Jesuits and V.C.s
WITH apologies to the army of readers who write to protest whenever I mention Picture Post. I cannot but draw attention to the excellent article last week on
Ervine-Andrews. the Stonyhurst V.C. (A day later the Daily Telegraph called Stonyhurst " The V.C.'s School.") The article, obviously written by a Stonyhurst man, is well illustrated both with pictures of the V.C. at different ages and photos of the college. I read in the article that ErvineAndrews hesitated between becoming a
Jesuit and joining the Army. And this makes me wonder how many potential V.C.'s—or at any rate the stuff that makes military heroes—are hidden in the Society. The thought would, I think, have delighted St. Ignatius, the soldier-saint, who made his followers soldiers of Christ. It has often been remarked that there is not much difference. as far as discipline of life is concerned, between a sailor and a Jesuit. This, I believe, was the view of Fr. Schomberg Kerr, a very great Jesuit, who joined the Society after attaining high rank in the R.N.
Breakfast for the Hen
HOWEVER much one dislikes war, it is hard to believe that it is all evil. So I feel at all events when I contemplate the newfound activities of my own family. What with keeping hens—and what intelligent and interesting birds they turn out to be—making jam, bottling fruit, etc.. life has taken on a new dimension. A hen that went broody had to be taken up to the loft and placed in an uncomfortable pigeon cote, having its breakfast brought up to it on a tray just like another baby. And when one thinks that similar activities — and probably far more elaborate ones—are taking place in a million homes across the face of the country, we get a glimpse almost of a new Britain, a Britain in which men and women
are at last learning to look to themselves and their own industry instead of depending wholly on the State and the produce of the bargain basement stores Maybe they will soon be too busy to bother their heads about the rot talked in the name of politics. If only we could get every family started on its little plot of land and a secure little income! Life would be so simple were it not for thc " prophets and purveyors," to use a phrase of Roger Fry's.
AGOOD deal of nonsense from where one might expect it, and sense from where perhaps one might not, accumulates on our desks in the form of cuttings from contemporaries. I am looking now at a mess of strips that include a disgusting poem from the Freethinker by some anonymous cheap-jack on the late Fr. Woodlock, an article from Tit-Bits about what a good fellow Henry of Navarre was, and a cutting from the Colne Times, which struck me as so pleasant and sensible that I am glad to reproduce sonic of it. The writer is one " from a woman's point of view "; and she says: " Just recently a Quakeress sent roe a leaflet about considering what we are ' out ' for in fighting this war.
" A lot of us have ideas about it, but we haven't put it into delinite words. Well, this leaflet emphasises five points to consider as a good ideal to work from. They've been printed in a few papers, but you might not have read them."
The Pope's five Peace Points follow, and the writer continues:
" Those five points have been drawn up by the Pope, and why the Roman Catholics
in Coln haven't made a stir to draw them specially to our attention beats me. I've found out that they know about them. Here is something which could weld Christians of every denomination into a mighty whole in international affairs and people keeping quiet about it. A big ideal to work and fight for."
Why not indeed?—in Caine. Colchester, Carlisle, Cardiff, Cambridge, Canterbury, Chester and everywhere else!
An Air-Raid Story A HAVE been told very directly—and I have real reason to believe the story authentic—of the reception accorded to the crew of a German bomber who came down in a private garden The garden belonged to a house wherein live two very smart and up-to-date young ladies Both platinum blondes rushed out with carving and bread knife and fearlessly called on the Germans to give up their arms To their surprise the leader calmly handed over his revolver and in excellent English said: " You can have this to shoot down as many Nazis as you like." Perhaps he was only taken by surprise, but there seems more in it than that.
Aquinas a Fascist?
FR. Walter Gumbley, writing in the current issue of Blackfriars, quotes a most interesting passage from Saint Thomas Aquinas's de Regimnie Principum.
"Tyranny under group government seemed to him," says Fr. Gumbley, " much more common than under a despotic monarchy." And be quotes:
When evil threatens from two things
from which a choke has to be made, the one from which the lesser evil is to be apprehended must be chosen; and less danger comes from a monarchy which has developed into a tyranny than a government of several rulers which has become a corrupt one. For civil dissension which is a COMI11011 outcome of a group government strikes at the chief social good which is peace. whereas under a tyrant prince it is usually only the well-being of Individuals that is attacked, not that of the community." (Chapter V).
I reproduce this only for the benefit of certain Catholic minds which appear to harbour one far too simple 'dee fixe: that this paper has a " Fascist " tinge because it does not regard 1940 democracy as a plan of government laid up, if not made up, in Heaven. There is no more a divine right of democracies than of kings.
AN Irish correspondent writes; Already " the ranks of my friends are thinning and I begin almost to feel an old man as memories rush in on me. I see Frank Byrne was killed in Malta: he was one of those Dublin people everybody knew and liked Frank was so much the soul of chivalry anu had such extraordinary good manners that people who did not know him well suspected his sincerity. I think he had an Oxford " blue " for the mile. Another fallen soldier Stonyhurst and the Royal Fusiliers may well take pride in, he was the only and most devoted son of Ralph Byrne, the architect, who builds most of Ireland's churches Then there is dear old "Chotie " Gerrard, lost at Dunkirk We were'at Ampleforth and Trinity College.. Dublin, together; whence he went into the Duke of Wellington's, where there are a fair number of old
(Continued in next column).