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Is there any truth in the story of the imposture of the "Holy Maid " of Leominster Priory, as narrated in " The Celtic Borderland," by F. J. Snell?
We have been unable to trace the story, and so cannot assert categorically that it is.completely without foundation.
However, it is probably safe to assume that it is untrue. Several stories like this were put about at the time of the suppression of the monasteries. Of these the most famous were those of the Holy Rood of Boxley and of the Holy Blood of Hanes.
Both were untrue, though the man largely responsible for spreading them was, like Cranmer, a bishop in high favour with Henry VIII. If there was a true story of a hoax, such as this story of Leominster, it is difficult to understand why Henry VIII and his minions did not make more of it. They made a great enough fuss about similar scandals which they had to make up.
If you want to learn how stories like this have been spread, read an essay entitled " How a lie spreads,' by Fr. Bridgett in a book of his entitled Blunders and Forgeries.
Please explain in full the application of the commandment to "rest Irons servile works" on Sundays and Holy Days. Are the following permitted:
1. Father's gardening or domestic carpentry; 2. Mother's weekly baking; 3. Darning or "duty" sewing; 4. Recreational sewing or knitting; 5. Children's school homework?
How does the law apply on week-day Holidays of Obligation, when most men have to go to work and when Mother's daily tasks still crop up?
Servile work is the work usually done by servants or hired manual workers, requiring bodily rather than mental activity; the law (Canon 1,248) also forbids judicial proceedings, business and all public buying and selling. The work remains servile whatever the motive be and even if no wages are received: such work, then, is not excused on the plea that it is done for pleasure or recreation, unless the pleasure or recreation are practically necessary for the relief of a tired mind or faded spirit.
The Church, however, is not unreasonable; there are causes which excuse. Such are: necessity (whether personal or that of another); considerable public utility; usefulness or charity to the sick or the poor provided that no scandal ensues; legitimate custom (which varies in different countries).
Father's gardening or domestic carpentry (unless it. be artistic work) and Mother's weekly baking, sewing ea' darning are servile work. They may not be done on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation merely for recreation, but any of the excuses given above would permit them to be done. Recreational sewing and knitting are usually accounted servile work. Children's school homework is certainly not servile work.
In England necessity obviously steps in and requires Catholics to attend to their business on Holy Days. Custom, tolerated by the Church, certainly allows servile work to be done on Holy Days of Obligation when people in this country have to work or else lose their life's job.
Are there any specifically Catholic libraries in Central London? (M, T. B., N.W.5.)
Yes. the Catholic Central Library, 33, Wilfrid Street, S.W.1, and the Catholic Library, 77a, Church Street. Kenzington, W.8.
How many church-goers are there among those who are counted as members of the Church of England? (A. J. H., Dublin.)
There were 2,372,079 Easter Cornmuni:ants in 1937, according to the Official rear Book of the Church of England. total number of members of the Church if England, according to Whittaker, is ibout 25,800,000.
Could you tell me of any works by Catholic psychologists that one could safely study to enable one to attain a hundred per cent. mental efficiency. For example: teach one how to concentrate, to strengthen one's will power, overcome self-consciousness, etc.? (J. A. S., Preston.)
Paychology of Character, by Rudolf alers, in the Unicorn Edition, Is.
Bell Improvement, by Rtsdolf Alters, >urns Oates and Washbourne, 3s. fid. Read in connection with this book the eview by Gerald Vann. 0.P.. in last seek's issue.) Edmeational Psychology, 10s. 6d. Problems of Psychology, 8s.
Experimental Psychology, 11s. (All Caldwell, Ltd., 17, Red Lion 'assage. W.C.1.)
With the exception, perhaps, of the econd book on this list, all the books ?quire considerable study. and presppose a certain amount of knowledge n psychology on the part of their ?aders.
What is the Catholk opinion on Pelmanism and kindred systems of applied psychology? (J. A. S., Preston.) There is no specifically Catholic )inion on such systems of applied gychology. They can only be judged, ke cough syrups, according to their S-hy is the Credo not said in the Mass of a martyr? (P. H. W., Swansea.) The Credo is only included in Masses of Our Lord, Our Lady, the Apostles, the Doctors of the Church and St. Mary Magdalen. In all other cases it is omitted. The inclusion of the Credo in the Mass is a mark of extra dignity associated in a very special way with those who may be regarded as the teachers of the Church.
If a worker has dispensation from fasting because of his occupation, does the exemption hold good when he is away for an annual fortnight's holiday which includes an Ember week? (N. H. S.. Saffron Walden).
John Brown's wife went shopping and niade various purchases at different shops. On reckoning up, accounts she found that in one of the shops she must have been given half-a-crown in place of a penny.
What should she do?
The most attractive thing would be to follow the advice of Harris (S.E. 15), who says:
" Mrs Brown should mention to Mr Brown that she has come into some money. She should then invite Mr Brown either to the 'local.' or go to the cinema. This would introduce a. little gaiety into their consideration of the matter and prevent their taking such little things too seriously."
Not so tolerant of the Browns is Blue.ell (War ick): " Mrs Browa apparently suffers with. the same complex as her silly old husband, being incapable of sensible reasoning in simple matters affecting her conscience, and too lazy to refer to their priest in cases of real doubt." His solution is that Mrs Brown should
Is there any book giving by illustration and text explanations of liturgical usage and of the Mass which would he comprehensible to children of school age, or which at least would enable me to explain fully and clearly to my children the significance of these things? (G. P., Bournemouth.) How to Understand the Mass (Coldwell, If two persons want to marry and one of them has been married before to a person who is missing, can the person missing be presumed dead after a certain period of time? (P. D., Liverpool.) No. In the eyes of the Church, presumption of death is not sufficient to dissolve a marriage, there must be evidence of death.
pocket the money and be thankful. But if she be still oppressed with scruple then "send each shopkeeper a sum of 2s. 5d. with a letter of explanation . . . and so make quite sure without any undue fuss that the shopkeeper actually concerned should be repaid."
Tighe (Dublin), who puts a P.S. to her letter: " Should any reader of the paper know a shopkeeper in. Dublin who would take a penny for a half-a-crown I'd be glad to know his address": suggests that Mrs Brown keeps the money because :
" 1 It is possible, though not probable, of course, that she may have obtained bargains in her purchases unknowingly.
"2 Apart from the fact that she is a source of temptation, she may do irreparable harm to the shopkeepers' blood pressure, leaving them in a state of uncertainty as to whether they have reduced their income by 2s. 8d.
"3 Being a woman she may have had
that 2s. 6d. all the time at the bottom of her hag, or her counting may be wrong."
But if none of these explanations satisfy, then to ease her conscience " there is always the poor boa."
Field (S.W.18) argues that if Mrs Brown was given the wrong change it was the shopkeeper's fault anyway, and so Mrs Brown can safely profit by the mistake. The same view is shared by Moon (Cheltenham), who argues, however, that it might be as well to make restitution if possible.
Most other readers, including Lee (Middlesbrough), Strange (E.5), M. K. (S.W.5), and Harvey (W.C.1), also advocate restitution if possible. But if it is not possible, they ar,:ue that Mrs Brown has a moral right to the money.
Unfortunately for Mrs Brown she has not.
Among the few who gave the right answer to the scruple the best, both in clarity and brevity was Byrne (Pembroke Dock), to whom the prize this week goes.
The theologian's answer is es follows:
7f John Brown's wife knows the shop at which she received the wrong change, then, of course, she is bound to return the money to that shop.
If, after careful consideration, she is unable to decide at which shop the mistake was made, then she ought to g;ve the money to the poor. She cannot keep money which is certainly not her own.