Sire—Your reviewer is very kind to rny translation of Pftioner and 1 can understand his misgivings about any description of created grace as existing separately from uncreated. But Ws gescmdert existent surely means just that. Sondem can mean "to distinguish", but here the English "sunder" seems far more applicable.
It is not a question of what St. Thomas, Plan-trier, the reviewer or even the translator may hold, but of an opinion current among Catholics at the time of Trent and still held by many today: God is in his heaven and he has put grace as a separate, created entity into our souls to make sure that all is right on earth.
Rahner was not there to correct them in the sixteenth century and Aquinas was in no position to point out that, before he spoke of grace in the Prima Secundae as a quality in the soul, he had said in the Prima Pars that it was nothing other than the enjoyment of a 'divine person.
, (Rev.) Edward Quinn, Rotherham, Yorks
Sir,-1 am grateful to Diaconus for his letter. Its contents are based on a misunderstanding for which the phrasing of my article may well have been responsible.
My quarrel is not with possible alterations to the Church's law of Friday abstinence or its teaching on contraception. It is with the tone adopted by the secular press when reporting these possibilities and by Catholic progressives in this country when commenting on them. In either case it appeared to me such as to convey the impression that the faithfulness of good Catholics in these matters was hardly worth while.
(Rev.) Paul Crane, S.J. London SWI.
Sir,--1 have been advertised as a contributor to the magazine Penthouse. I should very much appreciate the courtesy of your columns to make it clear that I have not given permission for this use of my name and that I have oot, and never have had, any intention of writing for this magazine.
Nor, incidentally, do I support what I understand its aims to be.
John Bralne, Bingley, Yorkshire.
Sir,—You are clearly inclined to curb correspondence on the question of the vernacular changes in the Mass, but I do feel that the most serious aspect has not been debated in your columns: namely, the method adopted by the English hierarchy to introduce its experiments.
The explanations offered for the changes are really exhortations to the laity to attend Mass carefully: they completely avoid the arguments we used to hear as to why Latin Masses are being virtually proscribed.
I do not know what questions are new to you, or which von would be prepared to publish. but these need answers:— I. Why, when the experiments are p,ermissive, does our own hierarchy virtually abolish the Latin Mass?
2. Why the haste?
3. Why no consultation on a matter 50 closely touching the laity?
4. What about the migration of Catholic workers all over Europe to Protestant countries?
5. Is I.atin less use for the Church than Dutch, Basque or
6. Why no "parallel running", as anyone would do even with a new soap powder?
7. Since the language of worship is essentially analogical, why is "understanding" now so equated with literal grasp?
S. Since the intentions of the malcontents are clear, why not experiments first 'with a complete English Mass?
9. Why, if Latin is dead, did we not recognise that for the Western world, at least. English is the new international language – and ask our German, French. Dutch, etc., fellow Catholics to accept a new English liturgy for the sake of religious unity, as they do for business and other reasons?
IO. Finally, why are you so biased? What moral responsibility do you accept for your propaganda and effective censorship'?
M. J. Moroney, Purley, Surrey, Mr. Moroney's letter is not untypical of many we have received. From it, one can deduce the widespread lack of understanding of the whys and wherefores of the liturgical changes. To refer to them as "experiments" by the English hierarchy is completely to ignore the work of the 2,500 Bishops a the Vatican Council.
Bringing in the vernacular
Are they the "malcontents" to whom Mr. Mcironey refers? Our own "bias" needs no justification. It is in complete harmony with the mind of the Church.—Editor.
Sir,—I am one of those who has not taken kindly to the new liturgy of the Mass. May I therefore recommend two suggestions to those who feel as I do?
Obedience is only of value if we do what we don't like doing. Therefore, although we feel less devout at Mass, it could in reality be more pleasing in the eyes of God.
Secondly, we all know at least one lapsed Catholic. Some of us know of several. Let us accept patiently this small change in our devotions, if only to thank God we have accepted the grace of persevering in the faith, and to be present to witness this change. Walter Terrell, Bexleyheath, Kent.
Sir,—As one nearing her 72nd year, who, since girlhood has loved the Mass, and endeavoured to take part in it, an who approached the changes with trepidation and dismay, may 1 suggeet that all thinking Catholics who are dissatisfied and unhappy read Fr. J. R. O'Connell's Active Sharing in Public Worship, published recently by Burns and Oates at 5s.
It is a commentary on the new Constitution on the 'Sacred Liturgy, and is the most enlightening and helpful thing on the subject that I have read. From dismay I have turned to delight.
Surely. after reading it no one could imagine the new rite to be inspired by other than the Holy least of all the result of the "power of well organised pressure groups"!
Dorothy M. Bile, Pen rith.
Sir,—There is no case for the use of English at Masses that are sung,
In these days when most homes seem to possess a gramophone, to churn out in most cases "pop" music, it •is possible to got many .records with the music of the Mass.
It should be the duty of those people with gramophones to buy one of these records and after gathering their friends round and playing the recording of the Ordinary of the Mass several times they should be able to join in.
We are an Anglican Society, and most of the liturgical records we play are in Latin, and yet with a translation most people are able to follow the words.
It would be a great shame if the Holy Catholic Church of God could not sing the Credo round the world in the same language.
1). L. Smith (Hon. Secretary). Liturgical and Classical Gramophone Circle, Ilford, Essex.
Sir,—The fact that only a minority of your correspondents deplore the new liturgical changes is not indicative of the attitude of your "silent" readers. Perhaps the vast majority of these have willingly submitted to their Bishops irrespective of their feelings. 'Theirs will be the greater merit.
There are many I know who have thus accepted the changes.
(Misa) K. C. Quigley, Basildon, Essex.
Sir.—Understandably, you are not inviting more letters on this touchy subject but perhaps a strictly human example of the kind of reason which has inspired the "progressives" in their struggle may move a few "reactionary" hearts.
For some time my husband and I have experienced considerable difficulty in persuading one of our children to go to Mass. Every conceivable device was tried and we genuinely did our best to interest him in the ceremonies, etc. All to no avail — and we gave up, reluctant to drag one of Our Lord's little ones to Him by the scruff of the neck, and convinced that God would eventually provide the answer we aould not. As, of course, He did.
The blessed day dawned recently when one Sunday morning our eldest son horst in with "It's going to be in English—it's going to he in English!" Whereupon the erstwhile black lamb immediately announced his intention of attending the Holy. Sacrifice the following Sunday.
This he did and, on arriving home, crept up to me at the kitchen table, put his hand in mine, and whispered: "It was smashing saying the 'Our Father', Mum!".
There has been no trouble since and one wonders how many of the petition-signers have ever been faced with this particular problem in a wonderfully good but agonisingly shy and sensitive child. (Mrs.) Mollie Watts Sale, Cheshire.