The Salt and Its Savour
AvE have suffered a rude awak ening from the complacent bourgeois dream which accepted as a matter of course the blessings of western civilisation. The realisation that these blessings could be preserved and developed only by the expenditure of blood has brought a note of tragedy into our lives.
But it is in the religious sphere that this disregard for the costl:ness of our heritage is most serious.. Christianity has suffered not so much by direct attack as by a slow cheapening of its values. A prevailing secularism robbed of its sense of awe. For the conception of holiness was substituted that of the natural virtues. Human self-sufficiency made the grace of God seem superfluous. A light-minded approach to the problem of degeneracy, accounting for this by reference to social and economic conditions or to psychological causes, failed to sense the horror of sin and its consequences. A false refinement erased from the religious vocabulary such words and phrases as the Fall. Hell, the Cross, the Precious Blood. It was the day of a triumphant dilettantism. Christianity parted with its astringency.
The salt lost its savour. Our religion became anaemic.
In certain non-Catholic circles a reaction against this condition is taking ptace. Fresh emphasls is being laid on the transcendence and holiness of God. A modernised form of Calvinism has made its appearance. One observes a return to the Bible and, in particular, to the Old Testament.
The Catholic answer, however, is to be found in the extension to the universal Church by Pius IX of the Feast, already observed in some quarters, in honour of the Precious Blood.
But it is possible for the. very means taken to emphasise the costliness of our Redemption themselves
to be cheapened. There then remains nothing else to be done. It was to this state of things Christ referred when He declared that His Church was " the salt of the earth " and asked what would happen if even the salt lost its savour. The Feast of the Precious Blood is a reminder of the infinite price paid for the privileges we enjoy and a warning against •taking as a matter of course the Gift purchased for us by the Death of the Giver. It is well to remember that every soldier in Christ's Army carries in Hts knapsack the baton of the prospective martyr.
STANLEY B. JAMES.
June 29—July 5
Sunday, June 29. SS. Peter and Paul, Apost!es. (Red.) Monday, June 30. Commemoration of St. Paul. (Red.) Tuesday, July 1. The Precious Blood of Our Lord. (Red.) Wednesday, July 2. The Visitation of Our Lady. (White.) Thursday. July 3. St. Leo H, Pope. 683. (White.)
Friday, July 4. Of the Octave. (Red.)
Saturday, July 5. St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria. 1539. (White.)