Poor Clares and Cricket
How a century was made
OCCASIONAL cricket references in this column may be thought of by some readers as a tiresome quirk of the writer for to many cricket is a tiresome bore. Now I am in a position to throw back in the faces of the anti-cricket readers the extraordinary story which is told in the first chapter of "Flannelled Foolishness" (Hollis and Carter, 18s.). by E. R. T. Holmes. a non-Catholic himself who used to captain Surrey.
It was in 1935 when Surrey were playing Lancashire and on the Saturday Lancashire made 357 for 8. On the Sunday, E. R. T. Holmes was staying with friends at Hawarden in Cheshire and was told by his hosts that a Miss Bate would he coming to tea. Miss Bate was keenly interested in the convent of Poor Clares just across the road. The conversation over tea turned to the subject of enclosed orders. and the cricketer made the usual objections. The meaning of prayer was approached and Holmes asked whether the nuns would pray for him. Yes, they would. "Well," said Holmes, " I suggest that you ask them to posy for me to make a hundred against Lancashire tomorrow." And, as an afterthought, added: " And it would be very nice to be captain of England." It was raining next morning and Surrey felt that against the good Lancashire bowling they would do well to make a hundred all told. Holmes himself was badly dropped at 27 (the poor fielder, of course, not knowing the real reason), but with nine wickets down, Holmes was still in with 97. The last batsman, Greyer, stuck the next five balls of the over Holmes pushed the next ball wide of mid-on. where the fieldsman failed to stop it. It rolled a foot over the boundary, where it stopped. Next ball he was out for 101. When he got back to the dressing toom a telegram was handed to him. It was signed by the M.C.C. secretary and it contained an invitation to him to captain the M.C.C. team to tour Australia and New Zealand.
I am glad it is cricket which has furnished quite one of the most impressive stories of answers to prayers I have ever heard. Retreat givers to boys, please repeat.
Murry's 'Au revoir' j HAVE always felt that Middle• ton ton Murry. whose last book is reviewed by IT. Thomas Gilby, 0.P., on page 3, was a man of the greatest sincerity, genuinely seeking God and trying to find a spiritual solution to the problems of his times. It was his tragedy that he could never in honesty to himself get round the difficulties and narrownesses of his own critical temperament. Because of this, it is not in irony that I quote G. K. C.'s famous four lines which are to be found in D. B. Wyndham Lewis's Anthology which I mentioned last week, forgetting to mention the publisher, Oxford University Press.
Murry, on finding le Bon Dieu Chose difficile a croire
Illogically said e Adieu " But God said " Au Revak."
And " Au Revoir" I am sure it is. May he rest in peace.
Life for schools
KNOWIKNOWING how often Catholic NG seek a book covering the story of the evolution of life on the earth which does not take the view of the anti-evolutionists and yet is suitable for reading by Catholic children, l mention (not
necessarily recommend) " The Story of Life," by H. E. L. Mellersh (Hutchinson, 21s.). I do this on the authority of a wellknown Catholic doctor and publicist who writes to me : "From a short glance I think it excellent and the sort of thing that ought to be available to every Catholic child over 13 or 14. 1 wish I had had it myself; it would have saved me untold worry and long efforts to drag out the facts from T. H. Huxley, etc." i am sure am asking for trouble from some who have strong views on the subject, but, in view of the above,
one can at least suggest that the headmaster or science master could read it first to see if they agree with my adviser.
I. that the Catholic Motoring Club is responding to a suggestion made in this column about Scooter pilgrimages to Lourdes or other shrines on the Continent. In view of the present popularity of the scooter and moped. I feel sure that quite a number of younger Catholics would be interested in such a holiday. I would therefore advise them to write to the Catholic Motoring Club Secretary, II, Vale Avenue, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells. 1 his would also be a good chance of joining the club and getting the handsome badge sticker for the further adornment of the scooter.
ALETTER printed last week with the title " Cry from the English Heart," in which some criticisms of " Irishism " in the Church in this country were made, has been thought to have been written with an individual church in mind in the London postal area S.E.13. I should say that the writer of the letter had no such intention and the editor had no idea of what churches lay within that postal district. Whether as a reward or a punishment for printing the letter, dozens of letters, arguing the matter one way or another, have been submitted for publication this week ! We hope to publish a few.
Fun with a moral
\ATI I LIAM Douglas Home, one
of the most comically brilliant of contemporary playwrights, also has a very sensitive conscience about justice being prior nationalist and bellicose policies, as his record has shown. I therefore specially recommend a visit to the Cambridge Theatre where his new play, The Iron Duchess," is on. It keeps one in fits of laughter, but one comes away realising that the writer has neatly shown up the stupidity and immorality of contemporary nationalistic attitudes which we tend to take for granted.