MISS BARBARA CHADWICK, in your April 11 issue, very kindly supplied "solutions" to my problems. She hinted that she is a professional teacher: and she makes me feel rather like a fourth-former who has asked a silly question.
But—perhaps unreasonably —I do not feel that these problems are so easily, not to say dismissively, solved.
To take the last point first. Why should I put myself in the position of a deal person? I never suggested that I thought was missing graces by not having an accurate missal; only that, in my unspiritual state of mind, I prefer to follow the Mass in a book which has the samewords as the priest. What was wrong with my suggestion of a loose-leaf missal?
In reply to my suggestion that the opportunity for receiving Communion (over a period in the morning) might suit more Catholics than daily Mass at a fixed time, Miss Chadwick proposes a Spiritual Communion, The Church's teaching on Spiritual Communion (does she still teach it, because it is rarely, if ever, mentioned?) T find emotionally unsatisfying, and alien to the concept of COMmunion — that is, receiving Jesus Christ, body and soul.
The Catholic manual states as conditions for Spiritual Communion: "A lively faith, a firm confidence in the efficacy of this Sacrament, and an ardent love of Jesus Christ." These conditions seem so perfectionist that I would always he in doubt whether I had fulfilled them. Receiving the host has a reality for me, and deep down 1 lack confidence in Miss Chadwick's substitute.
On religious education, the existence of Our Lady's Catechists' camps is welcome news to me. These camps do, I hope, fill the vital gap between local Catechism classes, which rarely go above preparation for First Holy Communion, and adult Catholic life.
The vital period, when a child needs religious education most. is during its teens—and it is precisely for this age group that there appeared to be lack of religious teaching.
None of my acquaintances has ever heard of these camps: so there may be a case for some publicity to be given to them. It seems a pity that, now that these camps are giving this useful service, many parents through lack of knowledge are not benefiting from them.
Please tell us all about the camps, Miss Chadwick.
Adrian Firth Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey.
Validity of orders
"THE question of validity of -0orders is less important than we often suggest, for Christ is bigger than his followers." Thus Fr. John Symon on April 11. What an astounding statement for a Catholic priest to make. So, after all, one religion is as good as another!
Fr. Symon did not answer the question put by your Leeds correspondent concerning what the Protestant Augustine Birrell called "the miracle of the altar." He skirmished around it.
I prefer Birrell's further comment to Fr. Symon's: "It is the Mass that matters; it is the Mass that makes the difference, so hard to define. so subtle is it, yet so perceptible. between a Catholic country and a Protestant one, between Dublin and Edinburgh, between Havre and Cromer."
D. W. O'Toole Dublin, 3.