Two "Sides of the Work
Last week these notes dealt with one side of the Guild's work—the material side, the side that can be gauged and summed up and the results shown.
For this side of their work alone RanSomers may claim that they deserve support. Comparatively few Catholics seem to desire to take part in such a practical work. Over a year ago a Ransomer offered to give £100 to the Million Pound Fund if nine others gave a like sum. Although this has been made known in all the Catholic Papers and repeatedly announced in the Guild's magazine, The Ransomer, we have received only four offers towards the nine, so that we are in danger of losing the original offer.
If any one reading this should be moved to send one or two or five hundred pounds to the secretary, The Guild of Our Lady of Ransom, 29, Portugal Street, London, W.C.2., that act will be a real act of charity.
But there is another side to the Guild's work, the results of which cannot be gauged and will never be fully known until the Judgment Day. It is the hidden mainspring upon whirl: all the material work is based. During the past fifty years who can calculate how many times the Ransom prayer has gone up to heaven and been united to our Martyrs' prayers in heaven?
That little daily prayer is said by thousands of Ransomers all over the world. How many times has the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass been offered by White Cross Ransomers for the Intentions of the Guild? Who shall say what the results of such a volume of prayer have been?
Wear the Badge " But we can't join everything " people say when asked to become Ransomers; even Ransomers themselves have been heard to say, when asked why they don't wear their badges, " Oh, we can't wear all the badges." But the Ransom badge existed long before any of the others, and the prayers of Ransomers must at any rate have helped to bring into existence the other activities inewhich Catholics join so readily nowadays.
There are other causes for gratitude to the Guild. The processions which form a regular part of parish work in so many places are taken as a matter of course; the pilgrimages now so frequently and easily undertaken required courage and perseverance to set on foot fifty years ago. With one exception, that of Barnet, Fr. Fletcher was the first to show Catholics how to hold a religious procession in the streets, carrying the Image of Our Lady, saying their prayers aloud and singing hymns, with the clergy in vestments.
In those old days few parishes were equipped for processions of this kind. and Fr. Fletcher and Lister Drummond travelled from parish to parish with a big box containing banners, candlesticks and candles. with cassocks and coitus for acolytes. No light work this. Nowadays it is all so easy, and people are apt to forget what they owe to the pioneers.
A Hastings Incident
It is pleasant to add that one Cath olic Body does not forget. The authoi ties of the Catholic Evidence Guild constantly remind their members that they owe their origin to the Guild; and some, though by no means all, of the members become Ransomers.
Lister Drummond started the outdoor lecture work. It came about in an interesting way. Drummond's mother was a devout member of the Salvation Army, and once when they were spending their holiday at Hastings she twitted her son, saying, " It is all very well for you to claim that your religion is the true one, but if it is, why don't you go out into the streets and talk about it?" Drummond, on his mettle, replied, " I will"; he went then and there on to the beach and delivered his first outdoor address on the Catholic Faith. To Lister Drummond's great joy his Mother became a zealous and pious Catholic. The statue of Our Lady carried every year in the Hastings pilgrimage to Hastings Castle is her gift in thanksgiving for her conversion.