Issue 6.6 of the Review for Religious, 1947.
x A.M.D.G. ,Kevlew "Keng!ous NOVEMBER 15, 1947 ¯~O~r~Finances and You ........... i" The Editors ~T, houghis on Advent and Christmas - " Adam C.~Ellls : Faitl~and Prayer: . ’.." . . ,. =. ~3harlds F. Donovan " Chr +Jan Joy . . :
. .- . Mother Mary Robeh Falls -. i’We ~re All ~ne" ............. C!aud~ ~a. B~okReviews Communications Questions Answered ¯ Annual Inde~ -,, # V, OLLIME VI NUMBER
6 .NUMB,ER 6 CONTEN’I:S OUR FINANCES AND YOU-~-The Editors and the Bi~siness Office 3’~1"~ THOUGHTS ON ADVE~NT AND CHRIStMAS.---Adam C. Ellisl S.J.~~. 323 COMMUNICATIONS .......... ’ ....... : . ,. 329 FAITH AND PRAYER--Charles F. Dbnovan. S.J. ~35- :’¯YOUNG CHRISTIAN FARMERS. .. ....... ¯ .... 341 . CHRIS’ffIAN JOY~-Mother Marry Robert~Falls, O.S.U. . MARIAN NOTICES ........... : ......... 354" YWE ARE ALL ONE"--Claude Keen, O.F.M. " ~ 3~5~,~ OUR CONTRIBUTORS IN PRAISE OF PRAYER~Au~ustine Klaas, S.J. . ¯ ....... (~UESTIONS AND ANSWERS-- 27. "Absence from Novitiate" in House Infirmary ....... 371~ 28. Secula’r Studies not Permitted to Novices .. .......... 372 29’.~Recommendat~on, not Required f~r Postulants from High Schools and Colleges ...... ¯ . . ... ’ ..... : : 372 30. Transferring to Another Community.. ............ 373 31. Readmit.dng Novice, to Novitiate ,, ......... " 373 32. Indulgenced Prayer for the Dead ............. 3~4 ¯ ~ 33. WasI~ing ,i~ltar Linens .......... ~¢ ....... 374, ~4~ Standing during the Angelus ............. 375 35.. Posture at Funeral during Absolution of Corpse ....... 375 BOOK REVIEWS~. ’ Perfect Obedience
St. ~John of the Cross
Doctor of Divine Love and Contemplation ....... ’ ....... 375 BOOK NOTICES ................ ’ ...... : "378 INDEX TO VOLUME VI ..............
3"81 "REVIEW, FOR RELIGIOUS, Novembe£ 19:47. Vol. VI, No. 6. ’Published bi-~ mommy
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and we have a Christmas sermon preached by St. John Chrysostom at Antioch in 3"88. St. Gregory of Nazianzen introduced the feast at Constantinople about 379 or 380, and from there it spread to Cappadocia. It was celebrated in Alex-andria under the regime of St. Cyril in 432, and in Jerusa-lem under the Patriarch Juvenal about the same time. 323 ADAM C. ELLIS Review for Religious Advent The period of preparation for the feast of Christmas which we now call Advent was gradually introduced about a century afl~er the’ feast itself, probably in imitation of the forty days of Lent Which served as a preparation for the great feast of the Resurrection. In the sixth century Bishop Perpetuus of Tours prescribed three fast days a week from the feast of St. Martin (November 11) to Christmas as a worthy preparation for the feast of the Birth of Christ. Such a period of preparation for the feast of Christmas must have been introduced into the Roman Church some time after Pope Stl Leo the Great, since he makes no men-tion of it in his sermons,, but before the reign of St. Gregory the Great, who comments on Advent in his homilies. For a long time there was no uniformity of practice in the West. The Gelasian Sacramentary~ has five Sundays for Advent
the Gregorian only four. But from the eleventh century on, the Roman" usage of four weeks of Advent Was adopted throughout the Western Church. Spirit of the Advent Liturgy The longing for the coming of the Redeemer is ex-pressed by the daily repetition of the Rotate coeli in the versicle and response for Vespers: "Ye heavens, drop down dew from above, and let the clouds rain down. the Just One." In the lessons of the first nocturn of Matins, the prophet Isaias portrays in gloriously bright colors for the people of God the coming Redeemer as well as His kingdom of grace and of consolation. This longing for the Re-deemer may be summarized in the oft repeated plea of the 1The Sacramentarg (or Book of the Sacred Mysteries) was the first complete litur-gical book known in the West. It contained the celebrant’s part of the Mass (collects, secrets, prefaces, canon, and post-communlons) as well as the prayers and ceremonies for the other sacraments. The three best known sacramentaries were the Leonine, the Gelasian, and the Gregorian. 324 November, 19,t7 ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS .responsory: "Come and save us, O Lord, and do not tarry." It is expressed most strikingly, perhaps, in the so-called "O" antiphons which accompany the Magnificat at Vespers during the week preceding the feast of Christmas: O Adonai, tome and with an outstretched arm redeem us. O Root of Jesse, come to deliver us and tarry not. O Key of David, come and bring forth from this prison house the captive that sitteth in darkness and in the shadow of death. :O Dawn of the East, come and enlighten them that sit in dark, hess and in the shadow of death. O King of the Gentiles, come and deliver man whom tl~ou didst form outof the dust of the earth. O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations, and their Savior, come to save us, O Lord our God. The penitential spirit of Advent is brought home to us by the violet vestments and by the silence of the organ. We miss the joyous anthems of the Te Deum and of the Gloria in the Sunday and ferial offices. This spirit of penance is also exemplified throughout the Advent liturgy by the stern character of John the Baptist who daily cries out to us in the versicle and response of Lauds: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." In the Gospel’s for the third and fourth Sundays of Advent we find John the Baptist busy preaching penance and baptizing sinners in thee Jordan, preparing them for the public ministry of Christ. And he confessed and did not deny: I am not the Christ .... I am not Elias .... I am not the prophet. I am the voice of One crying in the desert: "Prepare the road of the Lord, make straight His paths. Let every gully be filled up, and every hill and knoll be brought low
and let the crooked places be straightened out, and the rough roads smoothed, and .all flesh shall see the Salvation of the Lord." In the Gospel of the second Sunday of Advent, we find John in prison. He had prepared the way for Christ’s pub-lic life
now he quietly disappears from the scene: "He must 325 ADAM C. ELLIS Review, for Religious increase, but I must decrease," he had t01d his disciples. Now he sends them to Christ to Ask: "Art thou He that art to come, or. lool~ we for another?" so that they also might join the disciples of Jesus. " But our Lord is not to be out~ done in generosity. He asks the assembled multitude: What went you out i~nto the desert to see’? A reed shaken by the wind? . . . A man clothed in soft garments? . . . A prophet? Yea, I tell you, and more than a prophet! For this is he of"whom.it is written: "Behold, I send my messenger before Thy fate,’~ho shall prepare .Thy road before Thee." Indeed, I tell you, among those born of women there has not arisen one greater than John the Baptist. A spirit of jo~ is interwoven through the earnestness’of the Advent liturgy. This spirit manifests itself ,esi~ec~ally in the prophec!es of Isaias which form the lessons of the first nocturn of Matins throughout the four weeks of Advent, culminating in the grand promise: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel, God with us." This spirit of j~y also recurs in verses like the following: Shout for joy, O daughter of Sion, rejoice greatly. O daughter of Jerusalem .... Come, O Lord, visit us in peace, that we may rejoice before thee with a perfect heart .... People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations
and the Lord shall make the glory of his voice to be heard, in the joy of your heart. This joy blossoms out in all its fulness in the Introit of the Mass of the third Sunday of Advent: "Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice..Let your forbearance be known to all men. The Lord is near." Our Blessed Lad~/, cause of our salvation and of our joy, is frequently mentioned in the Advent liturgy. Every Sunday and ferial day a special collect is said in her honor: 0 God, whose will it was that Thy Word should take flesh, at the message of an angel, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary: grant to us Why suppliants that we who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee. The antiphon for the Magnificat for the third Sunday 326 November, 1947 ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS of. A~dvent addresses her as follows: "Blessed art thou Mary that hast believed tl~e Lord
those things shall be accom~ plished in thee, which were spoken to thee by the Lord., In the Gospel for ~YCednesday in Ember ~¢reek we have the story of the Annunciation, while .in that for Friday visit of Mary to Elizabeth is portrayed. TheOffert0ry,6f the Mass for the fourth Sunday of Advent is ou~ favorite prayer: Hail Mary, full among women, and Finally
the of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou blessed is the fruit of thy’womb. Mass of the Vigil of Christmas gives expression to all these thoughts contained in the Adveht liturgy. In the Introit and again in the Gradual we are told: "This day you shall know that the Lord will come and save us
and in the morning you shall see his glory." In the Collect we pray: O God who dost gladden us with the yea.rly expectation of our redemption, grant that we who now joyfully receive "Thine only begotten Son as our Redeemer, may also without fear, behold Him coming as our judge, Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. And in the Gospel we read: .Joseph, son of David, fear not tO take unto thee Mary thy wife
for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost~ And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for He shall save his people from their sins. Three Christmas Masses Christmas is distinguished from all other feasts of the ecclesiastical year by the celebration of three Masses. This custom had been in existence in Rome for some time in the sixth century when Pope St. Gregory wrote his homilies. The Gelasian Sacramentary fixes the time for the first Mass "’ad galli cantum’" (at cockcrow), but soon it was moved to midnight, under the influence no doubt of the text from the book of Wisdom: 327 Retn’eto for Religious. For while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, thy almighty word leapt down from .thlr royal throne as a fierce conqueror into the midst of the land of destruction. Originally there were only two Masses on Christmas-- the first during the night at the basilica of St. Mary Major, which coatained a replica of the crib of Bethlehem, hence the title ad praesepe,(at the crib)
the second, at St. Peter’s, in the course of the morning hours. The third Mass, which’ is our present second Mass, was introduced by a custom which originally had nothing to do with the feast of Christ-mas. The Greek church celebrated the feast of St. Anastasia 0n December 25, and both Constantinople and Jerusalem had a church in her honor. In Rome the royal palace of the absent eastern~emperors on the Palatine also had a church dedicated to St. Anastasia, and the Pope stopped there tO pay his respect to this great saint on his way from St. Mary Major to St. Peter’s. Thus was introduced our second Christmas Mass, at dawn, at the Station of St. Anastasia. Although the celebration of three Masses on Christmas day was thus introduced by extrinsic circumstance, the faithful of the Middle Ages loved to attach symbolic meanings to the Church’s liturgy. Up to the time of Durandus the Christmas liturgy was still referred only to the eternal and temporal birth of Christ. As he tells us: "The first Mass refers to the eternal birth of Christ, from the Father without a mother
the second to His tem-poral birth, from the mother without a father
the third unites both of them’, the eternal and the temporal birth." (Prima missa pertinet ad generationem aeternam, scilicet, de patre sine matte, secunda ad temporalem, de matte sine patre, tertia compacta est, quia de utraque agit, et ideo perti-net ad aeternaro simul et temporatem.) But soon after the time of Durandus the popular 328 Nouembero 1947 COMMUNICATIONS imagination referred the third Mass on Christmas day to the mystical birth of Christ in the souls of~the just~ If we. examine the three Mass formularies for Christmas day,, we may find. in each one references to the threefold birth of Christ
but~if we follow the norm that the gospel bespeaks the character of the Mass, then we may say that the first Mass at midnight refers to Christ’s temporal birth of the Virgin Mary: "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn." The Mass at dawn refers to Christ’s birth in the hearts of the faithful, represented by the shepherds of the gospel who were ~he first to take Christ into their hearts by reason of their faith: "And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen as was told them." The gospel of the’ third Mass, evidently refers to the eternal birth of the word from the Father: ’,’In the beginning ,was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Vacations {or Religious Reverend Fathers: We heartily disagree with the Sister who maintains that vacations for religious are a respite from the vows
who finds no hint of vaca-tions in the life of Our Lord
and who feels that the sacrificial ideal of the rellgiofis life e~cludes such periods of relaxation. ’ Our.religious superiors in their wisdom and foresight have recently purchased a home in. the mountains in order to make possible a Vacation for our Sisters. They have accepted the almost universal opinion of theologians and physicians that periods of relaxation are not only helpful but necessary for maximum efficiency in our spir-itual life, as well as for physical and mental well-being. Sisters on vacation in this mountain home are by no means dis- 329 COMMUNICATIONS Revietu [of Religiou~ pensed from their vows. /~Ithough routine is not strictly followed, the religious exercises are performed in their entirety and with more fervor than is possible amid the harassing details of active life. It is true that in the Gospels we find no mention of the word vacation. Howeverl we do read of Christ’s bidding His disciples to come apart and rest a while with Him. To our minds a vacatlon for religious is just that going apart with Him,and resting a while. This rest w~ take with the hope that we will return to our active duties invigorated and refreshed, and able to follow Him more devotedly and labor more ardently for His cause. ---SOME SISTERS WHO HAD A VACATION. Reverend Fathers: I am happy, to submit the following information~in the~’hope that more communities will enjoy the benefit that we are deriving from our Vacation House. Our0vacatiohs were formerly spent with relatives ~r at a com-munity house other than that in .which the Sisters w’~re ,~t~tic
ned~ About five years ago" ~¢e were fortunate in securing by thee ocean’ side a twerity-five room-private home, which has been c6nveYted into ~an ideal vacation l~ouse with a modified.~ spiritual ,atmosphere. The property surrounding this building included riparian’ rights to three hundred feet of bathing beach privacy. Its lawns and drive-ways, while providing seclusion for the Sisters, furnish a complete change four thos~e laboring in the~ci,,ties during the year. " ,~To-further !nsu~re re~ .for ~th~e Sisters, there are no visitors received at this house, no lay people employed except the gardener, no inter-course whatever with the c
utsi~le ~orld.’ It is in charge of a senior Sister who is assisted by another member qualified in the’~ulinary nits: The vacationists give this latter Sister a helping hand’ immediately after breakfast in’.pfeparing the prihcipal meal and in puttihg the convent i~i order for the day. Everyone is then free,for the forenoon to relax as she chooses: she may go bathing in the Atlantic billows or bask in the s.unshine, she may iead, or follow her favorite h6bby of crocheting or embroidery, etc. A iimilar arrangement follows each meal. Our usual religious exercises are abridged, but are observed in common in the chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. The call is given at six-~-often later. Morning prayers are said before daily Mass and a half hour of meditation made afterwards. Rosary 330 Nooembero 1947 COMMUNICATIONS and examen bring the Sisters together again at noon, but no other prayers are recited until five-thirty. A half hour of spiritual reading :~is then made in the chapel or outdoors, as the Sisters prefer. After. night prayers at seven-thirty, the Sisters are free to walk, recreate indoors, or retire. Instead of the lengthy Latin grace, the Divine Praises are said in common in the chapel. The physical and mental relaxation which the Sisters are deriving from this. vacation center would alone compensate for its cost to the community. But it is the priceless gift of a new mutual understanding amongst the members of the congregation that has made the investment a decided blessing." One senior member who remained there during a whole season expressed this very fact when she remarked, "I never really kne,~ my Sisters before, especially the younger groups, a’nd they have been an ., inspiration." Juniors have likewise gained much in virtue from the edification, simplicity and good sportsman.ship of the senior Sisters, whose weary spirits, in turn, are revived and rejuvenated in the family atmosphere ’ created by the young hearts around them. Using the words of the REVIEW, it was during "recreation and relaxation that’ the young and the old saw one another in a’ new light." They discovered that a community vacation of ten days amongst "their very own" dispelled from their minds petty griev-ances and so broadened their spiritual vision that they returned to their missions with a song in their hearts. Perhaps the success of this project is best illustrated by the atti-tude of the Sisters themselves. They now look forward to" their vacation with delight and plan new means of recreation and. fun-maklng. ’ That a new community spirit of mutual affection has been pro-moted is evidenced in the reluctance with which the groups break away at thee end of the vacation period. They bridge the years ahead with the promise and hope of meeting again in their seaside convent home and enjoying a similar reunion with their Sisters in Christ
--A SISTER SUPERIOR. On Prayer Reverend Fathers: Two communications in the September issue of the REVIEW FOR RELIGIOUS have prompted me to add a thought or two. The one is the letter of a Poor Clare on mental prayer
the other, by a Jesuit 331 COMMUNICATIONS Reoieto [or Religious Missionary, in which he asks whether resolutions are always a neces-sary result of a meditation. With the Poor Clare, I must also admit that duiing my thirty.-- two years of religious life I have done .mighty little meditating-- as it usually is understood. This was not due to lack of instruction by the proper superiors. In fact during three years preceding the novitiate we were instructed in mental prayer. Nor was it due-- with some reservations for my weakness and laziness--to want of good will or effort. Again there was no lack of knowledge in spir-itual- matters: besides a good training in religion in school and col-lege, I have always loved spiritual reading. Why the. impossibility? Did I not pray at all? I hope I did. For one thing, too few realize that "methods" are only a means, and cumbersome at that, if made too complicated. Methods are cer-tainly a necessity for beginners, but still not all persons can use an~r kind of method. I believe that St: Ignatius in his excellent Exercises gives really seven methods, so that every kind of soul can find some kind of way to begin mental prayer. True, one must give some method i~n honest trial. But when the method becomes a strait-jacket, it must be ignored. Before starting with a method, one must realize that mental prayer, and other prayer, too, is a raising of the mind to God-- the classical defiriition. In more simple words, it is a conversation with God, with 3esus. Place yourself in the presence of God by a lively act of faith. God is everywhere, but most intimately in the soul in the state of sanctifying grace. Then speak to God dwelling in your heart. That is all
it is as simple as that. Of course there are the difficulties of distractions and so forth. But PRAYER is as simple as that, And remember it is a CONVERSATION--which means that we must give God a chance to’talk too. Prayer is not a monologue. I don’t mean that God will speak to us with audible words. That would foster hallucinations. But at times a quiet comes over the soul that is not a dreaming away of time. We are conscious of God by faith and love. Then words are not needed. Thinking, express acts are stilled. Most religious who are faithful to their period of mental prayer will experience this at times, sometimes for a. few moments, sometimes for a longer time. They think that they are not praying because they are not "meditating" according to method. What of it! They then need guidance. And how few understand this statel 332 ..November, 1947 COMMUNICATIONS There are two books, not too large nor too intricate, which I would suggest for the understanding of this state--the prayer of simplicity: Ludovic de Besse, The Science of Prayer (Benziger, 1926)
Diefen-bach, Common Mystical Prayer (St. Anthony Guild Press, Patter-son, N. 3., 1946). For some years I was spiritual director of a group of theological students. When they came to me with their problems in the life of prayer, I n~ver expatiated on "methods" they were supposed to know. I tried to show them "how." For this I used two bo6ks: the Gos-pels and the Imitation, showing them two ways of using the time allotted for mental prayer. From the Gospel I took some scene from the life of Our Lord. I then went through the scene, first picturing the incident to them. I always had some holy cards on hand illus-trating some Gospel scene. The "method" I used was the contem-platio of St. Ignatius. Such pictures that I used, were for instance one of the sinner anointing the feet of Our Lord in the house of Simon, or one of the "Seven Sorrows" of Jansenns. This not only appealed and made prayer easier, it gave the students hope and cour-age. It was not hard to elicit affections. One of them said in sur-prise, "I often did this in my room, when looking at a picture. I didn’t know it was prayer." The Imitation I used for what I called a more abstract medi-tation, that is, without a picture. It seemed to be suited for such who were more of a speculative mind. After placing themeselves in the Divine Presence, they were to read a sentence or two and then think them over. Suitable affections would soon suggest them-selves: faith, hope, love, contrition. The Fourth Book I suggested especially for subject matter in preparation for Holy Commuffion. To these books I added the Missal. The Gospel narratives, and sometimes the Lessons, offered material for the first mode of prayer: the rest of the Mass, especially the Ordinary of the Mass, suggested thought for "’abstract" meditation. Probably ~he term "abstract" is ill chosen. But I only meant that it was done without having a picture in mind. With these two "methods" or ways, any good book could be used. But I never stopped at this explanation. I found too many souls who were drawn to the prayer of simplicity. At the begin-ning this drawing is momentary, gradually it becomes stronger and for a longer period, until the entire time of prayer is taken up with it. But I would not call it the prayer of simplicity the first time I 333 COMMUNICATIONS spoke about it. I rather expla.ined its working, so that, if any of them knew it by experience they Would recognize this particular working of God’s grace in the soul. If at any time the soul feels a deep peace, but no desire or liking, not even the ability to think and elicit affections, it should not be disturbed. As long as it is conscious of God’s presence, by faith ~a..nd love, it should not do anything to disturb this peace. When however this period passes away, and the soul seems to be "on its own" again, it should quietly try to resume its thinking and affections. Some souls, given more to affective prayer, tell me they are saying ejaculations during the entire time of mental prayer. At first sight this seems to be merely vocal prayer. But their ejaculations are, not the forced acts which we usually associate with such prayers. Upon questioning one will find out that with these souls they are the effusions of love, or faith, or adoration, and so forth. Their soul is so filled with the thought of God at the time of prayer that they can only admire, praise, love, and speak to God in short sentences, or aspirations. As rega~rds making resolutions at every meditation: Resolutions are made to lead a better life: to avoid evil or to do gogd. But that is not the only fruit of prayer. An entire period spent in adoration, praise, gratitude, love of God, is often more profitable than a medi-tation with resolutions. But am I not even here making a mistake, when I say "more profitable"? Must I look only to MY profit? In all that I do, also in prayer,~the first end and purpose is the honor and glory of God, not my own benefit. And if I give honor to God by adoring, praising, loving, will that not raise me higher in grace and goodness and love? Instead of waiting for an occasion to carry out resolutions, and thus become better, I am becoming better at once. This by no means indicates a disparaging of .resolutions. They are most necessary. But if in a given period of mental prayer there are no resolutions concerning ME because I have been thinking of God all the time, how I can please Him why worry about reso-lutions ?~----A CAPUCHIN FATHER. 334 Fai!:h andP ayer CharlesF. Donovan, S.2. [~AITH seems to be the Cinderella of the spiritual life, a 1-- virtue apparently underestimated by ascetical writers. Theologians are largely preoccupied with the nature or make-up of an individual act of faith, showing that it pro-ceeds from the intelldct, not specifically from the will as the Protestants say, But this is an academic not an ascetic approach. The spiritual aspect of faith, which is like the language that enables a lover to communicate his thoughts to his loved one, which is like the-light that enables him to see or, further, even to know the loved one--this spiritual aspect.of faith is relatively neglected. And such neglect is not limited to spiritual writers. We ourselveS, when we examine our conduct, question our charity, our modesty, our patience, prudence, and so on. But we seldom question our faith. We act as if faith were a static and fixed thing, whereas, not in its content, but as a virtue, it can be ¯ improved
and theref