him the following historical anecdote: Cardinal Jacopo of Palestrina was sent to England as Papal Legate to the Court of Henry Ill. In his suite was Teobaldo Visconti, not a priest though he was Archdeacon of Liege. Years later Henry's eldest son, Prince Edward, went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Teobaldo. It was at the time when the Cardinals were engaged in the longest Conclave in the Papacy's history. Their choice eventually. after nearly three years of frustration, fell upon Prince Edward's companion. Teobaldo became Gregory X and Prince Edward, of course, Edward I.
Job in U.S.A.
TALKING of members of our staff. I am sure that his many friends will he glad to learn that our former colleague, Gerry Sherry, has landed himself an excellent job in America in taking over the Catholic desk at the Religious News Service, run by the Conference of Christians and Jews. These things are done on the big scale in the States, and the work should not only be interesting in itself but afford plenty of opportunity of getting the truth over.
The Express Driver
HAS it ever occurred to you that
there is no way of contacting the engine driver of an express speeding at 70 m.p.h. (if expresses still do), except by the alarm cord? I realised this when on a recent journey the train pulled up at an unscheduled stop. I heard later that an M.P. was in the train and had forgotten the latchkey of his home in the north. The guard had to throw a weighted written message on the platform of a station to ask the signal man to stop the train at a station where a return train to London could be taken. Presumably this extraordinarily clumsy way of communicating with the driver is a relic of conditions a hundred years ago, and no one has thought of improving on it.
Long fingered Jesuits !
OUR Netherlands correspondent reports from Maastricht that the Netherlands Jesuits definitely belong to the Asparagus-type. Such is the conclusion of a comparative study by B. Schulte, B.M. of the University of Utrecht, on the subject. He compared the measurements of 50 Jesuits from the 1 heological College of the order at Maastricht, in the South of the Netherlands with those
of 50 lay-brothers belonging to the congregation of the Brothers of 1 he Immaculate Conception in the same town. These measurements showed that on an average the hands of the Jesuits were 2.20 mm. longer and 1.18 mm. narrower than those of the Brothers, while the average Jesuits' heads were 3.72 mm. longer and 0.96 narrower than those of the Brothers.
QOME people find home life boring. I have always found it full of exciting novelties. Though we have bred dogs (rather spasmodically) for some years, we had our first canine Caesarian last week. I never knew such things were possible. The net result was two surprisingly large (1 impute no moral blame and I hope Fm right) male
puppies for a tiny Griffon. The problems were ours: feeding the puppies every two hours, even during the night: until the mother left hospital; the reaction of the mother to puppies she knew nothing about; and the reaction of the puppies to a large bandage round the mother's tummy. The incredible self-sacrifice where the production of a living being is concerned on the part of the feminine element in my home has resulted at length in the canine mother more or less taking to her puppies and all goes well. Names: Gregory and Benedict — see the recent calendar.
READERS may be glad to know " that the full text of the Pope's famous address to the Italian Association of Midwives. which was followed by the Mother and Baby controversy, is published in full in the sixth number of Catholic Documents, just published by the Pontifical Court Club (2s. 6d.).
The French Way
NOTHING is more delightful than " coming across cases when a wildly satirical idea is suddenly taken seriously—and when this happens it is usually due to overwork ing the logical mind. The serious French suggestion that the leaders of the political parties should be submitted to an examination by psychiatrists who would issue certificates of aptitude for leading the country is a case in point, and it would in fact make the theme of a witty play. Apart tom the obvious criticism, who would issue certificates to the psychiatrists, the really sad thing about the whole suggestion is the naive notion that present standards of sanity and aptitude could ever improve the standards of French politicians, or any others for that matter. I recommend instead the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.