They Saw the Queen
RARELY have I seen the recep tion rooms of the Challoner Club more crowded than on Monday night when Cardinal Gilroy and, apparently. all his six hundred fellow pilgrims were the club's very welcome guests. It would be very wrong to suggest that anything except the spiritual object of the great journey was uppermost in their minds, but it was certainly clear that they were tremendously thrilled at having met the Queen in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Her Majesty has, of course, met the Cardinal, and it was typical of her graciousness and her Interest in the Commonwealth that she should have wanted to renew ties through this formidable pilgrimage to Lourdes. It was only in chatting to the pilgrims that one realised fully the scale of this global travel and the heaping up of adventures and sights in its course: Lourdes itself, the Pope in Rome, the Queen in Britain, for many of Irish origin, a first sight of the old country. America for others. What memories they will carry home. I only hope that some of them, despite constant displacement, have been keeping a diary of impressions made on them. If so, they and their children and children's children will certainly not regret it. Unless one has a formidable memory it is the only way to ensure rich and happy recollections of such an outing.
The Vicar and the Nun LUNCHING the other day with LUNCHING Anglican vicar, we got talking about devotion to Our Lady. This vicar would certainly not consider himself to belong to the ultras or Papalists—on the contrary, he felt completely out of sympathy for them for the rather unexpected reason that he felt they were imitating the older Catholic ways before St. Pius X and his successors ushered in all that goes with the modern liturgical movement. It seemed that, for his part, he would feel more sympathy with a Catholicism which expressed the earlier English Catholic heritage. His own devotion to Our Lady whose Dowry England is, is very strong, and he has visited Lourdes on pilgrimages no less than five times. When a neighbouring nun of an Irish community near his church was twitting him about not coming over, he said to her "At any rate. I've been to Lourdes five times." "And you are not converted?" she indignantly asked him. "No. 1'm
the nun, "is that Our Lady must have gone out while you were there.",
Schizophrenia and Hell 1 I would he idle—and self-decep
tive—to deny that the problem of the eternity of the punishment of hell weighs heavily today on many a Christian conscience One welcome s, therefore, intelligent suggestions as to how the revealed dogma can be shown to he consistent _with the supreme goodness and understanding of Almighty God. Here is one from Fr. Gleason, S.J., contributed to the quarterly "Thought" which I owe to a paragraph in "Time": "We know that in this life the schizophrenic personality suffers greatly. Such a man believes that he is himself and some one else. [andj riven by this conflict he suffers as though devoured by himself. Now it is possible that the soul in Hell could feel this inner division with regard to itself and to the Clod for whom it thirsts
with all its being . But the soul in Hell has throughout its life insisted upon making itself the centre of the universe. Now that it is in Hell it sees with unmistakable clarity that the centre of the universe is Christ Himself. The pain the soul suffers . . . is then the pain of fire and it is the direct result of the pain of loss."
Trajan and Thomas
1(1CALLING our recent con troversy on "What happened to the world when God died," here is another theological puzzler, St. Thomas Aquinas, commenting on the vision of St. Gregory in which he saw the Emperor Trajan carried up by an angel to heaven from hell, gave as an explanation the fact that Trajan must have been resurrected, body and soul, from hell and saved by the merits of Christ. if this could happen in one case, why not in another? St. Thomas's view seems hard to reconcile with the intrinsic finality of hell. The example was quoted during a discussion on when in the history of the Church, Catholics generally came to accept the view that pagans, non-Catholics and heretics could be saved by the merits of Christ because of their good lives according to their lights. Anyway, in regard to St. Thomas reference for the benefit of those interested. Comment. ad Libros Sentent., Ad Librum primum. distMetion 43. quaestio 2 art.2, ad quintum.
Modern or Contemporary
I AM taken to task by a reader
for having referred to the Niarchos collection of paintings at the Tate as "modern art". True, there are some El Grecoes and a Rubens, but I would hold it to he right to call the 19th century French impressionism and all that followed from it as "modern art". Modern history starts with the Reformation, because the great changes at that time vitally affected all that came after. It is the same in this case. The word for today's experimental painting, very much on view at the Tate, is surely "contemporary art", just as the history of this century is contemporary history.
Form of Reconciliation
IAM extremely sorry that writ
ing last week about the leaflet "Return to the Church" I gave the author's name as Fr. F. R. Davis. It is consoling to me to
know that as a result Fr. F. R. Davis is receiving enquiries about it, but perhaps not to hint. I should have written Fr. Charles Davis, of St. Edmund's College, Ware, Herts. And in case anyone has forgotten. may I repeat that this leaflet is first-rate for the reception of converts, costs a shilling a time or fifty for two pounds.
For Lay people too?
IN a very different class of read
ing is the newly published seventh edition of Fr. Henry Davis's famous "Moral and Pastoral Theology" (Shoed & Ward, four volumes, six guineas; separate volumes 30s. each). The present edition has been revised by Fr. I,. W. Geddes, who has aimed to incorporate legislation and papal pronouncements. in so far as they bear on moral theology, since 1949. This work is-naturally more suited to the clergy. but I find that nowadays a good many of the laity like to study for themselves the various branches of theology.
The Outer Fringe FROM the "Spectator" in an
article on the coming Lambeth Conference: "In the great 'missionary' areas of the world it is not the Churches of the ecumenical movement which arc on the attack, but the extremists: the Roman Catholics, the Biblical fundamentalists, the Pentecostal assemblies."