Was Spain Like This ?
Sra,—" Many evils would have been avoided in Spain, and even, perhaps, the actual tragedy, if the Catholicism of nzany Catholics had been clearer and more coherent, instead of merely sentimental and rituali.slic---if the Gospels had been better known and followed."
These are the words of the Bishop of Salamanca. The Catholic Church in rural Deland today suffers from the same deficiency—what one might call a low standard of Christianity, hor instance: consider the attitude of our people in offering the Holy Sacrifice On Sundays. Thirty per cent. with beads, mostly old .people; thirty per cent. using prayer-books; thirty-five per cent, merely staring (not at the altar) at the floor, and sometimes half of these whispering and laughing; and five per cent. kneeling outside the doors on one knee—grinning and nudging and enjoying their rough jokes! This outdoor attendance at Mass is quite common in the churches of rural Ireland —just a very scandalous matter-of-form.
Our lay schoolmasters are the teachers of religion in all our country schools; but the local clergy occasionally visit the schools and take charge of the confirmation classes before the Bishop's triennial visit. It is a pity that all schools in Ireland, convent and national, cannot teach the children a few simple liturgical hymns, in Irish and English, to be sung by the whole congregation before and after the Canon of the Massan offertory after the Credo, and a hymn of thanksgiving after the Cornmunion. This would not encroach on the work of the choir, and twice during the Holy Sacrifice the hearts of the congregation would be lifted up, and homage. and adoration would enter the souls of even the most apathetic and indifferent. Their eyes would be taken front the floor and lifted up towards the altar.
T. M. DON0VAN.
Castle Island, Co. Kerry,