By Fr. Bernard Basset, S.J.
DURING the month of May it is l/fitting to honour Our Blessed Lady and how better than by the careful recitation of the Angelus. This is one of the most beautiful and satisfying of prayers. Said three times a day. it prevents the day from slipping past unnoticed, said with attention it recalls the Incarnation, the foundation of our Christian faith. With a class of young children, I used to recite it facing towards Nazareth. We spent a whole geegraphy class working this out.
OUR Lady's Catechists have now produced Angelus Cards in two sizes, price 6d. and 8d., and these would be a great help in the class and in the home. The prayers are well set out and illustrated and each child can colour his own. Copies may be obtained from Miss M. M. Devitt, Tenth House, Oxted, Surrey. (Postage 3d.)
1\ A-ANY of us were brought up to .1-V1 think of the Angelus as a very ancient prayer. The theme is old, of course, but the arrangement and wording, according to many experts, belongs to the 16th century. Charles Waterton claims that the earliest form which he could find is that printed by St. Peter Canisius in his Manuale Catholicorum, printed 1588. Waterton tells of a touching custom in the industrial towns of Northern England where the factory girls "turn the factory bells to good account and to their pealing at six, twelve and six o'clock respond by reciting the Angelus." This in the middle of the last century. Now that we have our own bells and shorter hours, are we as careful and devout?
The Christian Theme in Contemporary Arts
THIS high-sounding title expresses the aims of the Exhibition which is open at Park Lane House on May 12. The doors open at 10 a.m. (Sundays at 2 p.m.) for rather more than a month. Many Catholics arc exhibiting, among them Roy de Maistre, Adam Kossowski. Teresa Fuller, Arthur Pollen and Michael Clark. Dom Robert, the famous French artist, is represented, and another Benedictine, Dom Norris, is showing some of his exquisite stained glass. No doubt in an exhibition like this, there will be some "unknown theological prisoners" to provoke the wrath of writers on another page.
The Living Room
PRIESTS do not ordinarily visit the theatre but they need not, cannot, remain ignorant about Mr. Graham Greene's play. It produces argument unlimited and extraordinary heat. Listening to the interminable discussions about it, I find that the debate often moves away from the play. One party says, "But isn't it wonderful of Mr. Green to make God a best-seller?"; to which the other party answers, "Mr. Greene's Catholicism is a parody of the faith which we accept." "It is a change to find a play which makes people think," said one enthusiast. "It is a tragedy," was the rejoinder," to have a play which makes people think wrongly." Perhaps more of this on another day.
THOSE who were at school with 1 me—no doubt very few of them would read this column—will join in greetings Fr. 4-Reggie" O'Connor on his jubilee day. Fifty years ago on May 11, Fr. O'Connor left the Royal Navy for the Jesuit noviciate; he spent some years as a chaplain under Allenby and many more teaching us what he called "Seaside French." Much of the French is now, alas, forgotten, but Fr. Reggie in the historic present, remains very much alive.
I WAS told how an inquirer in an lAmerican Catholic book shop asked for a good book about the Catholic faith. The girl behind the counter suggested "Theology and Sanity," by Mr. Sheed. The purchaser balked at a book by a layman. "Oh," said the girl behind the counter, "I don't think you could describe Mr. Sheed quite as a layman!"