SIR, It is a well known fact that we all need something to get our teeth into; no animal or child will grow strong and virile fed on pap and having to make no effort of mind or body to both acquire the food and the appetite necessary to digest it.
Also if man is deprived of an individual, legitimate, adventurous. struggle he will either become weak and apathetic or "gang-up" for evil ends. This probably relates to the fact that God has decreed that man's life must be a struggle to overcome, by the sweat of his brow, the thorns and thistles and evils which beset his path from the cradle to the grave. If man doesn't go to his personal war he will get involved in a collective one.
It is true that youth is a time of restlessness and rebellion but it is also a time of intense idealism, together with a craving for adventure and they bring to this an equal energy, enthusiasm and a courage ready to make great sacrifices.
Life today hands everything to the young on a plate, intent on making all the hard things easy. and so the Welfare State, which should liberate the man so that he may be free to adventure, ends up having to feed the toothless young on pap and they deteriorate into apathy or young gangsters.
Is this happening in our spiritual life too? We complain of our youngsters lapsing, of their spiritual and mental apathy, of their falling away from the Faith if they mix with their non-Catholic
neighbours. We do alt we can to make religion attractive and easy for them or we treat it in such a way that they connect it with the Welfare State and compulsory education and immunisation.
Have we lost the impetus of love and the knowledge that the whole of life is a terrific adventurous battle between the Angelic Hosts and the Powers and Principalities of Darkness and that we have to play our part in that? Do they grow up knowing that they must take sides and play their part, that life isn't standing watching on the touch line or as a comfortable TV viewer. Angels and the Devil have become either Jungian myths or Freudian peculiarities in so many even good Catholic homes.
Bring the youngsters up to understand that their lay state is a tremendous adventure, that they have a Leader who is Christ, more virile than any youth leader can ever be, and that they have to play their part with Michael and the Heavenly Hosts under the leadership of Christ to win their bit of the world from Lucifer, in his many disguises of the Devil, the World and the Flesh.
Let this be a reality to them in the Church and the home and they will catch alight, for this is the ideal that their nature and their hearts are craving for and it is the lack of this which makes them despaIr and take for their King the Ideal Felon. Marie Desbottes
167 Gladstone Buildings, Willow Street,