By BRIAN FOX
0 week now passes without some
lamentation or complaint being made concerning Catholic in
action. " The time for speeches at meetings is past," says one, " Let us be doing! "; " If Catholics had a scrap of the energy of the Communists," cries another, " What social reforms could they not have brought about years ago?" And letters in our papers draw attention to our many and varied weaknesses:
We sing badly, or don't sing, or come to church late, or don't come at all, or don't know why we're there when we do come. We don't read, or we don't under
stand if we do. We can't tell others about our thrilling Faith because we don't know it ourselves, or if we do know it, we don't tell them. And so on.. All well founded, without a doubt.
We Do Want to Improve The question which plainly arises is whether we want to alter this state of affairs or not. I propose to assume that we do. The alternative would be rather terrible since it would imply a desire not to do God's will, for He founded the Church to which we belong, and put it in the world for the world's conversion. Well, then, what are we going to do to improve our condition, and the condition of others? I shall try and show a way, not newly invented, not merely theoretical, and not unsound in principle.
To do good, and improve things, we must first be good, improve ourselves, a hopeless task without God's help which He will give us if we ask for it and get ready to make use of it. This, then, is the primary object of the Sodality of Our Lady whose members must set first their spiritual perfection springing from devotion to Our I,ord in the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary, their spiritual growth enables them at the same time to do more because both can and want to, and their activities touch every part of Catholic life.
Every Kind of Work
The Sodality is a unique organisation, divided into parochial units. No kind of work comes amiss to it, whether it be visiting the sick, building schools or halls, combating local manifestations of error, stimulating social life in the parish, instructing converts, singing in church, keeping the bookstall, or any other work at all which is agreeable to the parish priest. The internal arrangements of the Sodality are flexible, enabling the work to be done without undue fuss, and at the same time tightening the burden on the priest's shoulders. No conflict takes place with other bodies. Our Lady is the Mother of God for Whom they all work, and they will not be too proud to come more particularly under her protection, though • their members may remain separate and their work distinct. The Sodality is for all and can do any. hing.
Proof of Value That the Sodality is not unsound in principle I think I have shown above. Nor is t newly invented, for it is over 350 years old. Why is it, however, that we hear so ittle of the Sodality, or think of it only as a pious or " pi" society which has nice reserved seats in church? Does the organislion really work, or are all the claims made for it false, and its methods impracticable? Quite shortly, for it would not be difficult to find much to write about in answer, the truthful reply is that the organisation do work, that no claims made for it, seem to be exaggerated, and that its methods are excellently fitted for present-day conditions For proof of this, a glance at the magnificent work being carried on by the Sodality in the U.S.A. is sufficient, but if it be objected that the ways of Americans are different from ours, the C.T.S. pamphlet entitled, " A way to stem the leakage," shows quite clearly that similar things can he and are being done in England.
But we must want to do them. Who is going to begin to try?