THE increasing awareness that a great deal of the Christmas card habit has become a kind of social conditioned reflex which we are too weak to check would seem to be shared by the firms whose habit it used to be to send vast quantities in the hope that they would be described and publicised in a journal like this one. At any rate, practically nothing has reached us this year. Doubtless, the cards sell themselves. One does not want to be the occasion of injuring anyone's trade — indeed, one could not. since the habit is now too deeply implanted — but it may be worth reflecting on two points, The first is that most of us have a limited number of relations and real friends, as well as a limited amount of money to spend. Why not concentrate on cards for those? The second is that, in one way or another, the card that carries our truly-felt greeting can also be the means of doing real good if it also draws attention to and helps good causes and those in need. I know of no set of cards and no calendar which better combine the message of real spiritual goodwill, beauty. and interest, and help for a good cause, than Fr. Bidonc's light-blue framed cards ,published to help the "Homes for the Aged" ion by the "Sons of Divine Providence.' (F.D.P.). This year's calendar reproduces Our Lady of Westminster on the front cover and, inside, preReformation Madonas from different parts of the country, such as Wells, Canterbury, Cowfold, Hungate, Ashamstead. The cards are seven shillings a dozen and the calendar 2s. 6c1. They are stocked in Catholic shops or can be obtained from 21 Lower Teddington Road. Hampton Wick, Kingstonon-Thames.
I AM sure most of us welcome a pastoral dealing in Catholic terms with a burning public issue, such as the Cardinal Archbishop's
last Sunday, it was reported in practically every national paper.
Eminence would naturally not expect universal agreement about this question of severer punishment for criminals and methods of par ental discipline in the home. Catholics themselves, while agreeing with the principles and purposes, may argue about the means. But 1 must say it is a little thick when the " Daily Worker," which supports political totalitarianism and ruthless punishment for any who disagree with the regime, goes out of its way to say that the Cardinal has "thrown in his hat" because he believes that something more than belief in "repentance and salvation" are needed by the State and the family to maintain civilised behaviour.
Clergy at school
" HEARING, Seeing, Believing" 'is a staid H.B,C. publication describing the history, aims, policy. and practice of religious broadcasting and includes an excellent photograph of Fr, Agnellus Andrew. I hope I shall not then be accused of frivolity in reproducing its excellent cartoon on the clergy learning the art.
Thanks for being angry
I WAS delsghted to receive letters denouncing me For giving the "dialogue Mass" palm last week to the Church of the Holy Redeemer. Chelsea. By doing so the correspondents are informing me and my readers that the dialogue Mass is spreading and coming to be well and profitably done. Names mentioned are St. Mary's. Hampstead, the Dominicans at Haverstock Hill. and Si. Etheldreda's, Ely Place. The latter, by the way. has been mentioned in our columns and is of special interest to London City workers as they can participate in dialogue Mass there daily at I p.m. Please send more names, mentioning, if possible, the degree of dialogue.
Patron of failures ?
WIT HEN the train home from the printers taken by our staff was 20 minutes late last week. it was drawn by an engine called King Henry VI—recently canvassed on the letter page as a possible "patron saint of failures". And this gives me an opportunity of saying that, since I came to live in London itself a few weeks ago, I have yet to experience the District Line train from Earls Court to Blackfriars managing the distance without between-station stops. I suggest that, where this line is concerned, they call it a holiday one Sunday, make an entirely fresh start, and see if this time they can get their sums right.
Daily Mass Guide
SUN., DEC. 6. SECOND IN ADVENT. d. i el. Creed. (Purple).
MON., DEC. 7. S. Ambrose. d. comm. feria. Creed. FASTING & ABSTINENCE for Vigil Immaculate Conception. (White).
TUES., DEC. 8. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. 4. 1 cl. comm. feria, Creed. Preface of Our Lady. (White).
WED., DEC. 9. Feria. (Purple). THURS., DEC. ID. Feria. comm. S. Melchiades (Purple). FRI., DEC. 11. Feria. comm. S. Damascus. (Purple).
SAT.. DEC. IL Feria. (Purple).
SUN., DEC. 13. THIRD IN ADVENT. "GAUDETE" SUNDAY. d. I el. Creed. (Pink or Purple).