PUT WARMTH INTO STATE ICE-BOXES'
PTHE Bishop of Shrews' bury's Advent letter is an appeal to all his people to put warmth into the " ice boxes" of the Welfare State.
Considering how the Welfare State covers man " from the cradle to the grave," Bishop Murphy says that " it might seem a little ungracious to say t hat something is missing: something that Christ tried to teach us from the Cross; a very simple thing; the love of men.
"Whatever the State touches, it cannot help it, ceases to be human. It becomes official, organised, and the whole spirit of love departs.
" The State cannot love. It can only administer, It has no blood, no emotion. no healing words. no soothing fingers.
It cannot even speak. It can only write or rather print. seeking answers in black and white or in Hock capitals.
" It is efficient, most efficient. It makes no mistakes, but it makes no friends. It reaches men's pockets, but not their hearts, " There is no blood in its fingers.
`Look out for a huge loveless labour camp .
They are cold and clean, and dole out their charity like jewelled fingers passing over a cold coin.
" And it is love that men want, not planned philanthropy. The world is starving for love. Men's hearts are dry.
" Never has there been so much charity in the world and yet so little love.
" Never has there been so much care for men, and yet never has the world been so careless of men.
" Never has there been relief on such a grand scale, and yet never has there been suffering on such a scale.
" Never has there been so much political kindness, yet never has there been so much political cruelty.
Men in this age have been butchered and robbed and deported and thrust into labour camps. They have been told that they are going to he freed and emancipated even if they don't want to he.
and slaughtered in the process.
" The common man is flattered and courted as a worker. as a potential vote, as a customer. as a client or liquidated as a reactionary. His emotions are played upon by politicians, by planners. false prophets and advertisers. There is no one on God's earth who wants him just for himself.
" Everyone wants to make him more efficient, more party minded. more citizen minded, and less family minded.
" There are few who love him just as he is with all the dignity of a child of God.
" You know there have been many had men in the world; men who have cornered wool or steel or coffee or flour; unscrupulous capitalists cornering the necessary things of life for their own ends.
" But I will tell you the worst capitalist of all: the capitalist who corners men, who deals in men, and uses them for his own ends: who has no love for men at all in themselves, but just for some block ideal in his mind; who claims to serve some vague idea like humanity, and in order to do so would butcher every man in the world to do it.
" Do understand that ,Christ did
not die for humanity. He died for each individual man.
" He was at pains to point out
that we must love not humanity, but our neighbour. The word he uses is • Proximus,' which means the one next door to you, the one next to you on the bench. and even more so, the one who sits next to you at your kitchen table....
" Ever since God became a man. the fortunes of God and man are inseparably thrown together, and if ever the love of God disappears in this world, look out for a huge loveless labour camp. a huge workhouse where men wither away in hate, because they have forgotten how to love.
" The age in which we live may he an ignorant age, an age of hero worshippirs and autograph hunters, in which no man is of value unless he is brilliant or glamorous or featuring in the headlines. But it is the age into which we have been horn and it is the duty of Catholics not to despise the age, but to leaven it with Catholic principles and with love.
" To fight the block ideals of the abortionists, and the birth controllers, and the sterilisers of the unfit, and the murderers of the old and infirm. And then to add what is missing to this Welfare State, a respect and a love for men.
Window of love " Have you ever when walking at night passed a warm lighted window and caught a glimpse of a family seated within. You have immediately a wistful feeling of exclusion. It is like a word of happiness spoken in the night in warmth and light.
" All this is what you can supply to a modem world, a window of light and love.
" The State will build you marvellous factories, and hospitals and schools. all built in cold steel. and marble and stone. It will he for you with your warm hands and hearts to turn to your neighbour and light the fires in these ice boxes and turn them into homes.
" The State will give all men security, but only you can give them love. We can never catch up with the love of God. But it might help us to do so if we catch up with the love of men,"