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Catholic Evidence Training Outlines
Compiled By Maisie Ward
No one should attempt to use this book without having made a careful study of the Introduction.
The speakers are again reminded that these are not street-corner outlines but class outlines to prepare them for the street corner.
With A Foreword By His Eminence Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster
Westmonasterii, die 2 Februarii, 1928.
First published 1925
London: Sheed & Ward
Foreword To The First Edition
Archbishop's House, Westminster,
March 2nd, 1925.
We welcome the publication of "Catholic Evidence Training Outlines." The Catholic Evidence Guild of Westminster has already given clear proof of zeal and efficiency, and in so doing has gathered much valuable experience in the preparation of catechists and in the presentation of the truths taught by the Catholic Church. "Training Outlines" place this accumulated experience at the service of other Guilds to whom they will prove of very great use. The Clergy, too, may profit by these notes and gather from them fresh ideas for the setting forth of the philosophy and theology, of which they have received a fuller and more technical knowledge during their preparation for the Priesthood, in a manner adapted to the capacity of the average man at the present day.
We earnestly bless the compilers of these "Outlines" and congratulate them on their work.
Francis Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop Of Westminster.
Dedication Of The First Edition
Dear Dr. Arendzen,
In asking your permission to dedicate this volume to you I feel I am but giving back to you something the best part of which was already yours.
It is not merely that a few of these outlines have been made from notes taken from your own lectures; it is far more that at the back of all we do we feel the inspiration that your thoughts and your guidance bring to us. All our best work is done with the desire to be not too unworthy of those thoughts and of that guidance.
When then I had gathered this volume together I knew it would be the wish of my fellow-speakers whose work has gone into this collection that we should offer it to you as a poor token of the gratitude and affection of the whole Guild.
Note To New Edition
The wide welcome given to the first edition of "Training Outlines" came as a pleasant surprise. Two large editions have sold out—far more than enough to have provided all guildsmen in this country plus Australia and Holland with three or four copies each. Meanwhile the Guild movement has been advancing, and with it we hope our training material—our power to use the great truths of the faith more effectively on the platform. Outlines have been accumulated on fresh subjects, better outlines made on the old subjects. The question arose of publishing a second series, but after some consideration it has been decided rather to issue a new, greatly enlarged and much revised edition.
The principal changes are:
(1) Introductory essay on principles of training and manner of using the outlines.
(2) A whole new section of some eight or ten lectures on natural religion—the existence, nature and attributes of God, the soul, the problem of evil, etc.
(3) A new section of six historical outlines—specimen lectures designed to show how history may be used to illustrate Catholic principles.
(4) To the previously existing courses there are added:
(a) New subjects such as "Prayer" (3 outlines),
(c) Many alterations of existing outlines and one or two deletions.
(5) An additional technical lecture on "Special Difficulties of Senior Speakers."
(6) There are about three times as many questions as before.
(7) The literature has been revised and many more books added.
The compiler owes special thanks above all to Dr. Arendzen who, as stated in the introduction, has furnished the material of our best outlines; also to Fr. Pontifex, O.S.B. of the Westminster Guild, and to Fr. Jefferys and Dr. Avery of the Newcastle Guild, for most welcome suggestions and help.
Problem Of Guild Training
What is the problem which Guild Training has to solve ? That of enabling the ordinary Catholic to explain the truths of his religion in such a way as to reach the understanding of a heterogeneous crowd. The members of this crowd differ in class, race, culture, education. They agree only in having:
(a) No knowledge whatever of Catholic Truth;
To meet this the ordinary Catholic starts with a certain knowledge of his religion which he is not always very capable of expressing clearly, which at best he puts forth in theological terms familiar to himself—and fatally familiar also to his audience. He talks cheerfully of the Immaculate Conception (and they think he means the Virgin Birth) of Infallibility (and they imagine a claim that Alexander VI was entirely sinless) of Extreme Unction (which they suppose to be a kind of torture). How many of us have heard a young speaker lucidly and coherently conveying to a crowd something which he did not mean!
This arises from two things—one that his own knowledge of his religion is not clear and deep enough for him to make it clear to others, and secondly that to one living in a Catholic atmosphere the thoughts of the crowd and their religious language are totally unfamiliar. The days are gone when one type of Guild enthusiast maintained that no more equipment was required than an ardent love for the Faith which of itself produced eloquence—or at least a flow of words that sounded passably like it (ignorance being rather an asset than otherwise); while the other type held that a sound knowledge of theology was the only requirement. After nine years of experience, even the most extreme enthusiasts in both camps have come to realize that Guild Training has to meet a double need. It must teach doctrine, but not only teach doctrine. The beginner needs knowledge:
(a) Of his subject;
Efficient training takes all these needs into account and, while taking its pupils deeper and deeper into Catholic doctrine, never loses sight of the platform.
The speaker needs for his work:
Let us look at the present volume as a basis for training and see how it can be best used to meet these needs.
Outlines As Basis Of Training
It is obviously necessary for Guild training to have some one book in which the various subjects of Catholic apologetics may be given to the class in such a way as to prepare them for the platform. At the beginning of the Guild's existence in Westminster in 1918 a manual of apologetics, the admirable book of Archbishop Sheehan, was used as the basis of Training, and the course followed was based upon it. Later Father Martindale's "Words of Life" was taken as a sort of skeleton, the copies given to the class being interleaved with references to other books. "Words of Life "and Sheehan's "Apologetics" are still among the books recommended as indispensable to the guildsman but it was early felt that for platform purposes a different treatment was needed as a basis, and this for two reasons.
(1) Any manual of apologetics proceeds logically, taking first the existence of God and natural religion, then revelation divinity of Christ, and finally the Church. For the guildsman this process has to be reversed. He must proceed from the better to the less known, learning first to handle effectively the simpler subjects. He must understand the value of Her marks as proving the Church's divine origin, be able to lecture on the use of externals, the sacramental principle and all those things which, making up Catholic doctrine and practice, are in fact the very life which he, as a Catholic, lives. When he is really able to handle these subjects convincingly he goes on to the subjects centering in the Incarnation and finally to the Existence of God and natural religion.
(2) A manual of apologetics, indeed several such manuals, are needed to gather the material for lecturing on any subject, but no manual gives a line suitable for a lecture, and such a line is a vital necessity to a young guildsman, if he is to convey anything at all to his crowd.
(3) The compiler of this book would not, however, dogmatize as to its position as a basis of training, although believing in it from a fairly wide experience. Should some other book or system be used as a course in apologetics it is hoped that the Outlines may still prove useful. They represent methods of conveying Catholicism to a crowd which have been tried repeatedly and successfully out of doors. They are not directly street-corner outlines as each contains too much material for one street-corner lecture, but they indicate the possible methods of handling the subjects, warn beginners of the unsuccessful methods, and in general place at their disposal the fruit of some nine years' experience of a number of speakers on the outdoor platform.
It cannot too often be emphasized that whether the basis of training chosen be a manual of apologetics or this volume any one book can only be a basis. The other reading indicated must be used; the subject must be carefully lectured on by the Trainer and assimilated by the class; any treatment proposed must be tried out in the class, criticized and improved. No book is going to be a short cut to the platform in the sense of saving the lazy student from work. To be a good speaker must involve work.
What the outlines will provide, even more we hope in this new edition, is a good guide and ground-plan both for the trainer and the speaker. To show how they may be used, each Course, and the questions must now be glanced at separately.
Although these outlines are arranged as a course they are not meant to be given straight through, but to be interspersed between the "subject" lectures. The following points should be noted:
(a) The aim of these lectures is to impress on the student a right outlook towards the Church that sends him, the work he is learning to do, the crowd he is approaching.
(b) The student is taught in these lectures how to listen at classes, read, take notes, arrange his material.
(c) He learns how to handle crowds and to avoid the mistakes which all beginners inevitably make unless they are warned.
(d) The trainer who uses these outlines will soon learn what points need special emphasis in a given class and Guild, and his own platform experience will teach him how to utilize, add to and improve on these hints so as to bring his class into a high state of efficiency. For detailed advice on training he will himself do well frequently to consult lectures 8 and 9.
It is often asked how to fill in the class-time left after a technical lecture, so as to be of the greatest benefit to the students, and in answer to this question the following suggestions are made.
After-Lectures 1 and 3, "General Outlook," and "How to Handle a Crowd," question members of your class as to how one should act in some among the following or other very usual circumstances:—
(a) When opening a meeting in an empty street.
After Lecture 2, "How to Develop your Ideas," either set members of the class to sketch a line on a given subject and other members to find out flaws in it, or yourself chalk up an outline on the blackboard with a link missing from it and set the class to find out what is wrong.
After Lecture 4, "Questions and Interjections," put to members of the class involved and obscure questions, teach them how to cross-question in order to draw out the questioner's meaning. They will generally at first answer the question without having understood it. Show them that they have done this. Teach them how to treat (a) obviously insincere, (b) rude, (c) personal, (d) meaningless questions. Collect specimens of interjections on various subjects, and show your class how to treat them. Question them on how to make use of interruptions and, when to ignore them, etc.
Allow plenty of time after each of these lectures for questions from the class. Their experience will be of value to each other and to the lecturer, and often starts fresh useful ideas on the technical side of the work. It also shows whether they have understood the lecture or not.
Lectures 7, 8 and 9 are only given to Senior Classes and afford a good opportunity for chairmen to compare notes and correct their defects. Lecture 8, "Class-Taking" should, if possible, be followed by a course of practice in class-taking by Senior students. The method for this usually followed in Westminster is to work through the Junior syllabus in the Senior class, taking each subject a few days before it is to be given to the Juniors. A Senior student is chosen who gives the lecture to his fellows and takes the class questioning them and being questioned by them. The last part of the time-table is filled with criticisms by the class chairman instead of short speeches. A few days later the student can, if he likes, hear the same subject handled in the Junior class by a lecturer of longer experience. He is thus enabled to correct and amplify his own work, and if he proves efficient is shortly given further practice in class-taking. This method has proved helpful in sifting out useful from useless class-takers without running the risk of spoiling the junior class by experiments.
Lecture 10, "The Senior Speaker," is a new one. All Guilds that have been founded long enough have felt the difficulties under which the senior speaker suffers. An attempt has been made to meet them in this lecture, and if it is given firmly and sympathetically class-takers will find it helpful in dispelling "staleness," recalling ideals better appreciated in earlier days and rallying seniors to fresh efforts.
The Doctrinal Courses
(A) Junior Course I and II. Bearing in mind that the whole of the training work has to be done in the closest connection with the street corner, the reader will understand the arrangement of subjects which follows. The Junior Course is made up of subjects which it is reasonable to hope a beginner may learn to handle in a fairly short time (except for Lecture 2 in Part I and Lectures 1 and 3 in Part II, which are given to beginners not for use on the platform but as a necessary background to their study). These subjects are what the crowd chiefly needs as well as what our speakers can most readily handle. By insisting on these subjects we are gradually making religion more definite to our crowds and insensibly drawing them into the atmosphere of Catholic Christianity at first so foreign to them.
(B) Senior Course, Parts I and II. When our speakers have been through the first course once or twice, they should be ready for the Senior course, of which Part I centers in the Incarnation. This course also consists chiefly, but not entirely, of subjects that can be handled out of doors. The Divinity of Our Lord must be given frequently by competent speakers and followed or preceded by lectures on Miracles and on the Resurrection in proof of His claims. Lectures on the Authenticity of the Gospels are also most useful to the crowds, and whether speakers give this subject in lecture form or not they will most certainly be driven back on to it by the questions arising out of the lecture on the Divinity of Christ.
Part II is concerned with the Church as Christ's mystical body, in itself and in its relation to Paganism, Judaism, the early heresies and Protestantism. Only very experienced speakers can lecture on these subjects out of doors, but they are becoming more and more necessary, and all senior speakers should have some knowledge of them.
Senior Course, Part III. In the introduction to the last edition we explained the absence of lectures on natural religion partly on the ground that what the crowd needs is Christ and His Church, but also because no guildsman had had a wide enough experience outdoors to draw up really practical outlines on this section of the work. It still remains true that revealed religion must be the principal part of our work; but in certain crowds the demand for discussion of the existence of God and the nature of the soul has grown more insistent, and we have tried to meet it in this edition.
But we must warn speakers of the appalling difficulty of the subjects concerned, a difficulty made all the worse because most of the simple text-books give the impression that they are quite easy to handle. These give the traditional arguments (which the speaker learns) and the answers (which the speaker also learns) to the traditional objections. What they cannot give is: (a) those same questions in the odd and unrecognizable form in which they come to us from the crowd; and (b) the vast variety of new and ingenious objections which will be put by hecklers who know the ordinary objections as well as we do. In fact, no book can by itself equip a speaker for a task which demands on the one side a very thorough philosophical grounding, and on the other a very exact knowledge (only possible after much experience) of what the minds of his hearers can manage. The outlines we give in this section, therefore, even more than in other sections, are for the use of the teacher (who must already know the subject very thoroughly) and for the class only in so far as it wants some sort of skeleton on which to hang the instruction given by the teacher aforesaid.
Historical Lectures. While but few seniors are competent to handle fundamental subjects, many feel the need of presenting the simpler subjects in a fresh way. A course of history has been found very successful in the class, and those speakers who are prepared to read solidly can find many ways in which doctrine and apologetic can be presented in historical form. Only a few examples are included, but it will be seen how the note of sanctity can be shown in such lectures as "The Hermits" or "St. Peter Claver," and how the unique and supernatural character of the Church emerges in lectures such as "Julian the Apostate" and "Mahommedanism." But let no speaker attempt history without very thorough reading!
The Trainer's Use Of The Doctrinal Courses
Teachers will always find the experience of others useful; when first they are learning to teach it is indispensable. Most of these outlines have grown from the joint experience of teachers during several years of work, and do represent, if not the best, at least a tried and valuable method of conveying the lesson to the class. A good way of preparing a subject is:
(1) To study the existing outlines.
It is very rash to trust to memory and an old outline, even if originally made by oneself. Each class must be prepared for, however well the subject is known, if it is to be well taken.
If at all possible the trainer will hold two classes a week, especially for beginners. On one night he will work through the junior course of subjects with, roughly, this time table:
30 min. lecture
The second night he will devote entirely to practice speaking by members of the class, on subjects which they are preparing for their tests; he must make sure that the questions are really answered and that the junior who is practicing gets asked all the really vital questions on his subject and answers them.
While practice speaking becomes less necessary once the junior is on the platform, question taking in class remains of the first importance. Unless even senior speakers are given a great deal of it their question taking out of doors is liable to become dull, inadequate and even inaccurate.
In smaller guilds the two sorts of class are frequently held on the one night, an hour's practice following on the training class proper.
Technical lectures 8 and 9 should be carefully studied by all new trainers.
The Student's Use Of The Courses
(a) Where there is a trainer. The student, like the trainer, should possess a copy of the "Outlines" or, if this is not possible, anyhow a copy of the particular subject he is preparing for the platform. He should read all he can get of the literature advised, look up the subject in Conway's "Question Box" and test his own answering of all the questions given at the end of the outline. He should look up every text, seeing what the context is, in what circumstances Our Lord or the Apostles used the words quoted, how they are understood by the Protestant and how the Church explains them.
(b) Where there is no trainer. In certain towns guilds have been started where no priest-trainer or even experienced layman was available. Here speakers have trained themselves by a thorough use of the "Outlines," and the "Question Box," lecturing to and heckling each other and ultimately passing their tests before priests in a neighboring town and appearing on the platform with thoroughly creditable first lectures.
The Use Of The Questions In This Book
A trainer will do well not to let a junior go in for a test until he has answered satisfactorily every question here given on his subject. The questions have been greatly added to with a view to thus covering the ground. There is sometimes also a difference of opinion among examiners as to the standard to be required of a candidate. If it be remembered that every one of these questions has been asked repeatedly out of doors and will be asked again they may be helpful to examiners. No speaker who fails in answering any of them will be safe on his subject on the platform. The connection between some of the questions and the subjects to which they are appended may not always be obvious at first; but experience shows that those subjects usually give rise to those questions.
There are three kinds of licenses: single subjects, chairmen and general. It is held as a vital principle in Westminster that no test should be held without a priest. Senior speakers can train other speakers for the platform, but the responsibility of licensing them as adequate in their doctrinal knowledge rests with the examining chaplains. A senior speaker is also present at tests to put "crowd" questions and is known as the "Devil's Advocate." An interesting discussion at an Inter-Guild Retreat showed that the standard in licensing varies very much from Guild to Guild, and anyone who has followed the movement closely will realize that in individual Guilds it also varies from year to year. A successful Guild, which is progressing steadily, raises its standard constantly. It may be interesting to note the standard at present required in Westminster for the three kinds of license.
Single Subject. Thorough knowledge of the subject and power to deliver a sufficiently interesting lecture on it. General knowledge of Catholic doctrine in its relation to that subject (see below) and capacity to distinguish the limits of the subject chosen and of one's own information.
Chairman's License. Recommendation by the Master and three squad leaders as competent to handle a crowd, conduct a meeting and handle Juniors. Ability to answer general questions including those on:
—The Existence of God.
A chairman's license almost always takes two or three years to gain, often longer. Speakers are used as "Acting Chairmen" before they are presented for it. They have generally been through the junior course twice and the senior course at least once before they are presented. Chairmen may still only lecture on the subjects they have passed in, but may take general questions.
General License. These are hardly ever given—only about one in two years: they authorize the holder to lecture on any doctrine whether he has been tested on it or not. The same sort of questions are asked as in the examination for Chairman's License but a higher standard of knowledge is required. Very few gain this license with less than five or six years' work and experience.
Every speaker under the rank of General License must take at least one new subject every year. If a chairman fails to do so he has to be re-examined for his Chairman's License.
In cases where guildsmen have given up speaking for some years and returned to the Guild re-examination takes place even for General License. This was the voluntary suggestion of the first holder of a General License to be placed in this position and has always been followed without need of a rule being formulated.
Examinations other than Tests. In testing for the outdoor work the system of taking one subject at a time has proved most satisfactory when applied with thoroughness. Indeed the examiners have asked to have some of the larger subjects made into several tests, e.g. the Divinity of Our Lord. Students have now to take this test in three parts:
—(1) Christ's Claim to Godhead.
But in addition to platform testing, trainers have felt the need of a method of deciding with certainty when to move speakers up from the junior to the senior courses and to see how fully they have been following the courses. To meet this, written papers are now set on the course every three months or so, which do not apply to platform work but which do test general knowledge.
Surveying The Ground
However well the class trainer conducts his courses it will always be found that some students do not relate one doctrine with another sufficiently clearly to get into their heads a real ground plan of the Church's teaching. To meet this difficulty the Newcastle Guild have introduced a lecture which may be given at the beginning of both junior and senior courses. Since it stands at the head of all training it is given here rather than as a part of one of the courses. Every teacher will arrange the manner of giving it in his own way.
The position and relationship of any doctrine to the whole may become clearer if we have before our minds a summary of the whole logical sequence from the existence of God down to the latest definition of Dogma by the Church. The following may serve as a sketchy outline of this logical sequence, and from it the speaker may easily find the position of any subject that may be taken for platform treatment. He will then realize how much he must take for granted in dealing with his point, and also when a questioner is pushing him from his point on to a more fundamental one on which he may not be authorized to speak.
(A) Broadest Outline:
(B) Each of these subjects has a host of divisions, one leading to another, of which the following will give a very general summary:
(1) (a) Existence of God.
(2) (a) Angels.
(3) (a) The Creator's aim and object.
(4) Proof of Revelation through the following steps:
(5) (a) What Faith is.
(6) Under this heading comes the whole of Theology properly so-called:
To the judgment of those who are already speaking out of doors and are training other speakers this volume is offered with some confidence. The outlines have been found of practical utility in the past and it is hoped that Guildsmen will criticize them (and improve upon them) while making use of them in the future. The test of the platform is the crucial test and must always be applied to work done for the Guild.
But what of the critic who reads but cannot himself make use of this volume? We fear he will say with some justice that many of the outlines lack smoothness and polish. They do: and this is true of some of those that have proved the most serviceable. They are by different hands and each Guildsman has his own way of setting out a lecture scheme: they sometimes embody ideas very valuable for a crowd, uninteresting to Catholics: above all they are merely outlines and not finished lectures. This last point we would ask all readers to remember. And if this book falls into the hands of any Catholic layman, not yet a Guildsman, we would appeal to him to abandon the arm-chair for the platform, and thus to substitute for theory the practical criticism of a fellow catechist.
As with the first edition so with this there is no claim to completeness, or finality. If this edition is judged an improvement on the last the compiler will owe it to Guildsmen critics: it is hoped that with their help the next edition may be an improvement on this—and so on, forever.
Arrangement Of Courses
Junior Class—The lectures on the Mass and the Blessed Eucharist and Marriage have been found more suitable for seniors. The normal junior course, therefore, is the whole of Course I (both parts) except these three subjects, with the first five Technical Lectures interspersed at more or less regular intervals.
Senior Class—A normal senior course is as follows:
(b) Course II, Part III.
Though this course or something like it must always be the staple of senior training, it is not wise to recommence it as soon as it is completed: short courses like Course II, Part II, Course III; heckling classes on Junior subjects; practice in class-taking by senior students; and others which will suggest themselves, provide useful variants.
1. General Outlook of a Catholic street-corner Apologist
1. General Outlook Of A Catholic Street-Corner Apologist
The whole of the Handbook. (C.T.S., is. 6d.)
Sheed: The Catholic Evidence Guild. (C.T.S.)
Qualities both of Heart and of Head necessary for the work:
(a) We must realize we are servants of the crowd; respect, friendliness, desire to help—all of a highly practical nature. The crowd will take our very best work and ask for more.
(b) We have a responsibility, also, to the Church. The burden of Catholicism is not light. Deeds count more than words. Character stands far above knowledge or oratorical skill. Moreover the crowds "sense" character.
(c) Make a strong moral appeal throughout. Self-reverence and self-control. Teach the Ten Commandments always—they are badly needed.
(a) We Catholics know where we stand, hence unfairness or lack of candor are inexcusable in us. Clearness, consistency, conciseness: all are intimately dependent on knowing our subjects.
(b) Our aim, therefore, should always be to reach "that judicial platform from which the most unfailingly effective argument proceeds" and
(c) To teach positive truth; truth fills space and will oust error if only brought out in full against it; and
(d) To teach the Church as one, great, living whole, and her ideals as living things. Each will then preach the other.
2. How To Develop Your Ideas
Reading. Digesting. Arranging.
Not an enormous amount required: reading with a pencil: the result a jumble of facts and texts and phrases.
You must have a thorough understanding of your matter in itself and in its relation to all things else: it must be pondered over and gazed at from every standpoint: you must make it YOURS,
(a) Historically in its foundation and development.
Analogy of London: which can only be understood in its relation to England, in its historical development and in the work it does.
(a) Foundation and Development.
Scripture: some texts (and contexts) must be known thoroughly. Get very clearly what was in the mind of our Lord, or the apostle whose words you use: with reverence you may ask WHY? (Also notice apparently contrary texts.)
Development: you must know what attitude the Church adopted at different stages of its history: when she defined: when she might seem not to have laid so much stress and why?
(b) Its Relations to the rest of Catholic Doctrine.
In all this you have been working on your idea, and seeing its birth and growth you have almost inevitably a clearer view of the doctrine as it stands now.
But Catholic doctrines are not a collection of oddments flung together like curios in a pawnshop window: they are not even like books arranged alphabetically or in some other convenient way on the shelves of a library. They are a family related one to another by the closest ties: you must study your idea in its setting: in its relation to the whole body of the Church's teaching.
Look on the Church's teaching as a countryside of which you are enabled to take a bird's-eye view: First you see the Great Dogmas like the great centers: the Trinity, the Incarnation, Original Sin and Free Will, the Immortality of the Soul. Then you see the smaller towns: Confession, the Priesthood, Matrimony.
And smaller still the villages: roads between: from which the life pulses out: while even the smallest village in the Church's countryside gives something to the greatest metropolis.
You must then know each doctrine in its relation to the mass: in your mind it must not be isolated, since it gains vastly in meaning from its position.
(c) The Doctrine in Action.
Having thus seen the doctrine in its birth, its growth and its varied
relationships, you must now see it in ACTION. And to do this fully you must
In (i) be very thorough in thinking out just what it means to you, and what the effect on you would be of the loss of it.
In (ii) try to imagine what difference it would make to your non-Catholic
listeners if they accepted it; and to do so thoroughly you must realize that in
its place they either have
You may now claim to have for practical purposes mastered your idea: you can toss it from hand to hand; you can set it down, walk round it and look clearly at it; you can look at it from above, or turn it upside down and look at it from below: you know where it is likely to arouse opposition: and where it is likely to make an appeal: in short, it is yours.
(a) Our job is not to utter a message: it is to deliver a message: to deliver it to people—to people who either are determined not to receive it, or who at best will not make any effort to receive it. We have to persuade them that something is essential which they have managed to do without all their lives. So that we must remember that we have not only to prove our doctrines (which means a lecture), but to prove them to people (which means a speech).
(b) People are extremely human: quite as human as we: and the human mind can only with profit receive one thing at a time: so that it is definitely necessary to make our speech concern itself with one subject only. We should be able to express the exact object of each speech in one sentence. The dangers to which we are liable are:
—(i) Talking of everything.
(c) Simple words must be used: the crowd do not know words like "finite," "infinite," "Immaculate Conception," "Judaism," impeccability," "contrition," etc.
(d) The lecture must be short: not more than twenty minutes. We must have one idea and a plan, simple and vertebrate (and thus easy to remember).
It must have:
(e) Do not learn by heart: learn your plan as a matter of four or five points (each to occupy four or five minutes) and know exactly what you wish to say on each point.
3. How To Handle A Crowd
Donelly. The Art of Interesting. Chaps. 9, 15, 16.
1. Our object is to secure that each person that hears us shall carry away with him the greatest possible amount of Catholicism in thought and in action. We therefore summon to our aid the "Crowd" habit, knowing that, if we do not, it will be used against us.
2. A disorganized mass is not a crowd. Ten men may be, and a thousand men may not be, a crowd. A crowd is formed by a community of interest: by the turning of feelings and thoughts in a common direction. Individual self-consciousness and certain ordinary limitations disappear, some emotions and faculties are reduced and others reinforced and exalted. The business of creating a crowd consists in providing the common channel of interest as quickly as possible. Hecklers are a great help throughout, but particularly in the preliminary steps towards creating a crowd.
3. Once a crowd is formed we proceed by repeated blows to drive deeper the original impression made. Repetition, clear statement, concrete affirmation, conviction, a well-controlled humor are the qualities to aim at here. Aim at being yourself—at personality. All technical skill in speaking is only a way of "freeing" personality. Live modern men are wanted. Plain, above-board, even downright methods are required. "Be cheap yet deep." Choose your own line and do not be put off it by hecklers. The speaker must be the leader of the crowd. Self-mastery in all its forms is essential. Avoid overt reasoning; it bores. But you must have done it before speaking yourself, and your handling of your subject must be equal to any logical test that may be applied.
4. What kind of material can they take? The best subjects (i.e. those which provide the best channel of "crowd" interest) are those which appeal to the common elements in human nature—"The Religion of the Plain Man." But crowds must not be treated as if they were Catholic—they are "heterogeneous" in religion, as in other matters also.
The method of handling largely governs the capacity of absorption of the crowd. (A really competent speaker can even give them philosophy.) Generally speaking the subjects that appeal best may be classified as:
(a) Those that appeal to the individual personality—"massive"
subjects that influence the whole man.
5. How much of a subject can the crowd absorb? The fatal error is trying to give too much. Indigestion is a mental, as well as a physical fact. Wise breaks, humor, variety, topicalness, on the part of the speaker all increase the capacity of the crowd. A great weight of suggestion must be behind all our work. We must aim at causing future thought in our audience, as well as an immediate effect.
6. Finally, summing up all, Be interesting.
4. Questions And Interjections
"Questions" section in "Advice for Intending Speakers." Handbook, Part III.
1. This is almost the most important part of our work and certainly the most difficult for beginners. The only safe foundation for answering questions is to have in our own minds a big constructive picture of the Church to which we refer all separate points of doctrine, and in which all details (with which questions are mostly concerned) fall into their proper place. We must not allow ourselves to be dragged into wrangling on minor points, chopping texts, etc. Remember irrelevancies in a lecture produce irrelevant questions.
2. Try to keep questions for the end of your lecture deal with them briefly, sympathetically, fairly. Always make sure you understand the question. Draw it out more clearly by cross-questioning. State your opponent's position better than he could. When ignorant confess it and ask him to come next week for the answer. But with a professional heckler see to it that the crowd first realize his ignorance (always colossal). This can be done with perfect politeness, usually by cross-questioning—which is also most useful in disentangling involved and incoherent questions. Practice this.
3. Note especially that questions tend to answer one another, as all non-Catholic creeds err by exaggeration of one truth and defect in another. Make use of this central position of the Church. She is the universal religion.
4. Never forget the "silent listener." If tempted to be short, impatient, discouraged with hecklers, look at him, think of him, pray for him.
5. On Forestalling Objections In The Course Of Your Speech
Objections to any doctrine of the Church generally arise:
—1. From Protestant misconceptions of that doctrine.
1. You learn by experience the chief misconceptions and should always deal with them in your lecture, showing (showing, be it understood, not laboriously proving) e.g. that infallibility means neither inability to sin nor inspiration; that Catholics do not pay to get their sins forgiven, etc. Quote the objectors' favorite texts and show how they apply to Catholic belief.
2. Remember in treating any doctrine to what parts of the living whole it belongs, e.g. relate Baptism and Confession to each other and to the Supernatural Life, the Mass to Calvary, Indulgences to the Communion of Saints and to Purgatory, etc.
3. When a doctrine is difficult do not deny this fact. Postulate the need of mystery in religion, for God is infinite and we are finite. Show that by our reason we may discover the Church, God's teacher upon earth, by our reason attain an ever-deepening knowledge of truth and of God, but that where Revelation goes beyond the power of reason it is reasonable to submit to God and to His Church.
Shirk no difficulties in preparing your lecture, cut deeper than the difficulties. It will go home and moreover will save you from being floored by the questions.
(a) Qualifications. A chairman must be able to handle (i) crowds, (ii) speakers, (iii) questions. A good chairman answers the problem of how to run a meeting for the benefit both of crowd and speakers. There is danger of losing balance in one direction or the other thinking exclusively of the crowd or exclusively of the speakers. When in doubt try to apply the rule of maximum all-round good. Above all, chair light-heartedly.
(b) Importance. A meeting cannot fail if well chaired. The chairman must manage the time, know whom to put up and when, again when to intervene when to speak himself, when to efface himself: the golden rule being to be as little in evidence as possible. If the crowds do not realize who is chairman all the better.
2. The Other Speakers
(a) Do not have too many or too few. If the latter, do extra yourself. See that all speakers told to speak, in spite of:
—(i) Traveling stars who stroll along.
(b) Have a rough time-table in your head, though it may have to be altered. Know your speakers well enough to know who had better open. Do not always leave this unpleasant job to a junior, especially the same junior.
(c) Make them give a lecture and help them to choose what on. See they go through with it even if the crowd diminish; but if the crowd is in danger of disappearing let them take questions. In general advise them when to take questions; sometimes they can break the lecture and get back to it.
(d) Listen with all your ears during question time. Identify yourself with the crowd. If mistakes are being made you can either:
—(i) Get the speaker down at once, or
In any case do not display your feelings to the crowd or to the other speakers.
(e) Judge when to get your speakers down, and see that they come down, not before and not after.
Throughout the meeting be thinking of your double duty all the time.
3. Your Own Speaking
(a) Judge the best time: perhaps no set lecture, but just getting up between the other speakers to amplify or straighten out.
(b) If you lecture do your best to be a model to juniors. Always prepare a Lecture.
(c) In fairness to juniors and for the good of the crowd keep questions on your subject. If the crowd stay there is no need to take questions.
(d) It may be necessary, for the sake of both juniors and crowd, to handle a heckler severely and teach him to behave. Here be very careful to remember double duty (to crowd and to other speakers).
Whether praise or blame, this must be given to speakers, or they get wrongly elated or depressed.
(b) Censure. This is not really difficult, as nearly all speakers are
prepared for it; it is often made to seem so by the bad manner of the chairman.
Do not be grandmotherly or nagging.
To do as much for the class as can be done by one for another: give them what the pitches have given us. We must short-circuit considerably, show them what is useful and what must be avoided. Remember they cannot read much, but they must be forced to think.
2. General Method
(a) Give the class an outline and encourage them to go through it next day,
trying to reconstruct your lecture.
3. More In Detail
N.B.—There can be no success in your lecturing unless you have plenty of life in it: your class are tired after their day's work, and your manner and method must grip them and galvanize them.
4. Questions To Class
Mostly from the hecklers' point of view: common sense is vital here and little more is needed: a matter of care: preparation of questions to be asked should be as careful as for the lecture: it is our chance to see if the class is thinking: we must (a) catch them out, (b) teach them: but remember the former is easier and the latter more important.
(a) Preparation: Selection should be done carefully: better to do one question well than find a number of posers: the ideal is three or four. Prepare the answers.
(b) Nature: Either true crowd questions or true theological questions—this only to see that they really know their subject well enough: but avoid questions that no crowd would ask, and that do not really help them to an understanding of the subject.
5. Questions From The Class
(a) Answer yourself or choose another member of the class to answer.
6. Short Speeches On The Subject
(a) Say that they must speak for two minutes: but the time may be lengthened
or shortened as necessary.
8. Practice Night
On this occasion there is no lecture proper to the class; the idea being to afford young speakers the opportunity of giving their speech in public a great many times before their test. A speaker may at his wish speak (up to ten minutes) and take questions, or take questions only.
(a) The chairman must make notes.
(a) All present may heckle, and the class must be as much like an outdoor
meeting as possible.
(a) Public: Must be given without fear: common faults—hugging the platform, gesturing with the feet, not standing up, whispering, not repeating the question, answer too long or too short, striking at red herrings, talking to nobody in particular (i.e. "reciting"), and a tribe of fallacious arguments.
(b) Private: Advise them about:
4. Tell Them When They Are Ready For Their Test
9. Thoughts For Senior Speakers
1. Their Special Difficulties
(a) Increase of responsibilities: chairmanship, squad leading, office-holding—all take up time and moreover frequently coincide with the increase of work in their professions: thus inclined to slack on preparing lectures: a tendency to lengthen question time on the platform, and to trust to memory or luck with old lectures.
(b) Far greater realization of the difficulties in attacking fresh subjects. This is as it should be, for the senior ought to have a definitely higher standard than the junior.
(c) Often a general sense of staleness—on the stuff he has learnt, on listening to juniors out of doors, on coming to classes year after year. The simpler subjects seem stale, the more advanced ones too stiff. A tendency arises to read or listen in the class sleepfully or even to play the fool! A good test of this is whether a speaker continues to take notes in class.
(d) our crowds make another difficulty for the senior:
We shall better see the method of meeting these difficulties if we look at:
2. The Aim For Senior Speakers
(a) Questions must not be neglected. They must be able to answer:
(b) It is on the seniors that the responsibility rests of raising the level of Guild knowledge and power to meet the rising level of crowd information. And it is to be remembered that the very fact that we are educating our crowds to a higher level is itself most cheering.
(c) Has the aim then for seniors got to be to tackle tremendously profound
subjects, in order to give the crowd something new which juniors cannot give?
They must of course get a deeper and fuller knowledge of their religion,
including much more advanced theology and even philosophy, but for the most part
their aim should be in their lecturing:
More in detail what does this mean?
(d) We shall always have to give to our crowds those things which are our
lives as Christians and as Catholics, because
The aim then of the Senior Speaker is to teach Christianity and to do it as well as possible.
Much more than the junior the senior is responsible for his own advancement or backsliding. Our work is always either improving or going back it never remains stationary, and the one fatal thing is to look upon one's training as finished.
Senior speakers need:
(a) Class work. Very few can do nearly as much for themselves by solitary
reading as they can in class. The questions are a much needed test of the
reality of their knowledge. Senior class work must cover:
(b) Personal work outside class:
4. Some Practical Questions
The senior can test how things are going by asking a few of these:
(a) Quality or merely quantity—however often I am speaking do I prepare at least one lecture a week with real care? If this is done it will gain by repetition at different meetings: if not, poor and bad speaking must follow.
(b) How about motive? This is generally high when we join the Guild, but one
tends to let it slip. The tests of it are:
Course I For Junior Speakers
—1. The Church founded by Christ a Visible Body
1. The Visible Church
(All books and pamphlets referred to in these Outlines will be found more fully described in the Bibliography)
Tixeront: Apologetical Studies (most important)
Finlay: Church of Christ.
As this outline may be found too long for one lesson and not long enough for two, it is possible to make two lectures as follows:
The idea of a visible church is not meant to exclude spirituality and place stress only on the organization: but given spiritual unity, then a visible organization follows as its embodiment and safeguard.
A common opinion, though necessary, is not sufficient: Shakespeare lovers are not a visible body: the Shakespeare Society is. The two further things necessary are:
(a) A central authority.
Catholicism has these things and boasts of them: Protestantism has not and boasts of their absence, insisting that a common opinion (and this of the vaguest sort) is sufficient to constitute a church.
The question is, did Christ simply sow ideas, or did He also establish a society to guard and spread them?
2. Which Did Christ Establish?
It is not here a question of what Christ could do, but of what he did do.
Starting from the present day and working back through history, we find that while both ideas exist now, the "invisible church" idea is new, while the "visible body" idea goes right back to the time of Christ. We may select various points of history at random.
(a) The present day: both ideas working.
(b) Sixteenth century: Catholic idea in possession. The "invisible church" idea arising. Reformers did not begin with this idea, but were driven to it by facts. Before the sixteenth century it was not in existence.
(c) Fifth century: Council of Chalcedon 451 (the central authority): Council of Ephesus 431 (officers with defined functions): both councils recognized that the Church must be one even in details of doctrine. An "invisible society" was unheard of. To those who say Christianity had already become corrupt we point out:
(d) Sub-apostolic times:
(e) Scripture: Still working backwards.
St. Paul: Epistles to Titus and Timothy: 1 Timothy iii 5 and 15, iv. 14; Titus i. 5, iii. 10, etc.
Epistles of Captivity: comparison with family, people, building: even the Body of Christ. Eph. iv. 11-13
Epistles to the Churches: "The rest I will set in order." 1 Cor. xi. 34; Gal. i. 9.
Acts: We see a body in which the Apostles are chief: they appoint deacons: ordain by the imposition of hands. Acts viii. 17-19. Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, Acts xiii. They appoint others: episkopoi to rule the church of God: St. Peter in charge, Acts xv, etc. They teach one doctrine.
3. Our Lord's Foundation
(a) Demarcation of function: Mark iv. 11.
Note particularly the similes—Body, Kingdom, Sheepfold, Net, City.
The "Invisible Church" idea was unknown to the Apostles, unmentioned by Christ.
(a) Protestants talk of spiritual unity as against external: in fact
(b) The Church is in the world to work (e.g. to save souls, to convert heathen, etc.). A rabble cannot perform any work: for this an organization is needed.
(c) To talk of "the Church of all true believers" as against Catholicism is merely loose thinking. Christ established a CHURCH OF ALL TRUE TEACHERS: and if you find that, the other follows.
(d) The value of the visible society to the individual. Before Christ there were good pagans, but they were isolated and fell by the way. The Catholic feels himself one of a great and victorious army.
Questions (And Objections):
(1) If Visibility is an outstanding feature of the Church, why is the Church
so difficult to find among all the conflicting sects? and how is it that so few
find the Church?
2. The Church A Supernatural Fact
Knox: Beginning and End of Man. (C.T.S.)
See also lecture on "The Church the Mystical Body of Christ," The
Church is a fact, and is supernatural in:
The Church, the link between God and man, is not:
The Church was built by God: this can be proved by:
God and man are not two ends of the same stick: they are essentially
different; and if God builds a Church it will of necessity be supernatural:
Thus when the materialist clamors what has the Church done for men? She naturally answers Got them to Heaven "—for that is her purpose; She is thus supernatural in her object (to save men's souls) and in the means by which she secures that object (sacraments, infallible teaching, etc.)
(a) The materialist denies existence of supernatural and accuses Church of
wasting a great opportunity.
(b) Other Churches may say that she is a supernatural fact, but not the only
(c) The superior onlooker talks of Buddha, Christ, Mahomet, ignores essential uniqueness of Catholicism; she is exercising an unparalleled influence on men's lives and men's souls, and by her men are shaping their lives in a unique way; she differs from all these others in her claims and in her obvious results.
(1) What is the use of claiming to save us in the next world if you cannot
save us from disease and misery here?
3. Church And Bible
Catholics and the Bible. (C.T.S.)
Graham: Where we got the Bible.
This literature is also for Lectures 4, 5 and 6.
1. The Church Loves The Bible
(a) Because the whole of it is God's inspired word—a gift God wished men to have: a gift, moreover, in the giving of which God most wonderfully used human beings.
(b) Because of what it contains—a record of the relations between God and mankind, which makes clear what would otherwise be darkness:
—The Old Testament shows us how man came to need a Savior, and how God
prepared the world for that Savior's coming.
(c) More particularly because of the intimate picture it gives us of Christ, drawn by those who knew Him and loved Him best. We scarcely know anything of Christ's life on earth beyond what the Bible tells us.
2. The Church Has Shown Her Love
(a) By compiling it: The New Testament was not written as one book (see Lecture 4), but by many men in many parts of the world. In addition there were scores of books written purporting to give accounts of Christ's life and miracles: the Church sought out the inspired books from the rest, and gave us the List of Inspired Books (accepted by Protestants completely, as regards the New Testament, almost completely as regards the Old.)
(b) By preserving it: Papyrus was a material of no lasting qualities, and unless the writings had been constantly copied and re-copied they must have perished; further, the Church for centuries lived a hunted life, and copies of the Bible were the first object of her persecutors: if the Church had not preserved these books, they would no longer exist.
(c) By spreading abroad the knowledge of it:
(d) By making it the basis of her worship (see Lecture 6).
(e) By defending it:
(f) By explaining it (see Lecture 4 in this section). (For Questions see end of Lecture 6.)
4. The Bible In The Church
1. There is danger in this lecture of giving an Impression of war between the
Bible and the Church:
(a) To show that it is not a case of Church versus Bible, but of right and wrong use of the Bible
(b) To avoid a purely destructive attitude: if we simply show the Bible is not the rule of faith, we have not taught them what it is.
(c) To make clear just what place the Bible (i.e. for this lecture principally the New Testament) has in Catholicism.
2. History Of The New Testament
Christ founded a teaching Church and made belief in it a command. See Lecture 1.
(a) He nowhere told His Church to teach by writing.
(b) The Church taught far and wide by word of mouth: men learnt of Christ and accepted Christ by the Church's oral teaching: for many years the Church was functioning without any new written teaching at all;* and proving thereby that written teaching, however useful it might be, was not of the very essence of the Church's constitution.
(c) After a time some of the Apostles wrote down some of the teaching: now a letter and now a gospel: not on any particular system and without haste: note
—(i) They only wrote some: four short lives of Christ, an account of a few
of the deeds of Peter and Paul, some dozen short letters and a vision of the
world to come (see John xxi. 25).
See next lecture for the use of the O. T. by the Church.
3. Relation Of Things Written To Pre-Existing Living Teacher
The writings did not in any case displace the teaching Church: they were read in It and treasured as a priceless record inspired by God of His human life and teachings. We may reduce the relation to four points:
a) The writings needed explaining:
(b) They needed supplementing:
(c) They needed guaranteeing: men could not know they were inspired unless God's messenger said so.
(d) They could not be contradicted: they were part of the Church's teaching, and inspired by the same Holy Ghost who guarded the Church.
Thus the Church, for which they were written, used them, treasured them, explained them, and taught where they were silent. There could be no question of contradiction between written and spoken teaching. Scripture is one of the Church's activities.
4. Modern Views: Catholic And Protestant
Protestant. The Bible alone. This is:
Catholic: Reproduces exactly the usage of those for whom the Bible was written, and thus guarantees that we shall have not simply as much of the word of God as we can get out of the Bible, but:
(a) The whole of God's word to man (including that which is in the Bible).
5. The Rule Of Faith
A living voice, not an inarticulate and defenseless book, is the real need of men (defenseless, because when misinterpreted it can say nothing). Moreover, an infallible book needs an infallible interpreter, otherwise the individual is no further advanced.
1. The great visible teaching Society, the Catholic Church, has in her possession certain writings (the Bible is a library rather than a book), which she has solemnly recognized as the inspired word of God. These writings committed to her charge she gives to her children and claims also to interpret. Historically:
(a) Looking back to the beginnings of Protestantism we find Luther, Calvin, etc., did not make a new Protestant Bible, but merely took most of the Catholic Bible, rejecting parts and putting their own interpretation on what they retained. So also Wyclif, Tyndale, etc.
(b) Going still further back we find always the teaching Church, center at Rome, holding these same books and interpreting them. It is from the Church the world receives them. "I would not believe the gospel," says St. Augustine, "unless the Catholic Church moved me thereto.
(c) Earlier yet, the infant Church was in action as a teaching body, and many martyrs had died for the Faith before the New Testament was written. The teachers of this Church quoted and claimed the right, as their Master had claimed it, to interpret the Old Testament—the sacred Books of Judaism—in the light of His life and the teaching committed to them by Him. ("Ye search the Scriptures...the same are they which give testimony of Me." "Thinkest thou understandest?—How can I unless some man show me?" "Expounding the Scriptures, etc." "Christ is the fulfilling of the law.") It is these men, surrounding Peter their head on earth, who by degrees, as they taught, wrote also, and the books they wrote belonged to them and their successors.
The Rule of Faith is, then, a living Church teaching with Authority, and to that Church is committed the Sacred Books.
2. The Protestant Rule of Faith is the Bible privately interpreted.
The drawbacks to this are:
The principles of authority and dogmatic teaching are essential to Christianity; the sole alternatives in Religion today are Catholicism or chaos.
(For Questions, see end of Lecture 6)
6. Use Of Bible Reading In The Church
1. The Church desires that her children should make the best and fullest use of the treasure committed to her. All through history she has tried to ensure this.
(a) She preserved, collected and authenticated the sacred volume. (Carthage, Hippo, Trent.)
(b) She saw to its being copied and translated (early Latin and Syriac Versions, copies in monasteries, the life-work of monks and nuns, translations for foreign missions into modern languages.) Medieval sermons, mystery plays, pictures, statues. The Synod of Arras said, "The vulgar contemplated in the lineaments of painting what they, having never learnt to read, could not discern in writing."
(c) She takes care to prevent bad translations and rightly to interpret the good ones so as to give her children, not the letter merely, but the meaning.
2. To make this effective for her children the Church:
(a) Urges their making constant use of the Scriptures for meditation and guidance. (Quote Saints from pp. 4 and 5 of "The Catholic Church and the Bible," also Pius VI, VII, Leo XIII, urging frequent Bible reading.)
(b) Obliges her Priests to read the Psalms, etc., for at least one hour daily in the Divine Office.
(c) Shows with what great reverence the Gospels especially should be treated by making the people stand while they are read at Mass, making the sign of the Cross, etc.
(d) Makes the whole of the Bible the staple of her liturgical services, one of which at least all Catholics are bound to attend. It is our own fault if we don't know the Bible.
3. The Church, especially by this liturgical use, teaches us how to read the Bible;
(a) As something living still in the life of the Church.
(On Lecture 3-6)
(1) All our information about Christ must come from the Bible, so we don't
need a Church.
7. Marks Of The Church
With hundreds of churches claiming to be the true Church founded by Christ, it is necessary that a church should be ready to show its credentials, otherwise no one can know whether it is the true Church or not.
The credentials which the Catholic Church has to show are her four marks.
A mark must be:
(a) An outwardly visible sign: otherwise it is of no value as a means of
identification; it does not require proof, but is evident to all.
Thus: Infallibility, though essential, is not outwardly visible; and miracles, though outwardly visible, are not essential. But Unity, Catholicity, Holiness, Apostolicity, are all things which can be seen by any man who will look, and are necessary to the constitution of the true Church.
3. Methods Of Treatment
Some of the crowd would undoubtedly question the first statement contained in it: how do you know what kind of Church God would have founded? The statement goes perilously close to saying what kind of Church we should have founded, had we been God: and everyone in the crowd has strong views of his own on the kind of Church God would have founded.
But even granting the first statement, the rest of the argument is not logical:
—(i) It begins with "if," and the "if" remains to the
So that the most the argument would prove is: If God founded a Church, and if it still exists, and if no other Church has similar marks, then the Catholic Church is the Church of God.
(b) "Our Lord said that His Church should be one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic. The Catholic Church is so, therefore it is His Church."
This is better than the first method; but
(b) The argument in any case would only appeal to a Christian. Since the Church's aim is to convert all men, her credentials must be able to appeal to all men.
B.—The Right Method: Take the Church as a fact, and her marks as facts, known to all, though not perhaps fully realized; and proceed to show what these undeniably existent characteristics prove.
—(i) Describe these marks as graphically as possible; make the crowd see the Unity and Catholicity of the Church; it is not a question of words or proofs, but simply of drawing a picture that the crowd can see. Treat holiness similarly: you cannot inspect men's consciences, but there are certain outwardly visible things—the holy doctrine, the means of holiness, the saints.
—(ii) In Apostolicity make use of the historically unbroken descent and use the central position of Rome as a peg: stress the continuous missionary work of the Church and the unchanging position of authority.
If you have described these adequately there will never be any argument as to the EXISTENCE of the marks. The next thing is to show what that existence proves.
4. What They Prove
(a) Unity and Catholicity: The key to this section is the word "miracle." The marks are miracles, and therefore show the hand of God. None of these things can be accounted for by human means; e.g. unity throughout the world and throughout the centuries is a dream that has never even approached accomplishment elsewhere; make the crowd see how marvelous it is; superhuman, a miracle, and therefore of God.
(b) Apostolicity: Shows that the living Catholic Church is one with the Church of the Apostles: unlike the other marks, this will appeal mainly to Christians.
(c) Holiness: What can be seen outwardly shows that the Church has the source of all holiness within her.
Thus these four undeniable and undenied marks prove the divine foundation of the Church.
It will be noted that no use has been made of New Testament texts.
(a) Because these marks existed before the New Testament and cannot, therefore, depend upon it; nor can they for the same reason logically be proved from it—but only verified; and (b) because the marks are sufficient in themselves to prove the Church even to an atheist. It may be useful with Bible Christians to finish with texts (in no circumstances begin: as has been shown, it only causes wrangling about the meaning of each text, which is obviated if the fact of the marks has been first hammered in) to show that Christ intended the marks. But the essence of a mark is that it shall be visible, and to the inquiring Bible Christian, Mahommedan and Atheist alike, the marks of the Church stand out in themselves a guarantee of all that their possessor teaches. (This last must be stressed.)
(1) Why four marks?
8. Unity And Catholicity (A)
Stewart: Letters to an Anglican Nun. (C.T.S.)
(a) Take them together. Unity by itself and Catholicity by itself would not be strong enough.
(b) Do not begin with texts to show Christ's intention: nor with your own view of what Christ's Church should look like: show that the Church is one and catholic; that her unity and catholicity are so utterly beyond human power as to be miraculous: and that thus they show that God is with the Church.
2. Describe The Marks
Unity. Show how much it covers: faith, worship and government—but do not give the impression of slavery.
Catholicity. All times: all nations: and even more important, all types of men.
The Church is Catholic, not only horizontally, but vertically: crossing-sweepers and sword-swallowers, poets, kings and slaves; there is no type of mind or way of life that cannot find a home in the Church.
Give examples of times, places and types. The point here is to be graphic: describe these marks so clearly that those outsiders who think their church has unity (in fundamentals) or Catholicity, will realize the poverty of the imitation.
3. What They Prove
Stress now their amazingness. They are not only unique (like e.g. Paris fashions), but beyond human power. Not explainable by chance, nor by themselves (they could not have just drifted so). Examine the fallacy that explains Catholic Unity by pointing out that all Catholics accept the Pope.
Unity is not easily achievable even in a small way; men are sundered by education, heredity, physique, circumstances. A strong agreement of two on a few points for a short while would be notable: here we have 300,000,000 agreeing for 2,000 years, on—
All three of which are among the things on which men agree with most difficulty. Show that Catholics can quarrel on other points.
Catholicity makes the unity even more marvelous, it shows that the Church somehow reaches the common substance of mankind. Only God could do it.
Challenge the crowd for any explanation of these stupendous facts: none will be forthcoming, and the conclusion must be insisted on, that nothing short of the power of God will account for them.
The Catholic Church, therefore, is God's Church.
Texts are not necessary in this lecture, but should be known. The most important are: John xvii. Eph. iv, Col. iii. 11, and above all Matt. xxviii. 19-20, whose threefold all is the best definition of Catholicity.
Unity And Catholicity (B)
1. Unity In The Natural Order
The study of mankind shows man's desire for unity, shows also its impossibility in the natural order.
(a) History might almost be called a study of difference:
—(i) Wars between nations, tribes, individuals.
(b) If we confine our view to the world of today we see:
—(i) Abroad: difficulty of making contact with men of other nations from
difference of language, local customs, points of view.
(c) Men cannot agree. They aim at unity in:
—(i) Faith or philosophy.
but they fail to achieve it. Why? Because, said a man in the crowd once when this subject was being discussed, "it's not in nature. Even if you take the seed of a plant and sow it in different countries it will grow up different." In the natural order ideas too are modified as they spread.
2. The Unity Of The Catholic Church
(a) Has passed through the changes of history Herself unchanged, remaining the same in every age, country, civilization.
(b) Has succeeded in uniting hundreds of millions of people differing in:
(c) Has imposed one faith or philosophy, one ethic. (Notice how every age has its fashionable vice—dueling, divorce, birth-control, to which the Church will never give in.)
(d) One worship universal and unchanging, the Mass; such oneness moreover in her faith that while all other literature becomes archaic (not merely in language but in substance) a Catholic can use the devotions and philosophy of a past age as fully as today's. St. Thomas Aquinas, the Imitation, the Confessions of St. Augustine can never be out of date.
(e) One government—the Papacy and the Episcopate have lasted for 2,000 years, governing this mixed mass of races, etc.
3. The Explanation
Both (1) and (2) must be thought out and made vivid by many examples, otherwise the lecture is useless. But if it is properly done it is agreed that no human explanation is possible. We must then find a superhuman one. See John xvii, Eph iv, Col. iii. 11, etc. (See previous outline.)
Is this unity a wooden and merely external thing? This is often assumed by
questioners. We must show clearly:
(b) The unity that issues in such varied expression could not be merely external. Show that the very strength of the spiritual unity in the Church would create an external unity as its embodiment.
The Church works from within outwardly.
(1) There are many sorts of Catholics—Anglo, Greek, Russian and Roman.
9. Apostolicity As A Mark (A)
Are You a Bible Christian? (C.T.S.)
Devas: Key to the World's Progress.
The idea of a mark is that it shall be an essential characteristic, outwardly visible and sufficient to prove something else. Not all the characteristic "Apostolicity" is outwardly visible, therefore it is not all a mark (cf. an iceberg, part of which is above water and part below: that which is above proves the existence of that which is below). Take as much of the characteristic as is outwardly visible, and it is sufficient to prove that the Church is the same as the Church of the Apostles described in the Bible. (Take such of the Bible as is not matter of dispute.)
1. The Church is Apostolic in MISSION.
(a) Teaching all nations: never ceasing to spread.
2. But it might be argued that though working in the field entrusted to the Apostles, this is a different sort of Church. Necessary, therefore, to show that the Church is Apostolic in CHARACTER and OUTLOOK.
(a) Organization: laity, deacons, Apostles, Peter.
3. It might still be argued that though working in the same sphere with the same method, she is not giving the same teaching. Show that the Church is Apostolic in TEACHING.
(a) Not doctrine by doctrine: this is not part of the mark because proof of
it is needed.
4. But it is not enough to show that the Church is giving out the same teaching, with the same method, in the same field. She might still be a usurper unless it can be shown that she was given by God authority to do all this. (A man cannot appoint himself a teacher of Christianity any more than he can appoint himself a judge or an M.P.; he has to be appointed by God. "How shall they preach unless they be sent?")
Show that the Church is Apostolic in DESCENT.
(a) She alone goes back to the time of the Apostles: working backward through
history we can put dates on all the other Christian bodies, only the Church goes
back, always the same, to Christ her Founder.
(1) The Roman Catholic Church only started with the Roman Emperor
Constantine, not with the Apostles.
10. Holiness As A Mark Of The Church (A)
Gildea: Catholic Church. (C.T.S.)
Benson: Christ in the Church.
See also Lectures on the Eucharist and the Moral System; and for attacks on the Church's Holiness, see Lectures on "Persecution," "Church a Supernatural Fact," "Marriage."
We are treating not Holiness simply, but Holiness as a mark, i.e. something that may be seen from without by any intelligent person. (Note, as with Apostolicity, the analogy of an iceberg: part invisible below the surface, but proved to exist by what can be seen.) This rules out a great deal that comes under the general head of Holiness, e.g. mysticism, moral advice and other matters which must be treated, if at all, under some other head.
We must not:
Remembering that we are dealing primarily with the holiness, not of
Catholics, but of the Catholic Church, the method is to describe:
3. Holy Doctrine
Not here a question of the truth of her doctrines (this would mean proving
and therefore is not part of the mark), but only of their morality. Show:
4. Means Of Holiness
So much is this so that many have gone to the other by extreme and said her
doctrine is too holy—beyond human power. This would be so if the Church did
not help man:
But machinery might be useless and the final test is still "By their fruits...."
(a) Bad Catholics: these are not the "fruits" of the Church, e.g.
as you judge a medicine by those who take it, not by those who pour it down the
sink, so the Church must be judged: "bad Catholics" having rejected
the teaching and scorned the means are not the "fruits."
There is thus sufficient visible to show any honest outsider the true holiness of the Church, and it may then—and not before—be pointed out how naturally such holiness resides in a Church founded by Christ and how the Church fulfills in this as in all else—even down to the smallest details, all that He foretold.
[For one who has the ability, it is possible to make a good line on the meaning of Holiness as distinct from the Mark of Holiness. Outside Catholicism, the world has wandered from the true meaning very badly.
(1) Protestants early set up as a model the "philanthropist"—and as a natural consequence the next generation came to hate Holiness altogether.
(2) The present non-Catholic dissociation of holiness from merriment is the result of the earlier dissociation of holiness from suffering. When asceticism went, joy went.]
General Line To Be Followed
We here regard Holiness not strictly as a Mark (an external, objective sign, showing all men that the Church is the peculiar and unique work of God).
Holiness is essentially an internal fact, although it has external manifestations, and non-Catholics must be shown this.
1. Ordinary Man
For us ordinary people the same teaching and means of holiness are available as for the Saints, and so their lives will only show in an extraordinary and heroic degree factors that must be the staple of all our lives.
What are these?
These are the high ideals, exemplified by the Saints (see Newman (a)), the insistence upon the need of our active cooperation with God, of perseverance in grace of rising after falls—the help given by the Sacraments particularly the Eucharist, in right living. Then there is Penance (see Chapman), sufficient in itself to prove the Church Divine. Also her sermons in picture and stone, as well by the spoken word; the inculcation of prayer and mortification, intense meditation and insistence on the central facts of Christianity; her traditional methods of attaining holiness embodied in the constitutions of the Saints, the various devotions, the ascetical learning at our disposal.
So that we can testify from our experience, that the Church is indeed Holy, whatever our own and our fellows' shortcomings may be.
All good there is in Protestantism is either:
This will require very careful handling; but can be put to very effective use, particularly when coupled with a demonstration of the immorality of Lutheran anti-nomianism and Calvinistic predestination.
2. The Saints
These are the heroes of Christianity, such as exist hardly, if at all, outside the Church.
Now the ordinary man's notion of doing "good" is primarily giving away things; or doing things for nothing. Our Lord went about doing good. This appeals to the primary instinct of the average man, and it is best therefore to start off with the Saints of active Charity, and the Religious Orders founded by them. They loved and served mankind heroically because they first loved and served God heroically; their lives were first and foremost lives of prayer. Mankind has gained more from them than from all the philanthropists. Specialize on the lives of one or two of these Saints in recent times.
From this point of view you may, if you are able, proceed to the great penitents, missionaries and leaders of active Christian thought, and then to the specially miraculous Saints and Contemplatives.
The deduction to get your audience to draw is, that these men, being unmistakably the product of Catholicism, its teaching must be really holy, and, it must really provide the means of holiness.
Finally, Catholic sanctity has nothing to do with sanctimoniousness.
Objections. Get up carefully Newman (c) and the relevant "Question Box" Section.
(1) Has the Roman Catholic Church a monopoly of holiness?
11. The Supremacy Of The Pope (A)
Luke: Letters to a Bible Christian. (C.T.S.)
Chapman: Gore, Catholic Claims (Chapters V-VII).
Distinguish between Infallibility (which means roughly that the Pope must be believed when he teaches) and Supremacy* (which means roughly that the Pope must be obeyed when he commands). Broadly the Pope has a right to obedience in all matters of religion and in those adjacent matters that closely affect it: he is not supreme, e.g. in politics.
*For platform purposes it is necessary also to make another distinction.
Speakers are occasionally puzzled to hear an Anglican heckler admitting the
"Primacy" of the Pope, by which he means simply primacy of honor
carrying with it no powers of any kind.
2. Christ made Peter His Representative
(a) During Christ's lifetime, the Christian body consisted of a visible head (Christ) subsidiary teachers (the apostles), and rank and file. Christ's headship was expressed by such terms as Rock, Keybearer, Teacher, Shepherd.
(b) And these very titles of Rock, Keybearer, Teacher, Shepherd, are conferred by Our Lord on Peter:
—(i) Rock, Keybearer (Matt. xvi. 18).
so that when Christ left the world, the outline of the organism is preserved: the visible head (Peter, representing Christ), the subsidiary teachers, the rank and file.
(c) That outline still exists in the Catholic Church.
3. Peter exercised this Supremacy
(a) Acts i. 15-22—Appointment of Judas' successor.
4. This Supremacy was intended to continue
(a) Reason shows that if in a Church of a few people close to Christ's own lifetime a visible authority was needed, it would be still more so with the growth of the Church and the passage of time.
(b) Our Lord intended His Church to continue for all time (Matt. xxviii. 20) and He established it with a supreme visible head.
(c) History shows that the Church so understood it:
—(i) A.D. 96—Letter of Pope Clement to Corinthians.
A Church whose unity (alone in the world) fulfills the requirement of John xvii. 21.
The Papacy (B)
1. Argument from Reason.
Christ came on earth, became man—to teach,—to govern.
While He was here He was the Supreme Teacher and Supreme Governor.
In both capacities He showed that there was need of:
His exercising these functions was not purely spiritual.
Point.—If a visible teacher was needed then, if a visible center of Authority was needed then, how much more necessary afterwards and now!
2. The Papacy Instituted
Christ provided for this double need when He said to Peter—
Peter was unquestionably the successor to Christ's purely human office as head on earth of the Church.
3. Papacy in Action
4. Effects of the Papacy
(a) Unity secured by Supremacy
Neither of these could in practice exist otherwise.
(The answers to questions on "Infallibility," Lecture 12, should also be known.)
(1) St. Peter was never in Rome.
12. Infallibility (A)
Luke: Letters to a Bible Christian. (C.T.S.)
Graham: What Faith Really Means (Chapter VII).
This subject must be worked in the closest union with Lectures 1 and 2. It is by constant references back to them that difficulties and objections will be overcome.
Non-Catholics think only of Papal infallibility when they hear the word. It is necessary, therefore, constantly to disabuse their minds of the notions:
(a) That we claim infallibility for the Pope alone.
1. Object Of Infallibility
The teaching of Christ and the Apostles must be kept whole and undefiled. This includes the whole of the natural law, as well as Revelation, strictly so called. The Church, founded by Christ, must have the necessary powers, and these cannot have died with the Apostles, otherwise the teaching fails.
2. Subject Of Infallibility
The deposit of Faith as handed down by the Apostles is based on the
infallibility of Tradition as well as on the Scriptures. Where controversy
arises as to what is or is not the teaching of Christ, the process followed
3. The gift of Infallibility is, therefore, primarily in the Church, because of the promises.
The Structure of the Church of Christ makes the Pope the final Arbiter. The conclusion is inevitable; further, the prayer of Christ that Peter's faith may not fail, constitutes the Papacy today, 1,900 years after, the rallying-point of believers.
This much is unmistakable:
Christ's whole organization of the Church was a provision for the distant rather than the immediate future; it meets a demand of reason, provides against the vicissitudes of history, and, today, the Papacy, as at the beginning, is the outstanding witness in the world of "Thou art the Christ." Christ's prayer that Peter's faith might not fail has been, and is ever actually being, accomplished.
4. Relation Between Subject And Object
The gift of Infallibility is the supplying of a need and does not go beyond that need.
The Church and the Pope as Infallible are bound down unconditionally to their object and cannot go beyond it (except in defense thereof. See Newman, "My Mind as a Catholic," 14, 15), and its great works have ever been within the sphere. Thus freedom of mind is preserved in the Church.
5. Effect On Non-Catholics
The Church's uncompromising insistence on the whole teaching of Christ has had the effect of maintaining outside of the Church some basis or residuum of the greater truths, apart from this they would be swept away by a flood of modernism, etc. So Peter is doubly the Rock.
(a) Pro. Get up quotations from Clement, Irenaeus, Augustine, Ambrose,
Infallibility Of The Pope (B)
Distinguish carefully between primacy, supremacy, infallibility.
The Pope, when teaching the whole Church on a point of faith or morals revealed by Christ is not allowed by God to teach error.
This does not mean:
Thus this doctrine:
(a) Use the Petrine texts: John xxi. 15-17, Luke xxii. 31, Matt. xvi. 18, in
that order: do not begin with the last-mentioned as it is well known to the
crowd, but in the light of the others controversy ceases. Explain in detail.
(a) A Church united in belief as Christ prayed (John xvii).
[The answers to questions on "Supremacy," Lecture 11, should also be known.]
(1) You Catholics make such fine distinctions between what is and what is not
an infallible declaration that it is quite impossible for an uneducated man to
know which is which.
1. The Supernatural Life
1. The Supernatural Life (A)
See also Lecture on Grace and Original Sin.
(a) A created participation in the life of God; the soul endowed with its ordinary natural gifts of intellect and will may by God's gift be lifted on to a new plane entirely above its nature and different in kind.
It does not mean:
(b) There are different kinds of life: plant, animal, man: and there is no reason to think human life represents the highest life: reason says there may be a life for man above the natural: revelation says there is. It is above the natural in that it enables man hereafter to see God as He is; which of his own nature he could never do.
2. History Of This Life
(a) In the Race.
(b) In the Individual.
3. Results Of Supernatural Life
(a) We can perform meritorious actions in this life. (Show difference between
natural and supernatural virtues: question of motive: latter motivated by love
The Supernatural Life (B)
1. Begin by explaining what is not meant by Supernatural, e.g. ghostly, magical nor even necessarily visionary or miraculous.
2. Yet the Supernatural does not mean merely the natural carried to the nth or a "fume thrown off by the natural," but actually a new mode of being offered to man—a superhuman life offered by God to man and freely appropriated by him.
There are different kinds of life—a stone has no life; plant, animal, man, each have life rising step by step in value.
None can say that the human is the highest possible—that it exhausts the possibilities of life.
The Church says God gave to the first man, for the race, this life—a created share in His own Life—not necessary to human nature, a free additional gift.
All mankind, incorporated in the first man, lost this gift. The fall of man was from the supernatural plane to the natural.
This life, lost in Adam, is regained by incorporation into Christ. "As in Adam all died, so in Christ all are made alive again."
3. Each kind of life has its own mode of knowledge and of union with the Truth. In the supernatural life these are Faith and Charity. Its end is the Beatific Vision.
4. Some, who believe in the supernatural life and in union with Christ, reject the idea of a Church.
We must show the close connection—the fact that Christ founded His Church to enshrine and communicate this Life, which is His Life.
(a) A corporate thing: as in Adam all, so in Christ all—not merely
Lastly, the Church lives this thought and enshrines it in her Liturgy, "wonderfully created, still more wonderfully restored, partakers of His Divinity Who in our humanity did not disdain to share."
(1) What's the use of your coming here to teach us, if you don't even know
2. Prayer (A)
McNabb: Meditations on Prayer.
This lecture is necessary to show the religious elements in the crowd that Catholics do not limit their religion to externals, but have more realization of the need and meaning of prayer than they themselves. It is still more needed for the much larger section of the crowd who have never practiced prayer and know nothing about it.
Begin by showing how natural prayer is. On a long journey, sharing a cabin with another man it would be unnatural not to speak to him. How much more unnatural never to speak to God, Who is not only always with us, but has given to us all we have and are, and on Whom we depend for everything. Give the Catechism definition: "Prayer is the lifting up of the mind and heart to God."
1. Those who do pray think often only of Petition—asking for things, and the objections put forward to show that Petition is unnecessary are liable to stop people from praying altogether. Start then from Petition and deal with the main difficulties, going on to show that there are other still better kinds of prayer.
(a) Does not God know our needs already? Certainly, and yet He wishes us to
lay them before Him. Our Lord showed this all through his life:
(b) Can we hope to change the intentions of the unchanging God by our prayers? Prayer does not change God, but it may easily change us, and make us fit to receive God's gifts. Moreover, God Who dwells in Eternity sees all time at once, past, present and future. (Give, as imperfect but suggestive comparison, a man on a curving road. He can only see one bit of it. A man in an airplane sees the whole road.) God sees our needs and our prayers. He tells us that he makes our prayers a condition: He has said "Ask and you shall receive."
(c) What about the things we ask for and don't get? Yet Christ said all prayers would be answered? Sometimes the reply to this difficulty is that we do not pray well enough or long enough. But Our Lord has supplied another answer in the gospels. He tells us that even a good earthly father will not give his son a stone when he asks for bread or a serpent instead of a fish. But we with our shortness of vision often ask for a stone, because we think it is bread: God knows better than we do. He gives us bread instead of the stone we are clamoring for, so that most people who are honest with themselves are able even in this life to thank God for apparently unanswered prayers.
2. Thanksgiving. God is always giving us things: all good, earthly and spiritual, comes from Him. It is mean never to say thank you: stress this. Our Lord showed that He cared to be thanked in the story of the ten lepers.
3. Contrition. Our Lord showed us in the story of the unprofitable servant how full and perfect is the service we owe to God. Yet we are always falling short, often definitely sinning. We should tell God so. The Church puts this constantly before Her children. Explain to the crowd examination of conscience and repeat slowly a simple act of contrition. Tell the New Testament story of the publican and his prayer: "God be merciful to me a sinner."
4. Adoration and Love. This is the best kind of prayer. Remind them again of the definition "lifting up of the mind and heart." We must think about what God is and what He has done for us, also of what we are. Especially we should dwell on the human life of God on earth. If we thus lift up the mind we shall learn to make acts of love and adoration. Explain what is meant by an act, and make them understand that we can make very good acts of love even if we feel no emotion. Suggest the idea of sometimes listening to God, and tell the story of Martha and Mary.
It is quite possible for crowd purposes to divide this lecture: it need not all be given at once.
Do not start by merely trying to define prayer—show it in action.
You too (without the crisis) may learn much from this:
2. Hence a realization of need for constant prayer of one kind or another. Perhaps the opportunity and call to life devoted to prayer—for which Catholic Church provides facilities. More often no such opportunity—how then combine prayer with ordinary busy life? See how Catholic Church teaches her children to do this:
(a) Morning offering—ask God's blessing on all—promise to do all well for
His sake—Mass—Holy Communion.
Here again Church helps by providing:
3. So even ordinary life may be led in close union with God (for that is what
prayer is)—nevertheless quite "practical," in fact the offering of
work for God's glory leads to its being done even better. In fine all may live
in constant communion with God—with what effects?
4. All these lead to further prayer, and such a habit of prayer is formed
that final perseverance is probable. Prayer is thus a powerful means to the end
for which Man is made (the four points in Catechism answer, especially the
last), and in fact is necessary to salvation because:
Briefly prayer helps to make this life as near Heaven as possible, and helps us to attain Heaven hereafter. If you wish for either, you must start now with prayer.
Omit also prayers for others and to the saints—these will obscure the general idea and raise side issues.
Do not suggest that prayer will lead them into the Church—they will think there is a catch in it somewhere.
Not more than a passing reference to the Lord's Prayer—impossible to do justice to it without a separate lecture.
The list of effects of prayer might be indefinitely extended—increase of Faith, Hope and Charity, Joy, Zeal for the Kingdom of God, etc., but a long catalogue, unless thoroughly classified, will probably prevent a general idea of the effects being brought home. Mention some of the most important, not necessarily those referred to in these notes.
In talking about Prayer, we are up against (1) the man who does not believe
in Prayer at all, and (2) the man who does not understand the Catholic
conception of prayer, and thinks that, rather than helping him to get to God,
the Catholic Church will get between his prayers and God. We have, therefore:
The link between these two is the Bible, both Old and New Testament testifying to the efficacy of prayer, and leading us directly to the idea of prayer practiced and perfected in the Catholic Church.
1. Necessity And Use Of Prayer
(a) Prayer is a universal instinct in the human race. The desire to pray, i.e. "to raise up the mind and heart to God," is found even in savage races who have only a vague conception of some supernatural power higher than themselves. Therefore, the man who scoffs at prayer is up against one of the deepest instincts of humanity.
(b) The fact of our speaking to God and asking for what we want in no way conflicts with his foreknowledge of all things. To show this examine prayer:
—(i) From our point of view—If we want to keep friends with anyone, we must communicate with them in some way, and if we want to foster friendship with God, we must keep in touch with him.
—(ii) From God's point of view—In the same way that a child is taught to ask for things which the parent already knows it needs, so God, as the Universal Father, wishes us to ask for what we want.
2. Prayer In Scripture
From the Bible the following points about prayer stand out:
(a) Efficacy of prayer both for ourselves and others.
New Testament. Christ said:
(b) Value of Corporate Prayer.
(c) Greater efficacy of prayer united to mortification.
d) The necessity of prayer in preparation for active work.
(e) The superiority of the contemplative to the active life.
3. Prayer In The Catholic Church
The conception of prayer revealed in the Bible is developed fully only in the Catholic Church, and this can be brought out in the following ways:
(a) St. Paul compares the Church to the Mystical Body of Christ, in which all members have different functions and all derive support from one another. Using this analogy, we can point to the contemplative orders as the Power-House of the Church; just as the heart, though hidden, supplies the necessary life-blood for the whole body, so the contemplatives supply the necessary vitality for the active members.
(b) By incorporation in the body of the Catholic Church, you benefit by the unceasing prayer of multitudes assembled together for that purpose—prayer which, united to mortification, beats without intermission at the gate of Heaven praying for a world that will not pray for itself.
(c) Compare Our Lord's 30 years' contemplative life to three years' active life with the proportion of contemplative to active work in His Mystical Body. "Christianity followed to its logical conclusion leads to the religious life," says St. Francis de Sales, and as the love of Christ led Mary away from the active work to the feet of Christ, so the fullness of the Christian life is achieved by the life of prayer fostered in the Catholic Church.
Further, in the Catholic Church each member is brought to a realization of his duty of praying. e.g.:
—(i) Compulsory attendance at Mass each week. (Avoiding discussion on Doctrine of the Mass, emphasize that this is the Church's supreme act of Worship to God, and she insists on her members joining in it.)
—(ii) Insistence on morning and night prayers, shown by the examination of conscience on this matter when preparing for Confession, as set out in the Prayer Book.
—(iii) Catholics are taught to make their life a prayer by dedicating the whole day to the glory of God by a daily offering to Him of every thought, word and action.
4. Final Object Of This Lecture
(a) It should at least send the crowd away seeing the necessity of prayer in their own lives, and lead some of them to an attempt at prayer. (If you can do it without appearing to "preach" at them, suggest some simple daily prayer, such as "Oh, my God, I offer Thee all my thoughts, words and actions this day for Thy honor and glory.")
(b) It should lead those who believe in prayer to see the overwhelming advantage of incorporation in Christ's Mystical Body, where they will have the mutual support of other members, the encouragement and assistance in their individual prayers, and the assurance that whatever their state of life they can make that state an unceasing prayer to God.
(1) Doesn't it suggest that God is like a small-minded man to say He wants to
3. The Sacramental Principle (A)
Cuthbert: God and the Supernatural. (Essays—C. C. Martindale, S.J.
1. What It Is
That material things may be the vehicle of spiritual:
2. Contrary Lines Of Thought
Materialistic view won't stand facts—no use in a crisis.
His own actions partake of both: he is acted on by both: God, acting on him, does not violate his nature.
Two things follow:
3. The Need Of Grace
4. The Need Supplied
5. What It Means
(a) God created matter and made it good: it showed forth Him, it was united in man with an immortal spirit, and then it was united in a new way with God Himself in Christ.
(b) Man's body is not an accident, made by God in a moment of weakness: not a temporary embarrassment to be lost at death: stress THE RESURRECTION of the body: it belongs to man.
(c) In any purely spiritual religion there is grave danger of self-deception.
(d) In the supernatural, we do not leave the natural: we remain man, and the natural is raised to a new plane: this is well enough shown by the sacraments: wherein the supernatural is built on to, and made dependent on, the elements of natural life. Religion may easily make man proud: if domination of body will make man a beast, there are certain forms of spiritual pride that will make him a devil: the sacramental principle keeps his feet on the earth.
Thus the sacraments prevent a one-sided development: keep man all square: the harmonious working of the whole man is ensured by making his body subject to a spirit filled with God's grace, and thereby fitted to rule it.
The Sacramental Principle (B)
Two views of man have dominated civilization at various periods.
1. The Materialistic
This breaks down:
2. The Spiritualistic
This breaks down because man is not pure spirit.
3. The Catholic View Of Man's Nature And Destiny
Man is body and soul, matter and spirit. Disorder in man's nature brought about by the Fall, must be set right by a new Creation in Christ.
(a) The body is to be saved as well as the soul and spiritualized for the
4. Sacramental Principle
The necessary outcome of the economy of the Incarnation. "That we may become partakers of His Divinity Who in our humanity did not disdain to share."
The Incarnation inaugurated a New Creation.
Henceforward we are to live by Christ's life. This New Humanity will be completed only when the Church, Christ's Mystical Body, has attained "to the measure of the Stature of the Fullness of Christ." This is the only real progress.
By what means did He ordain this building up?
How is each man to be "incorporated into Christ"?
5. The Sacramental Principle In Ordinary Life
The Church's Sacramentals. All nature, rightly seen, is sacramental, and the Church's teaching transfers this to the supernatural plane.
(1) God is a Spirit—those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in
truth. The Spirit of God speaks direct to my spirit without all these outward
4. The Mass
Maranget: The Roman Mass.
This literature is for this lecture and the next.
1. A Sacrificial Act
(a) What is Sacrifice? An instinct in human nature, always present, often misused, which leads man to make offerings to God in propitiation, expiation, adoration and thanksgiving, and thus to try to unite himself with God.
(b) In the history of the Jewish people we find this instinct educated and purified. All their imperfect sacrifices are, they are taught, but types looking to the perfect sacrifice to come.
(c) On Calvary Christ offered the perfect sacrifice to God, a Victim worthy of Himself, and in this sacrifice He perfectly united man with God.
(d) The Mass is the continuous re-enacting of this One Sacrifice—a renewal of Calvary.
2. The Central Act Of Christian Worship
(a) In the New Testament we read of the first Mass in the Upper Room at Jerusalem; of the same action—"The breaking of Bread" in the upper rooms of the disciples throughout the Acts of the Apostles, and in St. Paul, especially 1 Cor. x. 16-17 and xi. 20-29. Again in the Apoc. iv and v, the framework of the great vision is the ritual of the Mass, as those who know the details of the worship in the Catacombs describe it—for
(b) We find the same act of the Mass in the hidden life of the persecuted early Christians.
(c) It is the center of all medieval life and worship.
(d) The point of attack by all heretics—the touchstone of Catholicism. The abolition of the sacrificing priesthood was the aim of the reformers.
(e) So today in getting the proportion of Catholic life and effort we must always keep the Mass in the center. It is the means whereby Catholics realize that Christ is no mere historical figure, but living and working in their midst and building them up into His mystical body. In offering Himself Christ offers too the whole Christian people "with Him and in Him and by Him" to the Father, and teaches them to adore "in spirit and in truth."
(For Questions see next Lecture.)
5. The Blessed Eucharist (A)
(For Literature, see previous Lecture.)
Introductory—In lecturing on the Blessed Sacrament:
(a) Choose your audience carefully, and insist on reverence from the beginning.
(b) It is almost impossible for the average Catholic to realize the kind of blasphemy non-Catholics are capable on this subject. Squad leaders are authorized to stop anyone from lecturing on the Blessed Eucharist unless he has proved capable of silencing blasphemy as well as of expounding doctrine. A very careful choice of words and expressions in giving the lecture is necessary in order to minimize the danger of arousing the worst type of question.
(c) Avoid technical theological language. Say that Transubstantiation, though a long word, has a simple meaning: change of substance into substance. Substance, as we all know, means the inner reality of a thing as distinct from the outward appearances. We acknowledge in the Sacrament all outward manifestations of bread, because our sense tell us true, but the innermost thing which our sense cannot reach is not bread but the body of Christ. The Church teaches the fact, but not the how of the change. She teaches that the technical term Transubstantiation is correct and useful, but not one is obliged to use technical terms, and as long as you understand correctly, you can do without them. After consecration there is no bread at all, but instead of it the Body of Christ: the one has been converted into the other; that is all you are required to believe. Be satisfied with that. Use the term once, explain it, and then leave it.
1. (a) In reading St. John's Gospel we are struck with the central thought of Christ's claim to have come to bring life to men—nay more, to be Himself that very Life by which they were to live. What was this new life? The Supernatural Life of Grace—a share in God's life.
(b) In John iii. 5, Christ tells us how we are to receive this life—by Baptism. How is it to be nourished? For every life of body or mind there is its own proper food, for this life what food can be great enough? Only the very Life Himself. He will nourish what He has given.
(c) Read John vi (learn the last part by heart) and show how the promise is given, how it fits in with Christ's other words, "I am the Resurrection and the Life," "I am the Vine and ye are the branches"—the promise of the completest union with men's souls and with their bodies. Go on to the Institution in any of the Synoptic Gospels. Show the belief of the first Christians from St. Paul, the Acts, the symbolism in the Catacombs.
2. This great Sacrament foreshadowed in the Old Testament, especially the Manna in the desert and the Bread given to Elias—
(a) The Food of all, young and old, learned and ignorant, by which we are made "One Bread" and are built up into Christ's Mystical Body.
(b) Our food all through life, and at death's hour the "Viaticum—"in the strength of that food he walked forty days and forty nights until he came to the Mount of God."
3. The fulfillment far above every type and shadow—a continuation on earth of the Life of God Incarnate.
The Blessed Eucharist (B)
This subject must be taken in close connection with the Incarnation. It is useless to attempt to convince those who do not believe in Christ's Godhead of His real presence in the Blessed Sacrament. But to those who do we must show that the Holy Eucharist is a continuation of the life on earth of God Incarnate: Both for this life and its sacramental continuation there had been a preparation and a foreshadowing. A good line then is:
(a) God, Who created all things and is everywhere, was near in an especial
manner to the children of Israel, the chosen people.
Development Of This
1. A good opening for the crowd is the story of Elias (3 Kings xviii, xix). Remind them that the Old Testament is the history of God's progressive Revelation to Israel and His continual guidance. These are given through men and through material things.
(a) The prophets proclaim "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me." They are sent with God's messages: "I will tell thee O man what is good and what the Lord requireth of thee" (Mich. vi. 8) "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed," etc. (Jon. iii. 4), "The cruse of oil shall not be diminished," etc. (3 Kings xvii. 14). They are the human instruments made use of by God to teach and guide His people.
(b) He makes use also of material things in this teaching and guidance. Give instances; God sends fire from heaven to burn sacrifices, supports Elias with actual food, cleanses the lips of Jeremias with a burning coal, appears to Moses in the bush.
(c) He dictates every detail (i) of the Tabernacle, (ii) of the Jewish worship, (iii) of the building of the Temple. He commands the setting-up of the brazen serpent; in the wilderness gives water from the rock, sends manna—bread from Heaven. All through the history of the chosen people God is sanctifying and using material things for a spiritual end—to draw men nearer to God. (Catholic theology teaches that some of the rites of Judaism besides foreshadowing Christian sacraments were themselves sacraments of the old law: the eating of the Paschal Lamb, of the loaves of proposition, of the Eucharistic sacrifices.)
(d) And over the Tabernacle rested the special Presence of God in the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day. (Draw a vivid picture of the Israelites in the camp living under this Presence.) Many forgot, got used to it, but those who realized it could say "There is no nation whose gods are so near to them as the Lord our God is near to Israel."
2. In spite of this wonderful presence of God among the Jewish people: powerful through creation: inspiring human men: overshadowing the Tabernacle—the prophets stretched forward to something more. What more could there be? God would visit His people in a new and transcendent way: a child should be born who should be called "Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace" (Isaias x. 6). Because of this:
(a) God could be known as never before. "They shall teach no more every
man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: know the Lord, for all
shall know me" (Jer. xxxi. 34). (See also Isaias vii. 6)
3. The Old Testament had been a preparation for:
(a) Realization of God's special presence in certain places, people, things.
Yet to the Jews the notion of the Incarnation appeared incredible. God a baby, a child, a man dying on the cross. That God should so have "emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant" seemed to some then, seems to some today a degradation.... A helpless dependent infant, a man dying the death of a criminal.
We find, therefore, that some of the earliest heretics, the Docetae, rejected the Real Presence in the Eucharist because they would not believe that God was really made Man for us. They would not believe in His real presence in His manhood, how then in the Sacrament? The one depends upon the other. For the Real Presence is the continuation of the incarnate life of God in our midst. Without it Christianity is incomplete.
4. The realization of this need of the Real Presence to make Christianity complete has brought many people into the Church. Instances may be given, e.g. a pious Nonconformist woman who read the Bible a great deal was always tempted to envy the people in the Old Testament. She rebuked herself—Christ has come. Yes, but what has He left us? His word in scripture, a commemorative meal—good things, wonderful things—but the Jews had the presence of God over the Mercy Seat, His voice in the thunder, bread from Heaven. Yet did not Christ promise a better bread from Heaven—Himself—and reading this promise repeatedly in St. John's Gospel she reached the Church.
(a) He said it so clearly and chose rather to lose disciples than to unsay it. (John vi.)
(b) In the light of His words taken in their literal meaning type and prophecy become plain: Elias, the Manna, the prophecy of Malachy. St. Paul says of the Israelites: "And they all ate the same spiritual food: and they all drank the same spiritual drink, and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them and the rock was Christ"—yet theirs was only a type. Are we to have less than Israel? Is the shadow greater than the substance? In all his epistles but especially Hebrews St. Paul dwells on this aspect of Christianity—its fulfillment of what Judaism foreshadowed. See especially Heb. vii. 17, "For he testifieth `Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech'," and Heb. xiii. 10, "We have an altar whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle."
(c) His first followers understood Our Lord literally just as the Church does today. For this section study carefully Cor. i, x and xi, and "Catholic Faith in the Holy Eucharist," chaps. ii, iii and iv. The most important quotation from the Fathers is that from St. Justin, but you should also be familiar with the Eucharistic prayer of St. Clement, St. Ignatius against the Docetae, St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, the stele of Abercius. For answering questions it is also of great importance to read carefully the treatment of St. Augustine's teaching.
(1) John vi. 59, "He that eateth," etc., was allegorical language
like "I am the door, the vine." Did not Christ say, "The flesh
6. The Priesthood
(a) The Sacrament of Holy Orders, which has for its object the perpetuation of the priesthood in Christ's Church, is defined as "The Sacrament of the New Law whereby spiritual power is given and grace conferred for the consecrating of the Eucharist and the proper performance of the other ecclesiastical offices." (Code of Canon Law, Canon 948.) The Sacrament not only confers grace, but also gives a power.
(b) The priesthood is simply a continuation, willed by Christ and by Him established, of His own priesthood: it has no value apart from that, and its principal object is to perpetuate on earth His own sacrifice: "He ever liveth to make intercession for us": so that as His priesthood is continuous in Heaven, so on earth His ministers, empowered by Him, participate in that perpetual priesthood.
(c) The Sacrament impresses an indelible character on the soul—i.e. once a
priest always a priest—and gives, as shown in (a), certain powers:
[Note that though all these points should be clearly known, only (i) and (ii) normally arise when the priesthood is under discussion.]
(d) Obviously as the priestly powers do not come from the priest himself, they cannot be affected by the priest's character: they come from Christ and as such the Catholic receives them. The sacraments which Christ gives us through the priest are no more affected by the priest's character than are the contents of a letter by the character of the postman.
Incidentally, if the validity of the sacraments were affected by his character, it would be equivalent to the destruction of the Sacraments since we, the recipients, being unable to read a man's conscience, would never know whether we were receiving valid Sacraments or not. But do not give the impression that the sinfulness of the priest does not matter: it matters enormously to him (since if he does not repent, he will go to Hell); it matters to his congregation, who are faced by his bad example and discouraged in their own struggle with sin: so that the Church does her uttermost to have good men as priests and with occasional exceptions succeeds wonderfully.
(e) Celibacy is not an essential of the priesthood, but a matter of ecclesiastical regulation.
2. Establishment By Our Lord
(a) Reason tell us that since Christ established a Church to do certain things, there must be officials for the orderly carrying out of these things: it has been shown elsewhere that the Church was among other things to offer sacrifice and forgive sins: therefore there must be officials empowered to offer sacrifice and forgive sins.
(b) Old Testament
(c) Christ's Establishment:
(d) The Priesthood in Action—With our crowds we should confine ourselves to
the New Testament (as the Fathers mean nothing to them); but we must remember:
[An argument is occasionally advanced that the ministers of the new Church are never called "hiereus," the ordinary word in use for a sacrificing priest, but only "presbuteros": which means literally "an elder." The answer is simple:
—(i) Given the associations of the pagan and Jewish sacrifices, the priests of the "clean oblation" would naturally not choose a word already bound up with these associations (cf. our own practice of not calling our priests ministers, though they are ministers, because the word is normally used for the Protestant clergy).
—(ii) It is clear that the "presbyterate" was an office (Titus i. 5), and we learn the nature of an office from its functions: it has been shown above that the functions of the presbyter included the offering of the sacrifice of the new law: hence a presbyter was a priest.]
3. How Transmitted
By a Bishop ordaining with the right form (the imposition of the "hands of the priesthood "—1 Tim. iv. 14, together with a statement of what is being done) and the right intention (i.e. the intention to do what the Church does).
[Anglican orders were declared invalid by the Bull "Apostolicae Curae" because (a) the form was defective, while at the same time (b) right intention was lacking. The subject is too intricate to be dealt with here: some such book as "Anglican Orders" (C.T.S.) should be carefully studied.]
(1) "God is no respecter of persons," therefore all Christians are
on exactly the same footing.
7. The Catholic Moral System
Chapman-Gore: Catholic Claims (Chap. XII.)
1. In dealing with this subject begin by explaining what sin is: an offense against God (not only against our fellow men), and hence its enormity. It is for God, whom we have offended, to decide whether He will pardon us, on what terms and how.
2. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." Christ came into the world to save us from sin. His death is our hope. All pardon for sins comes from Calvary. How are we individually to receive this redemption?
(a) All through His life Christ forgave sins: St. Mary Magdalen, the woman taken in adultery, the man sick of the palsy. He had this power as man "that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins."
(b) He gave this power to other men. His Apostles John xx. 23. They used it, not as from themselves, but as "ambassadors of Christ," having from Christ "the ministry of reconciliation" (cf. 2 Cor. v. 18-21). Moreover, the power given them was twofold—remit or retain: they were made judges. This implies the need for confession.
(c) The divine remedy for sin must last as long as the disease, and Christ promised to be with His Apostles "even to the consummation of the world." This power then was and still is in the Church of Christ. So the early Christians believed (cf. the Didache, Origen, St. Augustine, etc.). The method of its exercise has varied, but the power has always been there and has always been exercised. No alternative date for its beginning is ever found by those who deny its Apostolicity.
3. The other way of approaching this subject is from the human end—showing its place in the whole moral system of the Church.
Sin is the greatest enemy of mankind, has separated us from God and been the cause of our greatest miseries. The Catholic Church is in this world as God's instrument for the combating and destruction of sin. How does she set about her task?
(a) If a man is to repent of his sins, he must:
(b) On both these points, all realize that he may be helped by his fellow men.
(c) The object of the Church is to make this help as systematic and thorough as possible: the combating of sin is not a once-a-month matter.
Daily effort is required. She helps men on:
(d) All this may be seen to be thorough enough: she gives the general teaching on sin, and encourages men to apply it; but one thing is needed—men from time to time want skilled advice on their own sins by experienced men: so that the practice of confession is the completion of the most wonderful moral system in the world.
4. In this Sacrament the Church
(a) Insists on sorrow as Christ insisted on it—without sorrow, no
5. A good historical lecture on Confession can be made from Tixeront and the Catholic Encyclopedia. It is not possible (or desirable) to give the whole lecture outdoors in one speech. Always begin with something equivalent to Section 1, and follow it up with either 2, or 3 or 4 or 5.
(1) I do not want a middleman in the forgiveness of sin. What right has the
priest to arrogate God's power to himself? I go straight to God.
8. Marriage (A)
Kendal: Marriage and Divorce. (C.T.S.)
Cuthbert: Catholic Ideals in Social Life.
1. The subject is best treated in relation
Begin by dwelling briefly on the appalling increase of divorce. (The crowd will be with you as to this. No crowd and few hecklers wish for greater divorce facilities. It is a newspaper "stunt.")
2. The world, wicked today, was more wicked when Christ came on earth.
We are told today that as men and women cannot bear the yoke of marriage laws they must be freed from them. Our Lord instead of loosening the natural law which had been abused, commanded absolute monogamy "as in the beginning." There followed the morality of Christian home life, the highest the world has known; Kirsopp Lake and other agnostic or modernist critics bear witness to this. And this immense change came from the poorest class; the dregs of the Roman Empire, captives and slaves.
3. What had happened? What made the change?
All life was to be made new in Christ, "let her marry...only in the Lord" (1 Cor. vii. 39).
It is as part of the supernatural life that the mutual love of the married is enduring—not mere feeling but will (Eph. v). When persevered in through terrible trials it usually brings natural rewards. You may have known Darby and Joan who without Christian principles would have been in the Divorce Courts years before.
4. Take it the crowd agrees with you in the main, warn them against divorce propaganda. Point out that the Roman Empire fell owing to debased morality while Christianity triumphed. The Church's teaching as to marriage can alone save our homes, our country; without it we must fall into barbarism.
(a) The claim for divorce is made greatly on hard cases—"a delicate woman tied to a brute," etc. But the Church allows separation in cases of danger. (See Marriage, A Dialogue, p. 18.)
(b) The attack shifts on to immorality resulting from separation. The grace of the sacrament, we answer, is sufficient for those who are obliged to be separated.
(c) This last objection usually leads to a general attack on the vow of chastity and the celibacy of the clergy. Lecturers as a rule should refuse to discuss celibacy but quote St. Paul as a final authority (1 Cor. vii. 32-34.)
(d) The Church's Marriage Laws. Three hundred million Catholics accept these laws of their own free will, preferring them to the changing views of Parliamentary bodies.
Where the laws of Church and State clash remember in this particular
instance history tells us that the State is the usurper. The Church was in possession. Canon Law inherited from the Catholic Church was only abrogated in this country in the last century.
(e) Nullity. The crowd believe that nullity is divorce under another name. Nullity does not mean to make void but to declare that there never was a marriage Nullity is the same in secular law: both are based on the principle that the contract, e.g. with a lunatic, a child, an already married person, has not been valid. Most causes for invalidity are the same in Church and State. The State has added divorce and has not done away with causes of nullity.
(For so-called Divorces of Kings and other Nullity Cases see Catholic Encyclopedia.)
Note.—Lectures should not be given on this subject by youthful lecturers. If questions are asked the chairman should deal with them very briefly. Improper questions should simply be refused altogether and the crowd can be trusted to back the speaker against a heckler who presses them.
1. It is ideals that count, and in none of the broad facts of life do Catholic ideals shine out more clearly or appeal more widely than in that of the home. We have here a weapon of enormous apologetic value which must come more and more into use as the work grows. The appeal is to the fundamental faith of man in woman and of woman in man. For most of us it is the great adventure in life, and the Church bids us consecrate it to God; here, if ever, we must preach. Marriage is, undoubtedly, the ordinary means of salvation for the ordinary run of men.
2. The Catholic Ideal
The high austere teaching of Christ lifted men for the first time above the tyranny of animalism that, circumscribed to a limited extent only by social necessities, had hitherto ruled the race.
He laid down the broad principles of which the Church's teaching is merely the working out in detail. Study the texts, and in particular St. Paul's comments in 1 Cor. vii, and learn how to deal with those in Matthew. The order of quotations should be Paul, Mark, Luke, and finally Matthew. Note the contrast between the Church's insistence upon:
(a) Celibacy of her Clergy.
The idea to drive home is that of vocation—the particular form of His service to which God calls us. Marriage is a great and sacred vocation; and, because it is such, divorce is an abomination. The fight between the Church and the divorce court is whether society shall be founded upon a true and Christian love or upon selfish indulgence. Marriage is for the home and the home is for the Church and the Church is for God. The sex instinct is completely subordinated by the Church to the one purpose of building up a Christian Society through the home. So she rules out both the free love (individualistic) and the state-proprietorship notions of marriage. From the home comes forth a Christian people devoted to the service of God, clean in life, kindly and vigorous, that renews for ever our civilization. Here a powerful appeal can be made (see Devas) to those not primarily interested in Religion, but who are awake to the broader social evils of our time.
The family is the main support of the State; and the Church is the main support of the family; and no other support one quarter as efficient can be found. So the Church is the great social cementing force, and this only because she moves on a level far above the merely social one; her high spiritual ideals have an actual cash value that may appeal to those whose god is their pocket.
3. Alternative Ideas
(a) The Lutheran one. "On the question of marriage, as in all other respects, Lutheranism is a compromise and a bridge between two logical ideas of the Universe—the Catholic Christian and the individualistic Monist. And bridges are made to go over, not to stand upon." (Key, "Love and Marriage.")
(b) The Others. Dispose of these as you go. Most Protestants are weak on the subject and only by drawing out clearly the Church's ideals can the advance of the others be stayed.
4. The Church's Laws
The Laws of the Church on mixed marriage, etc., when placed in the light of her ideals are seen to be reasonable and inevitable. Take objections in your stride, as you go through the subject, and don't allow attention to be concentrated upon them. First things first must be the rule here as everywhere.
(1) Isn't it cruel to force a woman to continue to live with a drunkard or an
9. Our Lady And The Saints (A)
Literature (for Lectures 9 and 10):
Splaine: Ought We to Honor Mary? (C.T.S.)
Vassall-Phillips: The Mother of Christ.
1. Show non-Catholics that they must have some attitude to Our Lady: most of them have no belief about her except that Catholics give her too much honor; but they must settle how much honor is due to her from themselves. Make them ashamed. We could understand Christians denying the Virgin Birth as too good to be true: we are simply bewildered to find that they shrink from it as too bad to be true. We must make them realize that Our Lady is not simply a Catholic superstition, but part of the inheritance of every Christian.
2. Necessary to show that our attitude to Our Lady and the Saints is a part, not of our attitude to God, but of our attitude to human beings (avoid the word "creature" as the crowd does not understand it). Do not outline our attitude to God and then show that that to the Saints is different: show our attitude to men, show that to Saints to be similar in kind, though not in degree, then show how different the attitude to God. But do not Protestantize Our Lady and reduce our worship of her to little or nothing.
—1. We honor.
(a) It is our duty to honor men and thereby we please God whose work they are.
The better they are, the more we honor them. We honor Saints more than
ordinary men because sanctity is the highest human achievement. We honor our
Lady above all humans because:
(b) No one can now confuse this with the honor due to God.
(c) The word "worship" is no difficulty. It means "worthship," i.e. giving the honor that a being is worth, and can be applied to any worthy being: 1 Chronicles xxix. 20. "And they bowed themselves and worshipped God, and then the King." The worship will vary according to the worth of the being, and God will receive supreme worship.
(a) We pray for other men (Lord's Prayer).
We ask other men to pray for us (St. Paul says, "I desire that supplications, prayers, intercessions...be made by men"), i.e. to join their strong prayers to our weak ones.
Therefore we ask the Saints and, most of all, our Lady (as the holiest of human beings). In asking them to "pray" to God we are confessing that they are less than God.
(b) Protestants object that prayer to Saints takes away Christ's position as the "One Mediator." But St. Paul tells us we can and must pray for one another because there is One Mediator (1 Tim. ii. 5). All our intercession depends on His Mediatorship. We are one body in Him and therefore on earth or in Heaven can help one another by prayer.
The life of every Saint contains practical lessons.
Our Lady And The Saints (B)
This is one of the chief stumbling-blocks to pious Protestants, as they imagine we put creatures in the place of, or side by side with, the Creator.
1. Explain, therefore, in the first place, the Catholic doctrine as to the supreme adoration due to God and to Him alone.* He alone is essential Being, Goodness, Holiness, and whatever virtue or good quality exists in any creature whatsoever is from Him, and reflects accordingly to its measure of being His uncreated Perfection.
As in admiring the work of any artist our praise passes from the statue or picture to the mind that wrought it, so beholding the creature's limited perfections we worship the Creator.
Man, especially, is made to the image and likeness of God, and in the Saints this image shines out more brightly than in others. In honoring them, therefore, we honor, first, the greatest work of the Creator; secondly, the power of the Redeeming Blood; thirdly, the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Chiefly we honor Mary, chosen by God to be the Mother of His Incarnate Son, and prepared for that sublime office by the special grace of the Holy Ghost. And then all the Blessed according to the grace and glory God has bestowed upon them.
*Part of the advice given in this Outline may appear to contradict the advice given in (A) above; but this Outline is for more experienced speakers.
2. Here Protestants object, "Yes, honor the Saints but do not invoke them."
We, as Catholics, believe:
(a) In the Communion of Saints, that is the reality of the union between souls in grace with Christ, and in Him with one another.
(b) In the enormous value of Intercessory Prayer. Catholics on earth continually pray for their fellow-Catholics, and we cannot believe that this work of love and compassion ceases after death (1 Tim. ii. 1.)
In the Epistle to the Hebrews we read of our (chap. xii. 1) "Having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head," and we cannot believe them to be indifferent, careless of our success or unable to help us with their prayers. Again, in the 22nd and 23rd verses of the same chapter the author says, "Ye are come to Mount Sion, in the City of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of Angels—to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect."
If we are already come to them they cannot be unable to hear us or pray for us. The Church has always believed and taught that they can and will do so.
Some of the earliest examples of Christian art in the Catacombs themselves show Mary as Patron, praying with extended arms. In the same place we find written on the resting-places of early Christians, "Rest in peace and pray for us."
3. So deep-rooted in human nature is the belief that death does not make utter separation between us and those who have gone before, that where the Catholic Doctrine of the Communion of Saints is denied or the practice of praying to the Saints and for the holy souls is discouraged, man, denied the right outlet for his devotion, turns to spiritualism, to the great danger of soul and body.
Only in the Catholic Church can we have true communion with the departed, whether already glorified in Heaven or awaiting their full beatitude in Purgatory, because in the Church we seek such communion through the "One Mediator of God and men—the Man Christ Jesus."
Our Lady And The Saints (C)
1. Who are the Saints? God's heroes. We must have some attitude towards them since they are an existing fact. Make the crowd realize this. What is their attitude? Most of them say, "I believe in the communion of Saints." Does this communion cease with death? Catholics say it does not, and it is probably by comparison with our attitude to our living Christian friends that non-Catholic Christians can best be made to understand the Catholic attitude to the Saints.
2. What things do all Christians do to their friends on earth? Honor them, imitate them, ask their prayers.
(a) Honor them. They are often chosen as friends, because admired. Honored for their character (created and perfected by God), does this honor take away from the supreme worship due to God? No, the Artist is known in His works—especially His most perfect work. He does not create a desert around Himself. We are told to love God with our whole heart and soul and mind and strength—and yet also to love our neighbor as oneself. So too we adore the Creator with the whole of our being, and this makes us more able to honor His creation.
(b) Imitate them. "Be ye followers of me as I of Christ," said St. Paul. Was this only because St. Paul was in their midst in his living presence? No; God has placed us in all sorts of circumstances and the Saints in like circumstances are our special models. To have a holy home at Nazareth from which the Christian Home was to spring Our Lord needed Our Lady and St. Joseph.
(c) Ask their prayers. We do this with our friends, especially those of us who pray most ourselves, cf. St. Paul and his friends. didn't St.
Paul "go straight to God," yet who asked more for his fellows' prayers? Prayer to our living friends and to the Saints differs only in degree: both differ completely in kind from prayer to God.
All Christian relationships with living or dead depend upon Christ. St. Paul could ask the prayers of other Christians because there is one Mediator. (1 Tim. ii. 1-6).
(1) Isn't it enough for us to make known our petitions to God? Surely He will
hear us without the mediation of the dead, however holy they may have been.
10. Our Lady
Literature: (See previous lecture.)
The subject of Our Lady cannot possibly be treated adequately as part of a general lecture such as any of those just given. On the other hand, as with the Blessed Eucharist, extreme care must be taken to avoid the irreverence and even blasphemy which this subject provokes with certain crowds.
In lecturing on it, therefore:
2. General Line
(a) Our Lady's place in the scheme of Redemption. Our Lord is the second
Adam. She is the second Eve.
Origen says: "As sin began from a woman and then came to man, so, too, the beginning of salvation has its origin from a woman." St. Ambrose says: "She was alone and wrought the world's redemption." No later Catholic writer has said stronger things than these and other writers of the first four centuries.
(b) This scheme of Redemption she alone understood. While the disciples still
expected an earthly kingdom, our Lady knew:
(c) Pondering these things in her heart, she could share and understand:
(d) On the Cross Our Lord gave His Mother to the Apostle John, and, as Catholics believe, through him to the whole Church St. John "took her to his own." She was with the Apostles in the upper room for the coming of the Holy Spirit. There, the Acts tells us, the leaders of the infant Church were "persevering in prayer with Mary the Mother of Jesus." So the Church has done ever since. So, too, in the Church has been fulfilled the Scriptural prediction: "Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."
It is contrary to Scripture as well as to all Christian history to refuse the highest honor to Mary the Mother of God. No human being can ever pay her an honor equal to that which God has given her in choosing her for this tremendous destiny.
(1) How was it that your Church only discovered the doctrine of the
Immaculate Conception in 1854?
11. Purgatory (A)
Graham: Purgatory. (C.T.S.)
(a) For Catholics. The doctrine is a kind of epitome of the great principles in which Catholics differ from non-Catholics: the place of our own effort in salvation the belief in the Communion of Saints, the relation of justice and mercy in God's plan, the close connection of repentance and suffering, the relation of tradition and the written word in Christian teaching.
(b) Non-Catholic Objections. In addition to difficulties arising under (a) above, it is objected:
—(i) That the doctrine introduces an unnecessary complication (the next
world seems to be divided simply into two parts; why a third?).
Method Of Treatment
Should be such as to meet these difficulties.
(a) When a man dies he is destined either for:
—(i) Hell—if he has deliberately cast God aside.
It is necessary to insist on this against:
—(i) Ordinary man: to whom sinlessness apparently only means refraining from adultery and murder; and who, anyhow, even if willing (or even anxious) to admit that he is not stainless now, is sure he will be when his time comes.
—(ii) Evangelical: who thinks that provided he believes in Calvary it does not matter what state he dies in. Show him that Calvary does not save men without some effort on their part (otherwise none would go to Hell); the effort required is repentance, and the repentance must equal the degree of ingratitude and rebellion involved in the sin.
(b) It follows that as a man may well die loving God, yet with sins not satisfied for by true and sufficient repentance, if there were nothing in the next world but Heaven and Hell, there would be nowhere for him to go.
(c) The Church teaches (as reason would lead us to expect) that there is a place of cleansing (that is what Purgatory means) in the next world, where not only may God's justice be satisfied (for the soul has deserved punishment, and as it has not made a complete and perfect act of contrition must receive punishment), but also the soul may be made fit for His eternal presence.
—(i) That salvation so gained is due entirely to Calvary.
(d) The Bible and History: Support what the Church teaches:
—(i) Prayer for the dead is in pre-Christian Judaism (2 Macc. xii. 43), and
in Jewish Prayer Book of the present day and is therefore a permanent part of
the Jewish religion: and Our Lord nowhere condemns it, as he does other Jewish
A strong lecture may be made showing how on this point Protestantism shows religion in its most repellent and barren aspect, whereas the Church shows us the legitimate way of union with the dead, thereby satisfying a craving which exists in all men, and which too often finds an illegitimate outlet.
1. Begin with the object of man's existence—to know, love and serve God here, to be happy with Him for ever hereafter. What is the one barrier, the only thing that can prevent the fulfillment of this end? Sin.
2. Christ died to save us from sin. Does it follow of necessity that every one of us will be saved inevitably. Get your crowd to admit that it does not: that man has to do something, to meet God at any rate by repentance for his sins. The redemption which Christ won for all mankind has to be applied to the individual soul. Be prepared to spend some time on this point as, if you have got them to see it, their minds will be far more open to follow the rest of the argument.
This sorrow for sin if it is deep and real involves suffering. Give examples from the saints to show how sin and repentance made them suffer. St. Peter "wept bitterly," St. Paul "chastised his body"; he speaks too of the possibility of a notorious sinner being "swallowed up by grief." Is our repentance anything like this? Does it hurt? If not, the question arises, how much repentance is needed, how far has it got to go, can it be real without involving suffering?
3. The Church and the Bible teach us that God, in this life meets the sinner halfway in his repentance by sending him temporal sufferings which (a) punish, and (b) teach. Give examples: David, the penitent thief, Our Lord's saying "If any man will come after me let him take up his cross daily," St. Paul's saying, "whom God loveth He chastiseth."
The sufferings of this life sent by God can, in union with Christ's sufferings, be borne for our sins and used to deepen our repentance and make it more like the sorrow of the saints.
4. By their sorrow for sin and their sufferings the saints received Christ's redemption fully in this world and were thereby perfected. But what about the ordinary person—you and me? Should we dare to say we had accepted all our sufferings in this life in punishment for our sins and repented perfectly like the Saints, or do we realize there is something left to be done in our souls if we were to die today?
The Church, then, teaches that for the ordinary, imperfect Christian there is a place of punishment and purification, the ante-chamber to Heaven as it has been called. (Be careful they do not think of Purgatory as a third alternative to Heaven or Hell.) The souls there are perfectly safe and therefore happy in spite of their sufferings. Like sufferings on earth this preparation for Heaven is part of God's goodness to us and the possibility of it springs directly from the sufferings of Christ on Calvary.
5. Christ died to save all men and all men are closely united by their humanity, all Christians still more closely united in Christ St. Paul speaks of our union being that of members of a body—the body of Christ.
We can, because of this union, help our dead by our prayers, sufferings and good works. This is a vital and consoling part of that clause in the creed, "I believe in the communion of Saints."
For proof of historicity and scriptural nature of doctrine see previous outline.
(1) I believe that Christ died for me so that there will be no Purgatory for
12. The Externals Of Worship
Smith: Holy Images and the Crucifix. (C.T.S.)
Sertillallges: The Church (Book III).
1. The Crowd's Objection, is twofold: they have a strong dislike for externals in principle and they have a suspicion of images as idolatry. Meet this by treating images as part of the general question of externals, i.e. as part of the relation between soul and body on which Catholicism insists.
(a) They talk of externals as "empty" show: but
(b) They make an odd relation between the simple gospel and plain worship: it is a mistake to think that the simple man acts "simply," i.e. with severe restraint; the vegetarian is not more simple but more complex than the beef-eater: it is the subtle man who is "simple," i.e. who does not show what he is feeling. There is nothing complex about rich colors and incense: but something awfully complex about a neutral-tinted tie; and quietism is most complex of all [note the phrase "studied simplicity"].
(c) They wish to worship God "in spirit and in truth "; but if in spirit only, then not in truth, because it makes spirit pose as disembodied.
2. The Crowd's Real Trouble: their strange notion of religion (arising from want of practice).
Catholicism is a religion of the whole man: it is the relation of man as he is (not of man posing as an angel) to God: it looks to God, but it is a human action all the same: it must be true to man's nature or else it is a sham.
As a fact man's nature is twofold (and this intentionally so, not as a mistake made by God), and there is interaction of soul and body. This is true of everyday life, and therefore true of religion, for "religion" embraces all our actions, and it is the same man all through.
All this is introductory: and the best way of teaching it is by a lecture mainly on Images: though it must be shown that they are simply part of the whole system of externals: do not mention the second Commandment: this is not a defensive lecture and attacks may be left to questions. (Learn the difference of numbering and translation of the Commandments in our version and the Anglican.)
1. The body affects the soul: temptations come through it: if left alone the body will ruin the soul: realizing this the Church has used the senses to convey good to the soul: give examples in other matters and then show how images:
(a) Recall our minds to God
2. The soul affects the body: What we feel strongly we express outwardly—joy, sorrow, etc. If we love, we like to have an image of the person we love, and we treat it with honor for his sake. We love God, therefore equally we show this love outwardly in many ways, including the way of images.
3. The warrant from Scripture
(a) Splendor: in the Old Testament and in the Apocalypse, therefore likely
[In Anglican Bible our 1 and 2 Kings are called 1 and 2 Samuel; our 3 and 4 Kings are called 1 and 2 Kings.]
No religion is free from externals: hymn-singing, Bible, etc., but Catholicism alone has seen them (not as a rather degrading necessity, but) as a principle rooted in the nature of man and to be used for man's salvation, and if Protestants talk of "empty" show we may well retort with full churches: for by appealing to man as he is (and as God made him) Catholicism has been able to hold men of every kind.
Instead of using Images in general to illustrate the principles set out
above, lectures might be given on:
(1) I want a pure spiritual religion without all this outward show. Christ
said "worship in spirit and in truth." (John iv. 24).
Course II For Senior Speakers
Apparently there was once a very common state of mind called "Indifferentism," which seriously held that one religion was as good as another. Much time may be wasted by speakers who assume that it is still commonly held. The phrase is often heard, but only
(a) From paid hecklers, anxious to secure the support of all the various
Protestant elements of the crowd.
The Protestant who actually practices his religion, does not think any other religion is as good as his own: and only refrains from saying his is the one true Church because he is not in the habit of following his beliefs to a logical conclusion and fears that such a statement would lack charity.
Indifference really means the belief that no religion matters at all: that it may or may not be quite a good thing to belong to a particular creed (it does not greatly matter which) but that the whole thing is rather a hobby—like stamp-collecting. In fact, the average man now regards any adult who practices religion with the kind of amiable contempt which we reserve for the more harmless sort of crank.
A.—Importance Of Religion For This Life.
(1) We must discover the purpose of our lives.
Show that religion far from being an idle amusement is the first necessity, and that the man who altogether neglects it is, in plain words, a fool.
(a) To achieve any purpose we must know what the purpose is: we cannot play a game unless we know the object of the game; we cannot make a journey successfully unless we know where we are going; we cannot intelligently use any instrument unless we know the purpose that instrument was made to serve: to use it for any other purpose will ultimately ruin it. (Illustrate all this profusely.)
(b) All this applies with especial force to our own life: we cannot use ourselves unless we know the purpose for which we were made: we cannot live life intelligently unless we know the purpose of life, we cannot tell whether or not we are making progress unless we are clear as to the true direction our lives ought to take. No problem is more important than this, and the man who neglects it is acting with incredible stupidity.
(2) How to discover the purpose of our lives.
(a) Obviously we cannot give ourselves the information: we did not make
ourselves: we simply found ourselves here; reason can tell us the sphere in
which, if no higher factors are introduced, our nature may best work; and this
would be true and valuable: but obviously it cannot tell us whether there may
not be such higher factors. For the rest we may of course guess, but in a matter
of enormous importance it is mere frivolity to risk all on a guess.
—(ii) Someone intended it.
If it is an accident it has no purpose; if someone intended it, it has a purpose. This applies equally to the human race. Either the human race is a mere accident (in which case our lives mean nothing and it does not matter much what direction we take since there is no goal for an accident): or someone intended it. In this case the someone in question made humanity for some purpose and he can tell us what that purpose was.
(3) The moral.
Since it has been shown:
(a) That our primary task is to find out why we were made, and
B.—Importance Of Religion For The Next Life
(1) All men must die.
C.—Indifferentism Properly So-Called
This state of mind is rare; but if a man holds that all religions are equally
good and helpful because all have the same purpose, answer:
(1) You must be very narrow-minded to think you have the sole truth.
2. Faith And Reason
Vaughan: Faith and Reason. (C.T.S.)
1. People in the crowd tell us they do not believe because their reason
forbids them to do so. In fact, they mostly
We can only hope to alter their state of mind gradually, and need to show them great sympathy at each step, remembering how often they are little to blame for inherited prejudices and the warping effect of a really pagan world.
2. "To believe," says St. Thomas, "is an act of the understanding adhering to Divine Truth by command of the will, which is moved by the grace of God."
Is it unreasonable to accept any truth which we cannot find out for ourselves? Clearly not; as God's creatures we must accept what He tells us, if we are really convinced that He has spoken. Christ Himself never offered proofs of His individual doctrines, but of His divine authority as a Teacher. This His Church does also to-day. It is the office of reason not to weigh the worth of each doctrine (which we cannot do), but to satisfy ourselves of the divine authority of the Church to teach. This we do.
Compare Human Faith:
(a) In children: must use it if they are to learn.
It is reasonable to accept as true things we cannot test or understand on man's evidence if the man is trustworthy. Much more on God's word.
3. The object of Faith is whatever God has revealed through the teaching of His Church.
There are two orders of knowledge: in one we know by natural reason the
proper objects of that reason, in the other we know by Divine Faith
4. Faith is so far from hampering our reason that it rather strengthens and adds to its capacity. We can use our reason fruitfully on the truths known by faith, and can arrive at "a certain understanding" of those mysteries which we cannot fully comprehend—of which we could know nothing apart from faith.
The Church encourages, both in clergy and laity, intense study and meditation on revealed truth which she would not do were she afraid of reason destroying faith.
5. Part of the trouble with our crowd is:
We must try to show:
(1) When you say you believe a thing you mean that you do not really know it.
Lattey: Revelation. (C.T.S.)
1. The Need
(a) Not absolutely physically necessary if man had only a natural end,
because having created our human nature, God gave to that nature all it
2. Historical Argument
In all that is known to us of human history, outside the sphere of revelation, mankind seems totally and hopelessly at sea.
(a) Knowledge of God. Dualism (Zoroastrianism, etc.), polytheism (bulk of
mankind before Christ). Even such as Aristotle, discovering God, did not realize
Him as Creator.
3. Could not wise men and philosophers have retrieved this state apart from revelation? How?
(a) From Reasoning? Buddha said: "Whether there be a God or not seek not
to know." The end he proposed was Nirvana. Plato's ideal state included
community of women. Aristotle with a clear view of the Deity, still desired to
keep the Pantheon of the Greeks.
4. Psychological Argument
As we know ourselves and our fellows today: what should I know if I had no
revelation but only my own thinking power?
(1) God gave us our intellects to reach Truth. Why should we need anything
4. The Authenticity Of The Gospels
(1) External Evidence
O'Connor: The Gospels as Books of History (C.T.S.)
This literature is for both lectures.
(a) This lecture not to prove inspiration. In it the gospels to be treated as ordinary documents. The Gospel existed before the gospels, and if these had never been written or had perished, IT would still remain. But if the existing gospels were false, Christianity would fail, as the Church has pledged herself to their credibility.
(b) Rationalists claim to reject the gospels on purely literary or historic grounds—but their attitude is prejudiced by the assumption "miracles cannot happen," and it is on this ground that their rejection really rests.
2. External Evidence
(a) MSS. Greek Codices, older than those of any profane MS. Horace, seventh century; Euripides, thirteenth century; gospels, fourth century. No serious diversities (not more than two per cent.). Such differences as there are show a long history, the similarity a common original.
(b) Translations. Syriac text traceable (Prof. Burkitt says) to about A.D. 150. Tertullian, writing c. 200, speaks of an old Latin version.
(c) Diatessaron of Tatian. A harmony of the four gospels often read liturgically in the East. (Tatian, a disciple of Justin Martyr, A.D. 160-90).
(d) Apocryphal Gospels. Titles of fifty known, fragments of twenty extant. Some based on the four canonical gospels can be traced to the second century.
(e) Witness of Heretics. Irenaeus (c. 120) says heretics bear witness to the gospels:
—First Century....Ebionites use St. Matthew.—
(f) Witness of Pagans. Celsus, Julian the Apostate and other pagan disputants never denied the authenticity of the Christian records.
(g) Witness of the Fathers. Early Christian literature is scanty, but Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch show awareness of most of the New Testament. Papias of Hierapolis (disciple of St. John) says Mark, Peter's interpreter, wrote down what Peter told him; Matthew wrote the sayings of the Lord in Hebrew (probably Aramaic). Irenaeus (died 202) speaks of four only, no more no less, as does the Muratorian Canon, about the same time. Justin Martyr of "Memoirs of the Apostles that are called Gospels."
These writers of the second century took four gospels for granted—heretics chose others or rejected some of these.
All external evidence converges to show that the gospels were written before the end of the first century.
(1) Since you have only got copies of copies and no originals, how can you
prove they are genuine?
5. The Authenticity Of The Gospels
(2) Internal Evidence
1. The Gospel before the gospels. The oral teaching of the Apostles centered on the Passion, Resurrection, Ascension, and began from the Baptism and Public Ministry.
Each of the four written gospels was drawn up to meet some special occasion.
Synoptic Problem. Extraordinary (even verbal) similarity of the first three gospels, and sudden surprising differences.
Solution proposed by many Catholic scholars:—the oral teaching of the Apostles would be learnt by heart, and tend to crystallize (as did the Mishna, or the form of a creed). Thus all three gospels would be based on a common oral original.
Another solution quite commonly offered to-day (that Mark wrote first, and that our "first evangelist" combined Mark with Hebrew "logia" of Jesus compiled by Matthew) has the critical drawback of setting aside without enough ground the external evidence of Papias and the universal tradition that the Aramaic Gospel of Matthew was the first written gospel.
2. In dating the gospels start with the two fixed points, A.D. 30—A.D. 70.
Christ prophesied the fall of the Temple. In the Acts there is no hint that this had happened. The Acts and the Third Gospel form one book. Their author is now generally held (as always in Catholic tradition) to be Luke, the physician.
(a) Similarity in style
(b) St. Luke shows surprising knowledge of Jewish religion and politics between A.D. 30 and A.D. 70—conditions never repeated after the fall of the Temple. The Roman Government was tolerant, almost friendly to the Christians.
(c) In A.D. 64 came the first persecution in which SS. Peter and Paul suffered, therefore St. Luke wrote before A.D. 64. He used written sources—St. Matthew and probably St. Mark also. He is careful in dating and in giving names and titles. His Gospel is chronological.
(d) The Birth narrative is at once different and similar in style with the rest (Aramaic put into Greek). It can only have Our Lady for its source.
3. (a) St. Matthew wrote in Hebrew or Aramaic for the benefit of Jewish scholars (not in chronological order).
By A.D. 70 Jews and Christians were utterly separated. "Jewish Christians"* became Ebionites; therefore the Gospel intended for Palestine must be early—probably before A.D. 60. His Birth narrative probably had St. Joseph for source.
Genealogies. St. Matthew is not a genealogy from father to son like St. Luke, but shows Christ the Son of David by line of succession in the legal kingly line.
(b) St. Mark wrote (Papias tells us) at St. Peter's dictation a catechism beginning from the Baptism, ending with the Ascension.
(c) Tradition very strong of fourfold Gospel (Irenaeus, etc.). St. John written last, against Cerinthus—a theological Gospel. It is supplementary to the Synoptics. Note the Jewish Aramaic coloring and the fresh vivid details, especially of the last days given by the Beloved Disciple.
*See "The Church and Judaism" (2).
4. Have we in the gospels the ipsissima verba of Christ? Our Lord spoke Aramaic, His words are preserved in the Greek translation. St. Augustine says not words but objects—i.e. we have what Christ said, though the actual words as translated may vary somewhat (e.g. in the Institution of the Eucharist).
(1) Why are none of the names the same in the two genealogies of Christ?
Lattey: Inspiration. (C.T.S.)
1. Numberless Errors
(a) Total denial
(b) Liberal Protestant:
2. Inspiration Is A Matter Of Revelation.
Inspiration is a quality that can only be known to God: we cannot know it unless God tells us.
(a) No use to say Bible obviously inspired: or that Bible has done marvelous
work: to these men inspiration really means extraordinary power of impressing:
not "inspired" but "inspiring."
3. The True Meaning
(a) The word means breathed upon by God: i.e., the book is the outcome of God
breathing on man: but the humanity is real; they remained human but they wrote
the book as God wanted them to do it.
4. God Is The Author
Leo XIII in Providentissimus Deus: God used man as His instruments: He could
use even free-willed creatures to do His Will: He is primary author: human minds
are secondary author: God did three things. He used:
Application: God can use any style He likes:
(1) I believe that the Bible is inspired: so is Shakespeare.
7. The Trinity
Pohle-Preuss: The Divine Trinity.
1. What Is A Mystery?
(a) Not simply something we do not know: but something which in the nature of the case we never can know fully: i.e. given our finite intelligences on the one hand and the infinite being of God on the other, the lesser obviously can never fully comprehend the greater.
(b) Neither is it something before which all thought is futile: God did not reveal mysteries simply that we might ignore them: they are the richest food for the intellect: not like a blank wall stopping all progress: but rather like an endless gallery—the mind can go deeper and deeper, yet never can come to the end. [As an analogy—if you find a well, you may satisfy your thirst but yet you do not exhaust the water.] The mind may eternally grow on a mystery precisely because it cannot exhaust it.
(c) Reason cannot prove that a mystery is true, but it can prove that it contains no contradiction.
2. The Doctrine Of The Trinity.
In God there is but one Divine nature, yet also in God there are three divine persons.
(a) Some object that we are committing the obvious absurdity of making three equal one, but note—the term one applies to "nature," the term "three" applies to "person": and there would only be a contradiction if "person" and "nature" were the same thing.
(b) The distinction between "person" and "nature" is not an obscure philosophical one (bound up with—say—the Logos concept of Philo) but is part of all human thought: the very structure of human language is bound up with the distinction: if you ask "Who is that?" the answer is "John" if you ask "What is that?" the answer is "a man." The word "who" refers to the person, the word "what" to the nature.
—(i) Putting this in more philosophical language a "nature" is
"the suchness of the being"—i.e. a principle of action, but of the
"suchness" of the action. A rational nature is a principle of rational
action, i.e. that nature gives the "suchness" of the action, i.e. its
(c) The doctrine of the Trinity thus means that there is one single mind and one single will in God, which is three times focused: think of an infinite circle with a triple super-imposed center: if you said to God, "What are you?" He would reply "God"; if you said, "Who are you?" the answer would be a threefold "I." (Just as if Christ were asked "What are you?" the answer would be "God and man"; if asked "Who are you?" the answer would be "God.")
(d) Since there is thus a clear distinction between the meanings of the words "person" and "nature" no one can say there is any contradiction in having three persons in one nature (or, in the Incarnation, having one person in two natures) merely because our sole human experience is of one person per nature.
3. Proof Of The Doctrine
Although reason cannot show any contradiction in the concept of three persons in one nature, we could never know from reason alone that it was so. The Trinity is wholly a matter of revelation, and though hinted at again and again in the Old Testament and implicit throughout, it belongs to the New Testament.
We may take as starting point Matt. xxviii. 19-20 ("baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost"); for the Godhead of the Son we have John x. 30, etc. (see Lecture 12); for the Godhead of the Holy Ghost we have Acts v. 3-4, xxviii. 25-26; and for his procession from the Father and Son, John xv. 26.
4. Further Meaning Of The Doctrine
(a) The names Father, Son and Holy Ghost are used by Christ Himself and therefore must be charged with meaning.
—(i) Father and Son: i.e. generation. The essential idea of generation is not corporeity, or sequence in time (though in material beings these are necessarily involved), but "the origin of a living thing from another living thing conjoined to it in being unto similitude of nature"; the totality of the nature of the father is expressed in the son; thus we learn that God the Father gives being from Himself to another who is His Image and contains the totality of His nature.
—(ii) Spirit: i.e. breathed out: something given from one's own innermost being—yet not a son; a third person who is there because the other two are there: we call this spiration (not "generation" because the result of the action as action, is not similitude of nature, though that is there, but simply a third someone).
(b) Another term is used,. not by Christ but by St. John (i. 1)—the term "Logos" or Word—the spoken word or the unspoken word, thought.
—(i) Thus for the first and second person, instead of Father and Son, we now have the thinker and the thought, a concept which runs parallel in a most wonderful way: the thinker thinks of himself and the thinker being infinite in intelligence the thought is the perfect image of Himself (thus living, co-equal, co-eternal, etc.)
—(ii) Between the thinker and the thought there is love.
—(iii) Thought and love which in us are only states of being are in God subsistent, and as we know by revelation, persons. So that the Trinity may be expressed as the Thinker, the Thought and the Love that subsists between them.
—(iv) There is a rough analogy in our own mental acts: I cannot think without the aid of memory and will; yet memory and will are not each other and not thought, and at the same time the thinking subject is one: so there is even with us a triplication in unity.
5. The Appeal Of The Doctrine
(a) Those who have not this revelation are faced with a blank: "I am who am" was the sum of God's revelation in the Old Testament: but "being" does not exhaust things for us, there is "doing" too. If God is infinite happiness, then God is infinite activity.
(b) The idea of activity necessarily involves multiplicity, under some aspect: we act in a twofold way by mind and will, and since we are God's image, He too must in some sense act by mind and will: but as God cannot depend on His creatures for His activity, there must in His own nature be an object of thought and an object of will: the Trinity is the only answer.
(c) Perhaps God made parenthood in this world as an expression of Himself as the one thing that would enable us on earth to look into His own intimate inner life (for it must be remembered that the distinction of Persons is a distinction "within" God: in God's dealings with things outside Himself, He deals with them in His Unity).
(1) This pretended revelation contradicts the undoubted revelation of the Old
8. The Theology Of The Incarnation
Canavan: The Mystery of the Incarnation. (C.T.S.I.)
1. Jesus Christ Is God The Son Made Man For Us
God became Man: the Word was made, not "changed into" Flesh. To His own eternal unchanging Person, the Son assumed a human nature in the very act of its creation.
This Human Nature though it had every human perfection and faculty was not a human person.
A person is a rational being existing as a complete individual entity; not as part of another. The Sacred Humanity of Our Lord never existed thus. In its very creation it was so taken up by, so united with, the Word that it never for one instant had an independent created existence.
This is why we speak of the Hypostatic Union: an hypostasis is an existing independent complete thing: e.g. a rose-tree, a bird, a man, an angel, but not a rose leaf, a wing, a soul, thought or choice.
2. Person And Natures Of Christ
Jesus Christ is therefore not two Persons but One Person in two Natures.
(a) The attributes and actions of the Divine Nature, the actions, qualities and passions of the Human Nature are alike attributed to the One Divine Person.
Therefore we say "God was born," "God died," "Mary is the Mother of God," "God shed His Blood for us."
(b) Yet the Natures so united are not mixed or fused. There is the Unchangeable Divine Nature which not has but is Infinite Perfection, and the Human Nature with its own finite faculties and perfections.
Christ has a true human body, conceived and born of Mary; and a true human soul created by God—the principle not only of sensitiveness and emotion, but also of rational knowledge and free will.
3. Christ's Knowledge
These human faculties have their proper operations so that as in Christ there is not only the Divine Will but also a human free will, so also there is in Christ not only the Divine Omniscience but also true human knowledge.
This knowledge includes the highest degree of every kind of knowledge
possible to the human mind.
4. Christ's Soul And Grace
Since the soul of Christ is truly human it needed grace for supernatural acts as it needed the ordinary concurrence of God for natural acts.
Only since Christ was by nature Son of God He had no need of Grace for adoption.
5. The Value Of Christ's Acts
The human acts of Christ are necessarily finite since they are the acts of a created nature, but they are infinite in dignity and merit since they are the acts of an Infinite Person.
(1) If God became Man, then the immutable God changed.
9. The Incarnation
(1) Is It A Possibility?
(See previous lecture.)
Is the usual argument of Christ's claims and proofs of those claims really persuasive? Why do not people believe? The Incarnation seems to them antecedently impossible. To these people texts are not of much use. They think the Incarnation is a fairytale. How should we remove this antecedent improbability?
We make, of course, a tremendous assertion. A Jew living in a small country for a short time, and yet He is God. Is it likely or tremendously unlikely that God should become man! That depends on our conception of God. If He be but a vague infinite force behind the universe—with no conception of intelligence and personality—then it would be impossible.
1. The Incarnation Seen From God's Side
Make them realize the personality of God. The term is only analogous, but God is an intelligent self-determining Being, which means a Person or Individual Intelligence; like ourselves, only infinitely greater.
God is a Person who thinks, lives, wills, energizes, loves.
Try to help to bring this home. This universe is His work, and the more we learn of its laws and purpose, the more we learn of Him. We, too, are personalities, then how much more fully He who placed personalities in being?
With the superabundance of His goodness, why should He not have the desire to communicate Himself to us? Even we desire to communicate. Does this mean the Incarnation?
(a) God can only communicate perfectly with me via my nature.
No. Historic Christianity says God loses no whit of His infinity, but uses a human nature to communicate with us. This is the Incarnation viewed from God's side
2. Taken From Man's Side
Half the religions of the world have dreamt of it. It is a connatural dream of mankind, therefore it cannot be so utterly unlikely. Some say, with quaint humility, a monstrous thing—especially since the rise of modern science, which shows us the littleness of man—how could the Infinite God become one of these tiny creatures?
(a) Try to get them away from the mere excitement over size. What is size? If we need on one side of nature (God's handiwork) a telescope, on the other we need a microscope. What is the dignity of bulk compared with the intelligence that measures it? I measure the stars and give them their dignity by doing so. Depreciation of man is much misplaced, an unscientific emotion. Thought to face size and the will to subdue it are far greater.
(b) Then they ask: If God has done this for our one world, what of the other possible worlds? "For other worlds God may have other words. For this world His Word is Christ."
(c) God, if He is infinite, can bestow infinite care on the smallest thing. The greatest thing in the world is man, and is God's handiwork; then why so beneath His notice?
3. In Relation To The Details Of This World as we know it, i.e., suffering, sin material limitations.
(a) The amount of suffering is undeniable, to some extent it is insoluble. The Incarnation is historically bound up with God becoming small and little and going through the cycle of human suffering. It means God going out of His way to explain the great problem by sharing in this suffering. Without the Incarnation the problem would be stark; but what if God shared it and taught us how to suffer and to behave in this world?
Historically speaking this has been the result of the Incarnation for two thousand years. Millions of people have taken the fact of suffering and lovingly submitted.
(b) Sin. Sin means the utter failure of some individuals in this world, and the partial failure of all. If there is no Incarnation then God has left us. The Incarnation teaches us that God hates sin; it shows us His own energizing power to undo sin by living among us without sin, to put the flawless pattern of manhood before us. Historically speaking it has been the most exalting thing mankind has ever known.
(c) Sanctification of Matter. At first people think it a degradation to imagine God with a body, eating and drinking, etc. Yet, after all, God created matter, therefore it is the outcome of His intelligence, thought and will, not a mistake, but His thought—like spirit.
What a magnificent idea: that God should embrace all—matter and spirit! Is it not greater and more wonderful that He should do this rather than that He should despise half that He had made?
4. Another Line
A difficulty to some is, "Even if it is possible in the abstract that God should become man, why this one individual Jew?"
(a) Suppose you knew nothing of Jesus, but were dreaming of the possibility of the Incarnation, how would you imagine it? Glory, majesty, a great court, earthly splendor? Would that really be big for God, the trappings of royalty, the learning of professors, all the external show this world could furnish?
(b) Why not a man just perfectly good? Is not that the only worthy manifestation of God, the only thing that suits God? Strength, loving-kindness affection, tenderness: think for yourselves of all the words humanity has coined to express the perfection of goodness. Would not God become a man with all these? Then the poorer the better. Is not this the fact of Jesus of Nazareth: after two thousand years the exemplary good man? We can conceive no better.
Then why should not He be the Man whose human nature was the human nature of God?
(2) Universal Views
Non-Catholics believe that Catholicism is a blend of mechanically combined dogmas and elaborate ritual. We show in this lecture that Catholic Christianity is a sublime Philosophy containing all that is true in other Philosophies without their errors, and uniquely answering the historic demands and desires of the human race.
1. (a) In all ages Religion and Philosophy have sought to find the Ultimate
Realities. Two ultimate and irreconcilable solutions lie at the back of their
attempts and historically emerge more or less clearly
The first is the result of an exaggerated desire for Unification, the second of observation of facts. But in its pure form never achieved apart from Revelation.
(b) Present-day. Great movement to Monism in all its forms.
(c) Both Monism and Non-Christian Monotheism are unsatisfactory. Monism gives UNIFICATION, but exaggerated, resulting in denial of facts, e.g. sin. A bare Monotheism takes these facts into consideration, but does not give that unification, philosophy and spiritual (transcendental) experience which man demands.
(d) Catholic Christianity offers a world-outlook which philosophically accounts for all the facts. It achieves this result (starting with God and the separateness of the Universe which He creates) by its key-dogma: that there is a Being who is at once God and Man, in whom all things are united, without fusion; by incorporation with whom men can be made partakers of the Godhead. This is the doctrine of the Incarnation. This Being is the historic Christ.
2. (a) If this teaching be true, we should expect to find the human race expectant of it. We should expect that their philosophies, religious aspirations, would foreshadow and find their key in Christ. As a matter of fact that is so.
(b) The chief elements in Man's religious expressions of his needs and
aspirations are found outside the Church separately, exaggeratedly, unstably—without
basis of historical certitude.
Catholicism alone combines all these elements into a whole which has its roots firm in Reason and History.
3. Further problems solved by Christianity
(1) You speak of your Catholic philosophy as universally satisfying. But the
vast majority of the human race have never heard of it.
10. THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST
See Literature on "The Incarnation."
This is simply an outline of the mode of proof of Our Lord's Divinity. It may be filled in from Lectures 8-16 in this Section.
1. Whatever Our Lord said is guaranteed by God to be true: the miracles, and
particularly the Resurrection could only be worked by the power of God, and
therefore even if they do not prove in themselves that Christ is God they prove
that God was working through Him and therefore guaranteeing His message.
11. Christ A Unique Figure—Prophecy And Miracle
Vassall-Phillips: Catholic Christianity.
Christ the world's supreme personality—but more: a supernatural Being "focusing prophecy and radiating miracle."
1. The Christ Of The Gospels
Christ's character is unique and supreme in the world's history—by contrast the world's greatest figures seem pale and fragmentary. Try to bring out from the gospels His strength, tenderness, holiness, the many-sidedness of His character. It is the immense scale of this heroic figure that has proved too great for human vision. Hence men take some only of His sayings and qualities and draw little figures to their one-inch scale—a stained-glass window Christ, an "Apocalyptic Christ," a Faith-healing Christ, etc. The Church alone keeps the proportion. We realize if we read the gospels fully that this great but tenderly human person claimed to be and was more than man only (Christ's claim to be God developed in another lecture).
Treat prophecy massively. This unique Person is not an isolated fact. There had been a preparation itself unique, and there follow to this day unique consequences. Christ is the center of this process.
(a) Contrast the Jews with the surrounding pagans and touch on their
miraculous preservation today.
—(i) Through Him the Gentiles were to serve the God of the Jews.
This is the gist of prophecy, and it has no parallel in history. Stress its supernatural value as God's witness to Christ's claims.
Note the supernatural Revolution begun in Judaism and brought to a head in Christ overflows the world in the Catholic Church, herself the great miracle.
Miracles are usually so called:
4. Sum up:
(b) One supernatural process centering round a divine Person.
(1) Are not all great characters unique, each in his own way, not merely
12. Christ As Teacher And Revealer
Walker: Why God became Man.
1. It is a common idea in our crowds that the only thing of importance about Our Lord is that He died to save us. We have to make them realize that besides being our Savior He is our Teacher, and the Divine Revealer of God's Truth.
Men have always wanted to know: the desire for knowledge is almost as universal as desire for salvation: if we love God we must want to know about Him.
(a) It was by His teaching Christ first aroused the opposition of the Scribes and Pharisees.
(b) That teaching is so universal that men are liable to take now one aspect and now another, and insist upon it to the exclusion of the rest; sometimes deriving Christianity from Judaism, sometimes from Greek philosophy or again turning it into merely a series of moral precepts with no dogmatic teaching.
(c) We must show that Christ is the Eternal Revealer, "enlightening every man that cometh into the world," that His Revelation is final and for all time.
2. Manner of Christ's Teaching. By example, by parable, openly to the multitude, by lake or hillside in the Temple, to His Apostles.
3. Matter of Christ's Teaching. Several lines are possible here.
(a) Take moral teaching in which the crowd think they believe. Show it to be searching—permeating the whole of life, dependent on His revelation of a true theology. Show the revolution it worked, or
(b) Show how Christ reconciled and completed the half-truths contained in the pre-Christian religions, "gathered into one the children of God that had been scattered," and brought them from shadows and pictures into the truth, or
(c) All Christ's teaching is revelation, yet "things old and new." He came to a race, the guardian of God's first revelation to man, "not to destroy but to fulfill." He deepens, purifies, explains this first revelation and carries it on to its consummation—Himself, God and Man, the Kingdom, the Messiah.
4. The Teacher. All Christ's teaching leads up to and centers in Himself, and we can only understand the teaching if we know the Teacher. "Philosophy starts with the question, of which it seeks the true answer. Christianity starts with the Truth Incarnate; then finds the questions which are answered."
(1) Do you not belittle Christ by making out that He thought Himself more
important than His teaching?
13. What Did Christ Claim? (A)
Pope: The Godhead of Christ. (C.T.S.)
1. All acknowledge Christ's wonderful ethical teaching, His perfect life and sublime character, and see in Him the unsurpassed ideal of moral excellence, yet some—owning all this—refuse to believe Him more than man.
The same record that gives His teaching and portrays His character records His claims—categorically in John, more hidden yet discernible in the Synoptics. Modern critics do not so much reject Christ's claims because they disbelieve John, as reject John because they will not believe Christ's claims.
2. What then does Christ say of Himself in the Synoptics?
(a) He speaks with authority—not as the Scribes (Mark i. 22).
What Did Christ Claim? (B)
In view of the sublime life and character and wonderful ethical teaching of Christ many of those who deny His Godhead do so on the ground that He Himself did not claim it. Let us examine this.
1. There various ways of making a claim—by action as well as in words; give examples (a man in his own house, etc.). Our Lord's way of speaking, acting, thinking, is quite natural if He were God, but would need much explaining if He were not. But He reinforces the effect of His actions by His words throughout, gradually educating the disciples to understand.
Let us take three ways in which Christ showed His Godhead in action:
(a) God created the moral law: He alone can add to it, He alone can teach men with authority—His own, not borrowed. Christ taught with authority, and expanded the moral law (Mark i. 22; Matt. v).
(b) God alone has power over physical nature: every true miracle is worked by God and in His name. Christ works miracles by His own power, in His own name, casts out devils.
(c) God only can forgive sins. Christ does this (Mark ii. 10).
Moreover, these three great powers He gives to His Apostles to exercise in His name (John xx. 22, 3; Mark xvi. 17; Matthew xxviii. 19, 20), i.e. They are to forgive sins, work miracles and teach with authority.
2. Let us examine Christ's claim to Godhead, implicitly and explicitly made
in words, with regard to His relation to
(a) Christ's Relation To Judaism
(To bring out the full force of this section it is necessary to grasp something of Jewish mentality at the time of Our Lord, and thus realize how His claim looked to the Jews to whom He made it." Christ and the Critics," Vol. I, gives this well.)
(b) Christ's Relation To Mankind
(c) Christ's Relation With The Eternal Father
3. He accepts the testimony
Therefore either an impostor or God Himself.
NOTE.—Only a few of the texts, which should be well known for this lecture, are quoted here. They are best arranged in Father Hugh Pope's "Godhead of Christ." This pamphlet should not merely be read, but closely studied.
In lecturing on this subject avoid two errors fairly common.
2. Treat Prophecy Massively
Christian Prophecy is a fact unique in history, and we must make this appear.
(For (d) and (e) see especially Isaiah xlix. 1-7, xlii. 1-7, 1. 4-10, lii. 13-15, liii. 12, arranged in this order in "Catholicism and Criticism.")
It would seem impossible that all these things should be fulfilled in one
individual, yet all these lines of prophecy converged and met in Christ.
This has happened through Christ.
(a) In the Old Testament we see a progressive revelation of God to the chosen people. Prophet follows prophet, these link with the psalmist and with the inner meaning of types and the prescriptions of the Law. All this culminates in Christ, then Jewish revelation stops.
(b) Some Jewish ideas filtered through into pagan philosophy. The Jews through the ages made some converts, they were missionary. After Christ they cease to be so, but Christianity carries the sacred books of the Jews to all nations, and they become the sacred books of the Gentile world
4. Main Objection
The Jews, the guardians of the prophecies, do not recognize their fulfillment in Christ.
(a) No prophecy can be fully understood until it has been fulfilled; but the Jews, through the ages, were working at the prophecies and trying to interpret them.
(b) Owing to the difficulty of fitting all the prophecies on to one individual they gave up some, and owing to their increasingly narrow nationalism put a narrow interpretation on others. About the time Our Lord came there were two main schools of interpretation—the legal Pharisaic and the Apocalyptic. Christ had to lead His followers away from these Writings and back to the Prophets themselves, to show them the true nature of Messiah and His Kingdom before He could show them how He was the fulfilling of the Law and the Prophets.
(c) Nevertheless it was by Jews—Christ's first followers—that He was recognized as Messiah, fulfilling type and prophecy—Simeon, Matthew, Peter, Paul—all Jews. Gentile Christians only learnt of these prophecies and their meaning from Jewish Christians.
(1) What is the use of prophecy if it does not do its office of making people
15. Miracles (A)
General attitude of:
Show contradictory objections: they are:
It is of vital importance to both that not only the possibility but the fact of miracles be driven home. Free-will, and therefore theism itself, is impossible otherwise.
1. Miracles Happen
(a) Today. Give examples from Lourdes, etc., and show they are miracles.
Insist on the possibility v. the materialist and v. the Protestant, and again challenge them to disprove the fact.
The main thing here is to startle—show not only that these things are so, but also that we believe them; make the materialist ashamed of his narrowness and the Protestant of his want of faith.
(b) Through the ages. Give a couple of instances as widely different as possible.
Show the continuity of the belief through twenty centuries, and bring out the nature of the evidence. All these miracles are linked together by their common source in
(c) Christ. Whatever views may be held of Him He was most certainly a miracle worker.
—(i) His miracles: show that they certainly happened. Show their purpose.
2. Miracles Must Be Expected
3. What Miracles Signify
A Miracle is a marvelous event occurring within the sphere of sensible experience, which involves the suspension of some law of nature, and hence must be attributed to the direct action of God (Joyce).
1. Do they happen? A question of evidence. As with any historical event this must be sifted. But if overwhelming evidence be produced we have no choice but to accept it. The opposite course is irrational.
Take a modern miracle, analyze the evidence. Go back two thousand years; evidence for, e.g. the Resurrection. No historical event better attested.
2. If miracles happen we see they must be possible. Those who deny them do so on philosophical grounds:
(a) Uniformity of the laws of nature. If these can be altered science is impossible.
(b) Human testimony is frequently unreliable, of no account as compared with our knowledge of these fixed laws, when such testimony asserts a suspension or exception.
(c) Those things which cannot be explained away will be found to be due to the operation of an unknown law of nature which we shall one day discover,
(d) For a theist to assert the miraculous is to say that God changes His mind, and tinkers with His own work like an unskillful workman.
3. We reply:
(a) What is meant by a law of nature? "A uniform mode of activity which natural agents of the same type observe when placed in similar circumstances." These laws are not necessary like mathematical truth. They are the free choice of God, who might have made a universe with quite different laws (e.g. if we had Rontgen rays for eyes we should see through wood, and glass would be opaque).
(b) To man those laws are necessary. He cannot change them. But God, who made those laws. can alter them, or can suspend them in any given instance.
(c) Since this is what the miraculous means it does not in any way affect the progress of science. It does not mean that God changes the laws of nature so that we do not know where we are, but that He suspends a law in a given case. We know of the exceptions just as we know of the laws—by human observation.
(d) No change of mind is implied in God. He decrees the miracle as He does the law, from all eternity. The moral law is higher than the merely physical, and a miracle may be an assertion of this.
4. This brings us to the purpose and effect of miracles.
(1) If you did your miracles under test conditions we would believe in them.
16. The Resurrection
Devas: Gospel Story of the Resurrection.
Note.—Without the reality of the Resurrection the origin of Christianity is a greater miracle than the Resurrection itself. If Christ did not really rise how are we to account for its sudden and permanent success?
1. Central Fact
The Apostles made the fact of the physical resurrection of Christ the center
of their preaching. Through it:
2. Points In The Narrative
(a) Extreme sobriety of the story. The Resurrection itself is only described
in the Apocryphal Gospels.
3. The Attack
Note: The gospels are the historical records from which we learn the facts. If we use these records we have no right arbitrarily to take part and reject part, on the ground that this great miracle COULD NOT have happened, and that a natural explanation must be found.
(a) The old attacks (rationalist) suggested: swoon instead of death (Paulus Hase, etc.), fraud of the disciples (Reimarus, etc.), hallucination.
(b) The new attack under the guise of Christianity is more dangerous. It admits Galilean apparitions though rejecting others; talks of "subjective-objective appearances," "true hallucinations," and compares with the visions of the Saints. To this line many in the Church of England have yielded (Sanday, Streeter, Major).
All these attacks are answered in detail in Felder, Vol. II, part II, chapter III.
4. The Empty Tomb
This is the test of the-reality of the Resurrection, and of true belief in it. It is also the intense embarrassment of critics. They have had many theories and continually destroy one another's. A few of these theories:
(a) Theft of the Body by:
Hammer home the absurdities into which men are driven by refusal to accept the supernatural. Strike the note: "Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, but have believed."
5. But not a question of faith v. evidence. On the contrary, it is because the evidence is so tremendous that criticism beats against it.
We have the witness of:
(a) The Holy Women.
We have, too, the negative witness of
The Jews and Romans, who saw Him dead and, unable to explain away the fact of the empty tomb, invented the clumsy falsehood of theft by the disciples, which even the most hostile critics today do not accept.
6. This evidence comes to us:
(a) In the gospels and epistles, documents universally accepted today as first-century records, called in question only when they record the miraculous. The denial, therefore, is not based on grounds of history, but on a denial of the possibility of a miracle.
(b) Through the voice of the Church, a witness living still, who stood by and saw these things.
Finally return again to the effect of the Resurrection in the fact of Christian history—inexplicable if the cause be denied.
(1) If such a thing had happened as a dead man rising again it would have spread everywhere, and contemporary literature would be full of it—but it is not mentioned outside Christian records.
(2) Even your own accounts are contradictory. One speaks of two angels, another of one. One says it was night, another morning, etc., etc.
(3) You Catholics make the whole thing too material. What mattered was that the Apostles realized that Christ was alive, and their Faith in Him was confirmed. The Resurrection is a spiritual fact, and you try to drag it into a physical realm.
(4) Was not the Resurrection idea a late addition to Christianity which grew (as in other Eastern cults) out of the observation of Nature dying in winter and reviving in spring?
(5) If the evangelists thought enough of the Resurrection to die for it, they thought enough of it to lie for it.
(6) Obviously Christ wasn't really dead: He only swooned.
(7) Modern science has shown that resurrections from the dead are impossible.
17. The Fall And Original Sin
O'Connor: Original Sin. (C.T.S.)
The Natural And The Supernatural
Beings have a field in which they exercise the faculties, functions and powers which are the outcome of their nature, anything within that field is natural. God may course enlarge range of powers, may give qualities not postulated by their being: this would be super naturam, and anything done in consequence would be super-natural.
The Supernatural And The Fall
(a) The natural end of man is to exercise the highest possible activity of mind and will—i.e. to know and love God: but only to do so in a purely human way (i.e. concluding from the things He has made, what He is like, and then adhering to Him). God did not leave it at that. He made a super-nature, to come in direct and immediate contact with God Himself ("we shall see God face to face").
(b) God gave "grace"—the qualities (not a new faculty) in the soul which made this a possibility—to the first man as representative of the race: by sin (i.e. by placing his own will in opposition to God's) the first man lost it: and as God had made him representative of the race the race also lost it. So that all men are born with all their natural powers but without the super-nature.
(c) This is what we call the Fall of Man: thus we do not mean by the doctrine
of the Fall:
(d) Along with the gift of the super-natural life, God gave the first man
diverse promises, all of which he forfeited by his sin:
(e) It is not normally necessary to deal with these on the outdoor platform, as the crowd is totally ignorant of the central fact—the loss of the supernatural life. Lay stress on (ii) above, and show that "original sin" is not an action on the baby's part, but the absence of a gift which but for Adam's sin, he would have had. The result is that being born without the super-natural life, we have no power to come after death in direct and immediate touch with Him, unless by baptism we gain the super-natural life which alone makes it possible: this explains such things as the fate of children who die unbaptized.
(f) It is not necessary to mention in this connection the Immaculate Conception, though questions usually show that the crowd deny both the Immaculate Conception and original sin.
The Fall And Science.
(a) Evolution, even if proved, would not affect the doctrine of the Fall: evolution is an effort to explain how man got here: the doctrine of the Fall is concerned with what he did when he got here, therefore the two things cannot overlap.
(b) Science cannot either prove or disprove the doctrine: the essence of the doctrine is that the first man had the grace of God in his soul and lost it: here is no scientific test for the grace of God, which leaves no visible mark: even a living man cannot be scientifically tested for it—much less a skeleton.
(c) Anyone who happens to know what the doctrine means knows that it must be attacked if at all on philosophical or theological grounds—to talk of physiology is simply irrelevant.
See questions on "The Supernatural Life", "Redemption".
(1) Whether the doctrine of original sin is true or false, surely the early
chapters of Genesis are nonsense e.g., the six days, the serpent talking, etc.
18. The Redemption
D'Arcy: The Mass and the Redemption.
Redemption Presupposes The Fall
Adam sinned not only as an individual but as an official; he represented the race, which in the natural order was incorporated in him. The results for him and for the race were
(a) The loss of the supernatural life (see, previous lecture).
Christ being God and Man satisfied Divine justice and won back the supernatural life (but not the added gifts) for the whole human race, every member of which might obtain it by incorporation in Him.
What Redemption Involves
(a) Every act of Christ, whether in His divine or in his Human nature, was an act of God, and as such of infinite value.
(b) Thus when Christ in his manhood made an act of satisfaction to God, manhood really satisfied; yet the act of satisfaction was an act of infinite value: a marvelous plan, altogether unique—a thing mankind of itself could never have dreamed of, something with no parallel in any other religion.
(c) Christ took a complete human nature, and in His act, therefore, the whole of our nature was redeemed.
(d) The result of Christ's act of satisfaction exceeds all sin whatever superabundantly: sufficient to save all men, yet in God's scheme no one is ever saved without his free-will. The Lutheran idea of salvation—that, without any change in ourselves we are saved by reminding God of His Son—is very like their idea of our brown scapular. In fact, there must be a real change in us.
(e) The normal means of incorporation with Christ is Baptism—"Being baptized in Christ we have put on Christ," etc., etc.
Was Redemption Necessary?
(a) God might have left us unforgiven.
But given that God decided to forgive but demanded adequate satisfaction, it would seem that redemption was necessary (though this not absolutely de fide).
Was Calvary Necessary?
No. One single act of Christ's will—being of in finite value—would have redeemed any number of worlds; we may see various partial reasons why He should have chosen Calvary:
(a) To show fullness of return in the most splendid way: Adam had placed self
before God: Christ gave up self as far as it is possible—voluntary death being
the greatest giving-up in our power. Adam took body and soul away from God,
Christ gave body and soul back.
(a) Vicarious atonement unreal: but, sin has two effects:
No one can take another's guilt (hence men must truly repent) but punishment can be undertaken by another. We may say Christ substituted Himself for us but He suffered for us, not as us.
(b) Was it not cruel of God to demand it?
(c) Does it not look like make-believe, God satisfying God? But this case is unique: the nearest analogy known to us is when one person acts in two capacities, e.g. when ward owes guardian of his estate money, the guardian (as guardian) pays himself (as creditor). In His human nature, Christ gives satisfaction to His own personality.
(1) Christ never refers in any way at all to Adam, or the Fall or original
sin. The whole theory of the connection between Christ's Death and Adam's sin
was invented by Paul.
Development of Doctrine
1. Development Of Doctrine
Vassall-Phillips: Catholic Christianity (Chap. XIV).
1. Opposite reproaches brought against the Church.
(a) Rigidity and unchanging nature.
Both reproaches cannot be true, but why are they both brought? In any living organism we see:
(a) Growth, and therefore in a sense, change, yet also
2. Christ could have made His Church independent of the ordinary laws of life and growth. Did He so choose? No. "Grain cast into the earth," "Leaven in measure of meal," "mustard seed," "Many things...you cannot bear them yet...the Spirit of Truth shall lead you into all truth," etc. St. Paul's similes, "growing up a holy temple," "Mystical Body of Christ," growing "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." The only exemption is from laws of decay and death. Christ is with His Church "all days even to the consummation of the world."
3. Causes of development:
(a) You cannot prevent a truth having true implications, and you cannot
forbid man's intellect to find them out.
(a) Possession either explicit or implicit in logic or in practice.
5. Development is, in fact, unavoidable. All Theology is a development. The Church claims that whereas heresies are false developments she is assisted by the Holy Spirit who "will not loosen her tongue until she is ready to say what she ought" (Dic. d'Apol.) This is infallibility. Heretical developments are not simpler but more complicated than true ones. The Theology of the Incarnation developed amid heresies to right and left. Arians denied the reality of the Godhead, Apollinarians of the Manhood, Nestorius said Christ was in two persons, Monophysites in one nature, etc.
"Many false witnesses rose up, but their testimony did not agree." And all this time the Church's teaching had "that character of duration which is the special prerogative of Truth" (Lacordaire).
6. This is the easiest test to apply. If the Church had developed falsely she must have lost the original teaching. The Catholic Church has lost nothing, but has the same central Act of Worship as the early Christians, the same Faith (prove this by working out from the Apostles' Creed, from St. Justin and the Didache on the Holy Eucharist, or whatever line most appeals to yourself).
Lastly, the Catholic Church need not fear the future, since the authenticity and permanence of her message is assured. Our crowds "are ever hunting for a fabulous primitive simplicity; we repose in Catholic fullnessthey are driven to maintain...the Church's doctrine was never pure: we say that it can never be corrupt" (Newman).
(1) Surely the splendor of your Church's ceremonies and the complexity of her
teaching are far removed from the simplicity of Christ's teaching?
2. The Church And Judaism (1)
Catholic Encyclopedia: Articles on "Jews" "Judaism," etc.
This literature is for this and the next lecture.
Scope of Lecture 1: Palestinian Judaism and its relations with Our Lord and the Apostolic Church.
Lecture 2 will deal with the Dispersion and religious history of Judaism and the Church.
1. Political Position
As the result of two centuries of complicated history, the Jews of Palestine had lost their civil independence in the time of Christ. They were either under semi-Jewish Herodian princes, vassals of Rome, of directly under Roman rule (cf. position reflected in gospels).
The masses of the people were fanatically nationalist, hating both the Hellenizing Herodians or Sadducees and the Romans. The forces let loose by the Maccabean revolt had never died out, but-had even become more intense when driven underground. This nationalism was grounded in religion. Israel, the chosen people of God, ought not to be subject to any heathen power. The motive forces of this nationalism were Messianism, the Law and Temple cultus.
(a) Messianism. Broadly, the Messianic hope popularly held that God would intervene through Messiah (anointed Davidic warrior-prince) to overthrow the heathen power, subject all nations to Israel, and inaugurate the Reign of God on earth. Physical convulsions of nature were to herald the "Day of the Lord."
This Messianism was based upon the age-long and ever-developing prophecies and was fostered by the abundant apocalyptic literature. But this popular Messianism was one-sided (see below).
We may contrast with this the attitude of the Hasidim (pious ones), those who waited and prayed for the redemption of Israel and of the whole world (cf. Benedictus, Nunc dimittis, etc.) strictly ethical and non-political. It was among these Pious that Our Lord was born, and from whom he largely drew His followers.
Popular Messianism looked to the Pharisees for leadership and to a scrupulous obedience to the Law as the means of bringing about the coming of Messiah. The extreme form is seen in the Zealots who provoked armed risings.
The people misled by political Messianism misunderstood Our Lord. The suffering servant of Isaiah liii., etc., found no place in their ideas. Our Lord accepted the role of Messiah (Son of Man, Son of David, etc.), but rejected all its political connotations, and explained its ethical and redemptive character. His Gospel was not national but catholic. But He fully recognized Israel's rightful place in the scheme of redemption—a place only finally forfeited by the last great national apostasy which resulted in Israel's own utter ruin.
(b) The Law, both written and oral as interpreted by the Scribes and Pharisees (Mishna), was the living guide and ideal of Israel. It was the center of popular religion in the Synagogue, and the Pharisees (legalist Puritans) were the pattern for all its observance. But all sense of proportion; had been lost, and it tended in practice to become a mere ceremonialism. Moreover, it was impossible to keep it in its entirely. (See further next lecture.)
(c) The Temple was the only place of liturgical, sacrificial worship. Here the Mosaic sacrifices were offered by the Aaronic priesthood. Here; was, so to speak, the official meeting-place of God and Israel. This Our Lord fully sanctioned till the symbol gave place to the reality of Calvary. The priesthood was controlled by the Herodian family, so the priesthood was aristocratic, non-national, Hellenistic, pro-Roman. The Sadducean High Priests were accepted by the people merely because their office was so supremely holy.
On the one hand. the Pharisees hated Our Lord as anti-national, overthrowing the Law and exposing their false legalism, and the Sadducees hated Him as a popular teacher believed by the people who might cause trouble for them with the authorities.
2. Judaism And The Apostolic Church
Though Our Lord came as Teacher for all men, yet His public ministry was confined almost entirely to Jews. So the Apostles (all Jews) began from Jerusalem, then spread to Samaria (half-Jewish), and only as the result of a special revelation was the first Gentile convert (Cornelius) received into the Church.
Up till now it had been assumed as a matter of course that all converts to the Church would accept the obligations of the Mosaic Law (especially circumcision), and in fact accept Jewish nationality. The case of Cornelius, and more especially the spread of the Church in Antioch and other Gentile centers, with the result of increasing numbers of Gentile converts, provoked a crisis (perhaps the greatest in all Church history). The issue was decided by the Council of Jerusalem (Acts xv). The decision arrived at, following the lines laid down by Peter, was that Gentile converts should be released from Mosaism (with four concessions to the Jews).
With conciliar decision plus the existence of the "God-fearers" in the synagogues of the Diaspora (see next lecture) the way was now clear for Gentile converts. But, as always, an aggressive minority (the Judaisers) stirred up trouble among the new converts of St. Paul, teaching that the Law was necessary for salvation. This was the occasion for St. Paul's great discussion on Faith and Works, and it is in view of the facts that we must understand St. Paul's opposition of Faith in Christ versus the works of the Mosaic Law.
A further question raised was that Jewish converts still had to obey the Law. This by force of the previous case was decided in the negative. Thus the Church left the Synagogue. The Gospel succeeded the Law, and the Church was now free to conquer the Empire. Jewish Christianity after the fall of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, became more and more isolated from the general life of the Church and fell into heresy (Ebionism).
(1) The Jews were God's chosen people. Christ was a Jew and said He was only
sent "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The idea of a
Universal Church was never His.
3. The Church And Judaism
1. After A.D. 70 Judaism was completely changed. With the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem the religious center, the priesthood and the sacrificial cultus disappeared, and with it the Sadducees. Hellenistic Judaism also ceased to be a force: the approach to the Greek world passed to Christianity. There was left only the Pharisaic Rabbinism: the heart of Judaism was now the Law. Christianity and Judaism stood over against each other as separate and mutually hostile religions, although in the time of Justin Martyr, about A.D. 135, a Jewish Christianity (i.e. Christians observing the Mosaic Law) was still just possible.
The Mishna, the oral interpretation of the Law, was first codified by Juda ha Nasi about A.D. 190, and put into writing. This became the object of voluminous comment in the two great centers of Judaism, Palestine and Babylonia, and crystallized into the two Talmuds, fourth-sixth century.
2. But Judaism could not be content with mere legalism, and so during the Christian Middle Ages there appeared mysticism (Zohar and Qabbala) and philosophy. Both of these tended to a negative pantheism.
After the rise of the Mohammedan civilization, Judaism found a ready soil for intellectual expansion, especially in Baghdad and in Spain. There arose the great Jewish thinkers of the Middle Ages, and they along with their Arab contemporaries revived the study of Greek philosophy, which had practically died out in Christendom.
Mediaeval Judaism was therefore, in a sense, a source of Scholasticism (Aristotle, Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas), but Jewish thought declined with the decay of Mohammedanism.
Permeating Medieval Judaism was the tendency to magic and theosophy. During the Middle Ages anti-Semitism grew, caused by the fundamental differences between Western Christian Culture and Orientalism. The ostensible principal reasons for persecution alleged by the Christians were blasphemy and extortion. The Jews, left in a slowly maturing Christian civilization, could never be assimilated, and acted as an irritant in consequence. Persecutions naturally resulted, and with a few bright exceptions, amongst them some of the Popes, the general attitude was one of hatred.
Toleration, when it came gradually, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was the result, not of the Reformation, but of the general decline of religion, and was born of indifference rather than of charity.
Maimonides gave Judaism its Creed (Yigdal). This emphasizes the unity of God and the finality of the Mosaic revelation. Messianism has, generally speaking, not played a great part in Judaism, though the Messianic hope in the temporal and political sense has carried multitudes of Jews through dark days.
3. With Moses Mendelssohn in the eighteenth century there arose a new phase. Through him Judaism became affected by the growing rationalism of the period, and today we may divide Jews roughly into three classes:
(a) Orthodox Jews, concentrating on the Law, the Synagogue, and the hope of Israel's restoration.
(b) Liberal Jews, really mere Theists who discard traditionalism and approximate closely to the Liberal Protestant (C. Montefiore), deny revelation and identify religion with a vague humanitarianism.
(c) Materialistic Agnostics, who usually concentrate on politico-economic questions, and who have transferred the Messianic hope into terms of world Revolution. This section is growing.
The new movement of Zionism, drawn from all these classes, is predominantly racial rather than religious.
The appeal of the Church should broadly be:
As regards Class (a), through the Old Testament and a demonstration that Christ is Messiah.
As regards Class (b), the same as for ordinary Protestants (authority of the gospels, deity of Christ, the Catholic Church).
As regards Class (c), as for other materialists—proof of the existence of a personal God, moral order, worth of the individual soul, etc.
But the Jew is always a Jew, and a sympathetic knowledge of his history and traditions (especially of Hebrew) is still the best approach.
Show that Israel's religion was true as far as it went, but only reached its culmination in Christianity.
(1) If Christianity is really a religion of love, why have Christians always
persecuted the Jews?
4. The Church And Paganism
Belloc: Companion to Wells's "Outline." Chesterton: The Everlasting
This literature is for this and the next lecture.
1. Aim Of Lecture
Broadly to show effect of contact between early Church and Paganism in Doctrine, Worship and Life.
General conditions of the Roman World in the time of Christ.
(a) Hellenistic civilization, crystallized into a whole by
2. We are interested more particularly in the Religious and Philosophic Life of the period. The subject may be summarized under the following heads:
(a) Roman Religion and Caesar Worship.
(a) Roman Religion: Originally worship of local ancestor, hero or king, together with Nature worship which attributed animating principles to the forces of Nature, also veneration of a multitude of spirits presiding over every department of man's life, e.g. the "Lares" and "Penates," guardians of the hearth and home. It was essentially a domestic and civic cult; inculcating virtue, but not appealing to the imagination or satisfying man's inmost needs. With its moral code the Church had little ground for complaint, but its puerile deities were fair game for all Christian Apologists. But the old Roman Religion did not progress beyond its original home. On the contrary, every religion in the Empire found a ready welcome at Rome itself.
(b) Caesar Worship: The expansion of the Empire saw a corresponding centralization of Government and concentration of power in the Emperor, who, from being commander-in-chief of the legions (Imperator) and first citizen grew into the diadem-crowned autocrat that was Diocletian. The presiding spirit of Rome grew in importance with the growth of the Empire, and came to be identified with the "Genius" of the Emperor, so that in practice Caesar became God, or at the least the earthly visible symbol of Rome's divine, eternal majesty. This idea of the King-god, popular in the East (Egypt, Syria), became a great source of strength to the Empire, since patriotism became religion. To the Church the deified Emperor was anti-Christ (see Apocalypse, passim). The Christian could live as a good citizen, obey the laws, pay taxes, etc., but could not pay divine honor in any form to a creature. Hence the charge brought against Christians of treason and atheism and consequent persecution; the struggle lasted till the Cross surmounted the Eagles of Constantine. (For a rough parallel to Caesar Worship compare modern Japan.)
(c) Religion of Greek City States. Similar to old Roman Religion but more imaginative (poets were the theologians) and non-moral. Greek gods were morally no better than their worshippers, usually worse. By the time of Christ Greek Mythology was of little account except as a pretty fable. It only survived in the form of a gross magic among the ignorant masses, or by being "Syncretised." The multitude of gods preserved their existence as the manifestations of the One Universal Spirit or mind under many aspects (for a parallel to Greek Religion compare modern Hinduism). Behind all the gods was "Fate, Necessity, Justice," the inevitable law of things dominating men and gods (cf. Kismet or Karma). The best minds in Greece turned in disgust from their Mythologists and sought relief in a vague Theism (Euripides), skeptical ridicule (Aristophanes), or Theistic Philosophy (Socrates—condemned for Atheism—Plato. etc.).
(d) Philosophy: Philosophy began in Ionia about 500 B.C. as an attempt scientifically to explain the Universe in terms of Monistic Materialism; evolving through Pythagoras it reached Theistic Idealism in Plato, Theistic Realism in Aristotle, rationalistic but moral Pantheism in the Stoics (Zeno and Marcus Aurelius), pessimistic skepticism in the Cynics, or godless indifferentism (Epicureans); this last condemned by the rest of antiquity. The great merit of Greek Philosophy was its conception of the Universe as a rational, moral whole (the true, the good, the beautiful), the reality and supremacy of the Spiritual with, however, a false view of matter either as illusion or as the prison-house in which the spirit was confined and from which it sought release. (Contrast Catholic Doctrines of the Incarnation, Resurrection of the Body and the supreme value of every individual.) But the truths painfully discovered by a few individuals were proclaimed accessible to all by the Church through Wisdom Incarnate. The Church proclaimed that religion was a life (cf. Stoics) lived in union with the Word (cf. Stoic Logos), not immanent reason or soul of the world, but personal Creator. Man's spirit is immortal (cf. Plato), capable of mystical union with God (cf. St. Paul, St. John, St. Augustine, with Plotinus, the Neo-Platonists, etc.); but in contrast to all Greek Philosophy the Church taught that matter is good, created by God (not eternal, as always with Greeks). That God is independent of creation (all Greek Philosophy was really Pantheistic). Philosophy sought for, and Christianity offered, redemption, but with a difference. Philosophy saw man as needing redemption of his mind from ignorance and his spirit from matter. Christianity proclaimed the Fall and the fact of Sin, with its root in man's will not in the intellect or matter. To Christianity evil is not a positive obstruction to be removed, but the privation of good- redemption is not through intellectual knowledge (attainable by a few only), but through the atoning death of the personal God of Love. Philosophy always tends to make God an abstraction, the Church proclaims Him as a Person. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God" may be Philosophy, but "The Word was made flesh" is Catholicism.
(e) The Mystery Religions: From about the third century before Christ there gradually pervaded Western Europe and Asia Minor a number of Eastern Religions which, though differing among themselves, had certain characteristics in common. Such were the cult of Isis from Egypt, Adonis (originally Babylonian), Attis (Phrygia), Mithra (originally a Persian deity). Originally these gods seem all to have been personifications of the processes of Nature. The birth and death of Nature in Spring and Autumn were portrayed as the birth and death and coming to life again of the god (Adonis, Attis, Osiris). Or the origin of the Universe was explained in a myth in which some semi-human, semi-divine being played the part of hero (Mithras). Their worship was surrounded by all the ritual that the East could provide, and made a profound impression on the Greco-Roman mind. These cults offered to men the two things they most craved—things which their own old religions or philosophies failed to give—union with God and the assurance of personal immortality—broadly speaking "Salvation." This salvation could be attained by "initiation" (usually through some form of baptism), regarded as the symbolical death of the old self and rebirth to the divine life.
After initiation the convert would take part in the act of worship—usually
a ritual drama portraying the life and death of the god. Part of the ritual
would usually consist of a ritual meal (bread and wine or water), by which
communion was established with the god, or even the initiated were supposed to
eat the god. These cults became increasingly popular because:
3. These cults bear striking superficial resemblances to Catholicism, and modern critics have not failed to trace the origin of one in the other. We may reply, however, that:
(a) Catholicism is an historical religion founded by a real historical Person, Jesus Christ. None of the cult gods can be shown to have ever existed historically.
(b) Christianity arose among the Jews in Palestine, the least likely place for an Eastern cult to arise.
(c) As the Jewish dispensation was a foretaste of the reality to come, so in a sense were Greek thoughts and the mystery cults. Human nature is the same always with certain needs craving to be satisfied. The idea that man made for God, is somehow estranged, and needs reconciliation, is an old and true idea. These needs the mysteries satisfied as best they could. The whole world was looking for a Savior and He came.
(d) These cult gods were not in any sense God incarnate. They were neither properly human nor properly divine.
(e) Christianity preached a higher than natural standard of morality. The cults were often non-moral and even immoral.
(f) Christians and pagans knew the difference. Whereas all cults were tolerant, between paganism and the Church there was war to the death.
5. Comparative Religion (A Popular Treatment Of Subject Of Last Lecture)
1. In our crowds today we recognize a quantity of fragments of truth, yet how untrue they are in effect. Fragmentary, distorted, incomplete, and distorted because incomplete. No coherent whole, above all no soul. We recognize also the use of words and expressions which on Catholic lips mean something utterly different: Bible phrases sometimes, phrases usable with a right meaning, but as used false or meaningless.
2. This will give us a clue or parallel to the method of examination we must use in approaching this question of Comparative Religions. Fr. Pinard, S.J., welcomes the comparative method, but gives four rules for a sound method of comparison and of judgment:
(a) Similarities need not mean borrowing or causal connection, but a
substratum of human nature.
3. Let us take the positive side—admit similarities—how accounted for:
4. On the negative side careful examination is needed whether the facts recorded are, in every case, facts. Fr. Martindale gives instances of quite artificial similarities made out by writers on comparative religions. The Bread used at Mithraic love-feasts they compare with the Host, any Triad they call a Trinity, a Book of Prayers is entitled a Missal, any holy man a priest or Pope, and when the same terms are used the things signified are imagined to be the same, when often utterly unlike. Again, the use of all natural means of expression and objects—singing, vestments, altars, images, bread, wine, oil, etc.—are common to the liturgy of all live religions.
5. But when the points chosen are genuine resemblances, what happens then? Again they look shorn, incomplete, often distorted. Hence the adherents of one religion would seek to complete it from other cults. Then, as today, the cry was, the need for a Universal Religion. We have it—now, as then. It is the confusion wrought by Protestantism that makes the comparison possible. Insist on comparison with the Church as she really is. In Catholicism we see completion, unification of all true elements in Greek, Roman and Eastern religions, and the rejection of their errors.
6. In spite of various truths, half-truths, foreshadowings, what happened when Christ came? An absolutely new thing began—upheld as such, persecuted as such.
The Soul was new. The Soul was Christ, an historic figure. They compare the hero-gods. Have any of them changed men's lives like Christ? What do they mean today? They compare the prophets. Did any make such a claim? They compare the Mysteries. Have any the moral significance, the life-giving power of the Christian Mysteries? Besides, are not these things as seen in paganism, idealized, possible only to philosophers? Christianity is a life for the simplest.
[It is dangerous for any speaker to lecture on this subject out-of-doors
unless he knows something of Buddha, Isis, Krishna, Mithra, etc., as the
questions always turn on points of detail.]
6. St. Paul And His Epistles
1. The Old Attacks
2. Later Attacks
3. Truth and falsehood in the new attacks met in the lectures on Comparative Religions. Briefly, we see the Church developing in the midst of other religions, accepting and enriching the true, rejecting the false, unerringly, by that Spirit which was in her. No patchwork but a unity, she rejects unhesitatingly what does not accord with her divine spirit in every religion. And in St. Paul's Epistles we see this process at work and we see its supernatural force.
To understand it we must know a little
(a) Elements in the Church:
(b) What are the Epistles? Not dogmatic treatises, but letters on special points, generally controversial. They always presuppose an immense background of past teaching; "the gospel I have preached unto you." They do not necessarily dwell on points on which all are agreed, as they are generally letters of controversy, or answers to questions which have been submitted to him. They dwell on different aspects according to the district to which they are addressed, and we can often realize the component parts of a community from St. Paul's line (e.g. to the Corinthians the need of personal effort as well as sacramental grace; to the Romans and Galatians freedom from the works of the Law, Christ the fulfilling of the Law).
(c) St. Paul himself. Inspiration does not take the place of personality. We notice the intense individuality of all the inspired writers. Each Apostle has his special work for Christ. St. Paul is the great Apostle of vocation, of personality.
What has been his own preparation and training?
The fervent Pharisee becomes the preacher above all to the Gentiles; he teaches not merely old elements but an altogether new thing—Christ and Christianity.
He goes out into the welter of ideas, the babel of voices in the world with one great idea—to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. But in this babel he hears now a true note, now another, and he shows how these notes fit into the great harmony of Catholic Truth. So we in the crowds hear much falsehood, little truth, yet how precious those truths we hear !
(1) The whole sacramental notion was brought into Christianity by Paul, who
got it from the Eastern cults.
7. The Church, Christ's Mystical Body
1. God coming upon earth took a human body and used it to do certain things: to teach, to heal, to give sacraments to His followers, to bless the world, to suffer for the world. After the Resurrection He took His human body with Him into Heaven. Did He leave behind any body to do the same work on earth? Yes, the Church. His Mystical body. He identifies Himself with it: "Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of these My least brethren, ye have done it unto Me." "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?"
2. The Church is an extension of the Incarnation. He is the Head, His followers the limbs of His body. "For as the body is one and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many yet are one body; so also is Christ...you are the body of Christ and members of member" (1 Cor. xii. 12, 27). It teaches, therefore, His teaching infallibly. "We have the mind of Christ," says St. Paul. It bestows His Divine Life as He did through the sacraments. It blesses the world; it suffers for the world." I fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh for His body, which is the Church" (Col. i. 24).
3. Christ's body as a whole does His work as a whole, but each member has its own special office. We see therefore:
(a) Demarcation of function (1 Cor. xii. 28). "Are all apostles?" etc. (The whole of this chapter should be studied carefully, also Ephesians iv and Colossians.)
(b) Absolute unity. "In one spirit baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free...no schism in the body, but the members...mutually careful of one another" (1 Cor. xii. 13, 25).
(c) All the characteristics of the Catholic Church, and especially the Marks, follow from the fact that she is the mystical body of Christ. Christ the Head could only have one body teaching all nations; that body must be united as limb with limb—a limb cut off withers (Unity and Catholicity). His mystical body was to carry on the work He did in His human body—therefore no later date than the end of His life on earth could mark its beginning (Apostolicity). It is the continuation of God's incarnate life—hence holy.
4. Do not rest content in this lecture with merely giving St. Paul's teaching and telling the crowd that it applies to the Church today. Work out in some detail the way in which religious orders, devotions, etc., find their meaning fully only when the Church is realized as Christ's mystical body. A few instances are chosen here, but any speaker can find out others for himself.
(a) The hidden life of Our Lord at Nazareth is lived today by the Contemplative Orders, Communities for Perpetual Adoration, and, as a preparation for the life of Active Ministry, by the novitiate of every Order. Christ's forty days in the wilderness is lived in Lent by the whole Church, and by the mortifications practiced by Religious Orders and others. We see Him healing the sick in the person of His great Saints, at Lourdes, etc. He forgives sins in the person of His priests. We see Him on Thabor in the ecstasies and visions of the contemplatives, in Gethsemane in their time of dereliction—"the dark night of the soul." St. Francis of Assisi and other Saints have even received in their hands and feet the marks of His wounds as they stood on Calvary.
(b) Not Saints alone, or specially chosen souls, but we ordinary men and women, too, can take our share in thus living Christ's life on earth. Such a modern devotion as the Holy Hour means spending that time on a Thursday evening watching with Him in Gethsemane. In the Stations of the Cross we follow Him from the Hall of Pilate to Calvary, uniting our journey through life to death with His, in Retreats we go out with Him into the desert, especially when preparing to do any work for Him. St. Paul has reminded us that the ordinary human lot of marriage—made by Our Lord into a sacrament—is a type or shadow of Christ's union with His Church
(c) The consummation of this life is reached in Holy Mass. The priest, "Alter Christus," and the people with him here unite with Our Lord as Priest and as Victim (His chief office), becoming "One Bread, one Body." Do not bring in the Mass in this lecture, as it introduces a field of difficulties and should be lectured on separately but have it in your mind. In proportion as a man's Catholic life deepens he becomes, like the Saints, conscious of this mystical union with the life of Christ on His altar and in His Church.
5. Since God desires all souls to the end of time to be saved by becoming members of Christ's body, it cannot be complete until the end of time: it is still growing. "Until we all meet unto the Unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. iv. 13).
Christ's human body grew from child to man. There was much development of His limbs, widening of His external activities, apparent change yet always the same body, doing perfectly His work. So, too, His Church grows, develops from age to age, widens its activities, remaining always the same body, growing to the "measure of the age of the fullness of Christ."
8. The Church And The Early Heresies
Christ taught His doctrine with authority, as something objective, to be received or rejected. He instituted a Society founded upon His personal followers, and to them He committed the guarding and teaching of His doctrines. This was the teaching Church.
Heresy, from the Greek, literally "choosing," is a subjective choosing of certain doctrines to the exclusion of others, and the combination of doctrines taken from one source with those from another. Heresy must necessarily reject the teaching authority of the Church, and in the last resort falls back upon subjective private judgment. In the period here dealt with we shall see the phenomenon characteristic of all subsequent ages—private individual speculation opposed by the Church, not by master arguments so much as by an appeal to Her Apostolic origin, tradition and authority.
Christ did not leave to His Church a formulated doctrine drawn up in precise theological terms. The thinking out of His teaching He left to the Church to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth. But men naturally will think out the explanations of objective data proposed for their acceptance. Theology, indeed, begins with St. Paul and St. John, and from the New Testament onwards the Christian world, both Church and heretics, has been engaged on the one problem of the Person of Christ—His relation to God and to Man.
The Gospel came to men, whose minds were not a blank but were filled by fairly definite conceptions regarding God and the world. The Church's first appeal was to Judaism, and later she spread into the Graeco-Roman world. Those to whom the Gospel was preached naturally brought to its acceptance minds already preoccupied; and endeavored in a greater or less degree to interpret the Gospel in terms of their own thoughts. Without a supreme teaching authority the primitive Christian revelation must inevitably have been lost.
2. The Heresies with which the Church had to deal may be broadly divided into Jewish and Gnostic. For the Jewish crisis in the Church we may refer to Lecture 3. Here we mention only Jewish Christianity from about A.D. 70 onwards.
The Palestinian Christians, owing to geography and politics, gradually became isolated from the main Christian tradition. Some of these, the Nazarenes, remained generally orthodox, only retaining the Mosaic Law. Others, the Ebionites denied Christ's divinity and miraculous birth, and regarded him as no more than a prophet. Among others all traces of essential Christianity died out altogether.
3. In Asia Minor Cerinthus (against whom the Fourth Gospel is said to have been written) combined elements from Judaism (circumcision) with Christianity, and elements drawn from Greek philosophy to form a Jewish Gnosticism. The Elchasites combined Judaism, Christianity and pagan magic. In all these heresies Christ tended to have the central position, and we meet what is characteristic of Gnosticism generally, the notion of two persons: the completely human Jesus upon whom there descends the heavenly Christ (usually at Baptism), who does not suffer death but leaves the human Jesus at the point of the crucifixion.* Moreover, in these heresies, we find, as in Gnosticism generally, a selecting of Scripture rejecting any writings that do not fall in with the heretical preconceptions. All these Jewish heresies gradually disappeared, leaving little trace behind them.
*Curiously enough, many Protestants in our crowds hold the Gnostic idea on this point.
4. Gnosticism: The Church did not set out with a reasoned theological system. Her main concern was not intellectual speculation. But the subtle Graeco-Asiatic mind could not rest content with the broad facts set out by the Church. The main preoccupation of Greek thought was the relation of God to the world; the problem of evil. The essential features of Gnosticism were the doctrine of a secret esoteric knowledge (Gnosis), by which a few elect souls could obtain redemption from the present scheme of things. Salvation was a question of the intellect, not of the will. Certain really acute thinkers of the second century set themselves to solve the great problems, using more or less the data supplied by Christianity. But this philosophic Gnosticism gradually degenerated into magic and worse (cf. the fate of Neo-Platonism). There was no one sect of Gnosticism. It was split up into a number of small sects, each following some individual. But certain broad ideas ran through all the systems and these we may briefly mention.
God is unknowable, hidden, inaccessible. From Him there "emanate" spirit Beings in a descending scale. The further these "aeons" are removed from God the more evil they become. One of these lower beings is the creator and the god of the Old Testament.
Spirit and matter are antinomies. Matter is evil. Into the evil material creation there has entered or been mixed a "spirit" from the divine, and Christ is a superior aeon who came to reveal the unknowable God and to release the divine spirit in matter and so work redemption.
(1) You admit that people thought for themselves even among the early
Christians, so why should not we do so today?
9. Grace And The Heresy Of Early Protestantism
Joyce: The Doctrine of Grace.
Protestantism was not merely a revolt against the Church: as a heresy, it was a heresy on grace.
(a) Found a contradiction between his inward spiritual life and his public profession: saw this in others: struggled, rose, fell again: finally gave up: one cannot help it: not only temptation, but fall natural.
(b) He tried to reconcile this with Christianity: said Calvary means OVERLOOKING of faults: a pretense on God's part: Christianity simply an external imputation of all the merits of Christ to the human soul: the soul remains the same but is covered over by Christ's merits.
(a) Saw the unreality of this and tried to bring some reality back.
(b) Tried to substitute the doctrine of conversion: you must be converted, born again, see the Lord: this shows at least a desire for holiness, but makes the mistake of thinking a moment of extreme exaltation is a real permanent change (in fact sensible change occurs only in some cases and is not of the essence).
2. Catholic View
(a) God makes us just. Christianity is in the order of the creative actions of God: something HAPPENS in man's soul by the omnipotence of God.
The Protestant idea of a "forensic act" is said to come from the Epistle to the Romans: but St. Paul wrote this as against the Jews (who could not believe in a gratuitous act of God)—to show that justification and holiness could not be obtained by works of the Law, or indeed by any works: it is a gift of God: St. Paul is referring to the first bestowal of Grace, and Protestants took him to mean that justification was not an internal act at all: i.e. justification = to declare just without making us so; we say that when God declares a thing it is so: His "saying" is a creative act, i.e. God, for the sake of Christ and in response to faith on our part, makes us just.
(c) Grace: Definition: An inherent quality infused into the human soul,
created by the omnipotence of God, by which we are enabled
We differ from Protestants on the gain, loss and increase of grace:
(b) Protestantism means that you cannot do more than your duty; all works and aspirations fall away: Heaven for them is a nondescript equality: they could call to repentance, but could produce no spiritual literature: similarly, purgatory goes, venial sin goes, and, among consistent Protestants, sacraments went too; for if one does not believe in grace, what does baptism give?
(c) In fact, the whole idea of Christianity is centered on grace.
10. Heaven And Hell And The Heresy Of Later Protestantism
Arendzen: What Becomes of the Dead.
The trouble of the crowd is beyond the use of texts (though texts must be known), mainly a matter of feeling: in no matter has private judgment so completely become private sentiment: imagination has completely dethroned reason on this subject. Heaven does not attract, being pictured either as everlasting singing or as an eternal picnic or as respectable stagnation (no notion whatever of the definition "actus intellectus, quies voluntatis"). Hell repels as a place of monstrous cruelty. So that the crowd either
(a) Turn to the spiritualists (death is merely "passing-over").
The best method is simply to make absolutely clear what the Church does hold about the two states (holding texts in reserve for the modernist and the Christadelphian).
The Purpose Of Life.
(a) Life is not simply to be thought of as a "testing" (so that if you do well you go to Heaven, and if you do ill you go to Hell) but a "preparing"—so that if at death you are fit for Heaven you go there, and the same with Hell. Death is not a kind of magic, altering man's nature. Heaven or Hell will be the logical continuation of each man's life.
(b) We can place an act or a number of acts which finally determine our end. If a man puts out his eyes, he is blind for life, so too with spiritual vision. Life as we see it sets in one direction or another: children malleable, old men set. Why not finally set? Illustrate this by life here—the drug habit, immorality, etc.
(c) Our life hereafter is governed by this fixing: a man turns finally to God or from God, and this turning is his own choice.
(a) Explain the supernatural order: give them some lotion of the Beatific Vision: make them realize that this is a gift far above our nature. We shall come into immediate intelligent contact with the infinite God—we shall see Him as He is. This is only possible by nature to God Himself, so that He is freely giving us an additional power to know. By nature we can know about God, but only by super-nature can we know God.
(b) We shall know and love God directly: in this mental act Heaven consists: happiness exceeding anything naturally possible to any created—or even creatable—being, satisfying and more than satisfying all our desires for truth, beauty, goodness (Matt. xxv. 46, 1 Cor. ii. 46, 1 Cor. ii. 9, 1 Cor. xiii. 12).
(a) Loss of that supernatural gift and realization of that loss. The lost will never see God face to face, for this would render Hell impossible and make them eternally happy.
(b) Scripture gives us a terrible description (Matt. viii. 12, xxv. 41; Mk.
ix. 43-47; 2 Thess. i. 9)
(c) This is not a case of God's cruelty but of man's wickedness; the damned have chosen separation from God through hatred of good and they will not change. If they would but turn to God He would receive them, but this they will never do, having fixed their will towards evil. The rest is a necessary consequence since, being made for God they need Him; and since they eternally deny this need, naught but suffering can result.
(d) The crowd finds this idea quite new and in their imagination difficult. Make them see that reason can say nothing against such a final fixing of the will in evil, and that if such a thing did happen, eternal separation from God, with all its consequences, must follow. It is a case of eternal punishment not for a momentary act but for an eternal state of the will.
Introduction to this Part I
1. Existence of God—Introductory
General Introduction To This Section
1. Speakers are advised to re-read the warning in the Introduction. Until such terms as essence and existence. substance and accidents, actuality and potentiality, spirituality and simplicity, quantity and extension are as much part of their mental make-up as, say Infallibility or Confession, it is not wise to invite trouble by lecturing on natural religion. Maritain's Outline of Scholastic Philosophy will help.
2. This does not mean that these terms can be used to the crowd: you will never meet a crowd that knows the meaning of any of them. The speaker must have the whole subject so much at his finger tips that he can put all his arguments in words of one syllable (or thereabouts): and no one can succeed without a wealth of practical illustrations for every argument. But see that these are accurate, and do not try to make illustrations a substitute for argument.
3. All the questions for Part III, 1-4 should be examined.
1. The Existence Of God
There are many valid proofs of the existence of God; but validity alone is of no use to us: experience has shown that a number of these proofs make no impression at all on a crowd, and therefore for our purpose they are of no great value. Thus:
(a) The argument from universal consent has no effect whatever: partly because the crowd have a great contempt for past ages and think their acceptance of an idea rather against it than for it.
(b) The argument from the moral law seems to succeed with some speakers, but others find it unavailing.
(c) Of the metaphysical arguments:
(d) The argument from design is undoubtedly the most useful. The metaphysical arguments are in practice reserved for answering the questions of hecklers who think they know something about it: they cannot be recommended as fit subjects for a lecture to our entirely unphilosophical crowds.
For the reasons above set out we include here an outline on the argument from design: and an outline based on contingency, the first part showing that there is a self-existing being, the second part showing the attributes of that being. Further to meet the principal objections, outlines are added on the Problem of Evil, Materialism and Pantheism.
2. The Existence Of God The Argument From Design
[The following outline is given as an example of the use of arguments drawn from physical science in the treatment of fundamental questions. It has one advantage over the more conventional philosophical treatment in that the man in the street has been taught to despise philosophy (especially what he terms metaphysics) but to idolize physical science. It goes without saying that the speaker must have a fair knowledge of the science on which he draws. In the present outline the argument has been drawn from the sciences of chemistry and geology but speakers who are better acquainted with other sciences will be able to draw their arguments from the sciences with which they are familiar.]
The Universe Had A Designer
1. Open with the well-known "watch argument" (see Turton, Chap. 11, or "Catholic Christianity").
2. Meet the objection that the argument might apply to an inanimate thing but not to living things because with them the theory of evolution (by natural selection) comes in.
(a) Before natural selection can begin to operate you must first have living things competing for survival, and the simplest living thing is far more wonderful than any watch and more obviously demands a pre-existing intelligence to account for it.
(b) The evidence of design in the universe extends to the realm of inanimate nature (e.g. to the mineral world) where evolution by natural selection cannot operate.
3. Further develop the last point on the lines of "The Empire of Man" (Essays on Un-natural History). Quote, for example, Professor Huxley's lecture on the Formation of Coal. How he points out that an observer in the Carboniferous Period might have asked "To what purpose is this waste—all this luxuriant vegetation with no one to enjoy it." But "Wise Nature," says Huxley, knew better. She was investing her capital in forest and club-moss and looking to a future six million years hence as Huxley reckons it, when those forests would be converted into coal-measures. "Take away," he says, "the coal-measures from Yorkshire and Lancashire and not ten men could live where now ten thousand are amply provided for."
Point out that when Professor Huxley, or anyone else, speaks of "Nature" in this way—Nature foresees and provides for the future—they are really giving to Nature the attributes of God. They are making nature God under another name.
4. Treat similarly such things as:
The Universe Had A Creator
The crowd should now be ready to admit a benevolent intelligence behind the universe: that it must have had an intelligent designer. It may still be maintained, however. that this does not Prove the existence of a creator: that the maker of the universe might simply have taken unorganized matter and converted it into our present universe. Meet this objection by showing the constitution of matter. This can well be done by means of a set of atom models with which models of the molecules of a few simple compounds may be built up. Choose your compounds so as readily to convert one model into another. The facts which you have to bring home to your crowd are:
(a) That matter is organized through and through. It is not as a plaster statue appears to be, viz., organized as a whole, but composed of amorphous plaster and capable of being broken into amorphous plaster. Matter is organized in its smallest particle.
(b) The whole universe is comparable to one huge "meccano" outfit in which the atoms are the "meccano" parts which fit together to form all the countless substances useful to man.
From this it follows that matter itself is designed, and, consequently, that God did not take eternally existing matter and convert it into the universe, but that matter itself is created.
Some Attributes Of The Creator
Show that Creation is an act of infinite power (see Sheehan: Appendix) and that the designer and creator the source of all things, must be eternal since if ever there was nothing, nothing could ever have come into existence.
Conclude by summarizing what you have proved, viz., that there is an almighty, intelligent, eternal Being, the designer and creator of all things. It is that Being whom we call God.
A Shorter Form Of The Argument
1. The questioner will admit that there are only two possible ways in which a
thing may come into being:
There is no third way.
2. The characteristic of accident is disorder, so that orderly arrangement shows design (e.g. If a man simply flung four sticks into the air, they would never fall end to end to form a perfect square).
3. But the universe shows an order so marvelous as to exclude accident as a possible explanation.
4. Therefore since there is no third way, it must have been designed, and design involves an intelligent designer.]
[For questions see end of Lecture 5.]
3. The Existence Of God The Argument From Contingency
Joyce: Principles of Natural Theology.
[This literature should also be consulted for Lecture 2]
A.—There Is A Self-Existent Being
1. If any thing exists it must either:
[The fact of contingent being may best be brought home to the crowd (whose lack of philosophical training must always be borne in mind) by pointing out that in their own experience there are many things which now exist but once did not: these things, therefore, could not have conferred existence on themselves, since, before they had existence, they could do nothing at all: their existence they owe entirely to some other existent being.]
2. (i) Consider one such contingent thing, A.
A, being contingent, could not have been the cause of its own existence: some other thing must have existed in order that A may exist.
—(ii) Consider two such contingent things, A and B. A might have conferred existence on B, or B on A. But A could not have conferred existence on A and B, nor could B.
Therefore in order that the two things A and B may exist, some other thing must have existed.
—(iii) The same reasoning obviously applies to any number of contingent things: to account for their existence you must always go outside them: and we may apply it to the totality of contingent things; to account for the totality of contingent things we must still find some other thing which accounts for the existence of that totality (even if the number were infinite this would obviously still be so, which avoids the specious difficulty sometimes brought against the argument from first cause that there may be an infinite series of causes and therefore no first cause).
Thus we have shown that the totality of contingent things cannot account for its own existence: must have had existence conferred on it by some other thing that (being outside the totality of contingent things) was not contingent, i.e. not owing its existence to another, i.e. existing in itself. This we call the self-existent being.
[The argument may of course be put quite shortly: a number of things, each of which owes its existence to something else, cannot possibly be self-existent. Piling up even to infinity things which do not account for their own existence, does not produce a totality which can account for its own existence: as a rough analogy, a railway carriage will not move unless it is pulled by something already moving: this may be another railway carriage: which may be pulled by another, and so on: but unless there is an engine, none of the carriages could move; and you do not get rid of the need for an engine by adding fresh carriages: even a train with an infinite number of carriages would not have motion without an engine. Remember we are not trying to account for the motion of any particular carriage: we are trying to account for motion being there at all. And to return to our main point, it is not the existence of any individual thing that needs accounting for, but existence itself.]
B. Some Attributes Of The Self-Existent Being
The concept of the Self-Existent being excludes all composition: e.g. of parts, of substance and accidents, of form and matter, of actuality and potentiality of essence and existence: because if two or more things essentially distinct are found in composition there must be some third thing to account for their composition. But no third thing can affect the self-existent being, since all other things owe their existence to it. Thus we say there are no parts in God, that His essence and His attributes are one, that He is "pure act," i.e. altogether actual with no shade of potentiality, that His nature and His existence are one.
(a) (i) Actuality is always limited by potentiality, i.e. a perfection can only be conferred where there is a capacity, and only in the degree which that capacity admits.
—(ii) Existence is an actuality: it is the perfection in virtue of which natures are not mere objects of thought: looked at from the other end, a nature is a mere potentiality, until existence is conferred upon it. Obviously, applying (i), the degree of existence in any particular case is limited by the nature into which it is to be received.
—(iii) But in God nature and existence are one: therefore His existence has absolutely no principle of limitation, so that it is truly infinite, the plenitude of existence. (Note most carefully what this means: e.g. eternity does not mean unlimited time, nor does omnipresence mean unlimited space).
(b) The self-existent being is the cause of all other beings: He does not make them from part of Himself (for He is simple and has no parts): therefore He creates them: but to make something out of nothing is only possible to an infinite being.
There can only be one self-existent being: for if there were two, each would be outside the power of the other, and hence neither would be infinite: but it has been shown that the self-existent being is infinite.
4. Not matter
(a) All created things have been brought into existence by the self-existent being: among these things is spirit: but matter cannot produce spirit, otherwise the effect would be greater than the cause.
(b) Matter has parts and is therefore not simple and not infinite: but the self-existent being has been shown to be both.
(c) Matter is found in composition with various perfections, e.g. in man, in stone, in water. These perfections are not essential to it (otherwise it would never be found apart from them) and whenever two things essentially distinct are found in union, there must be some third thing to bring that union about. But obviously no third thing can confer perfection on the self-existent being.
(d) Even if for the sake of argument matter were "eternal" (i.e. never had a beginning—this does not mean "eternal" in the sense in which the word is applied to God) it would make no difference: as we have shown that it has not in itself the sufficient reason of its own existence, it must owe its existence to another, even if it has always had that existence.
(a) Because infinite in perfections.
Thus it has been shown that there exists an intelligent being infinite in all perfections, the one eternal creator.
[It should be repeated that this is not the material for a street-corner lecture, but a framework for study in class that should enable the speaker to handle any street-corner question.]
[For Questions see end of Lecture 5.]
4. Materialism And Pantheism
It may seem peculiar to treat these two subjects together, but neither is worth a street-corner lecture (since the best method in lecturing is always to teach positive truth rather than to refute error) and when they come as questions from the crowd, the answers to both are to be sought along the same lines.
(a) Both err with regard to creation:
(b) Both err with regard to the self-existent Being:
The answer to both:
Special Points On Pantheism
If there is but one substance (God), and God and Nature are identical,
individual things are either:
Thus all activity is the activity of the one substance—which is thus the principle of Good and evil, and of actions the most contradictory (e.g. when one man murders another, it is "God" who murders and it is "God" who is murdered). You can carry the crowd with you in showing up the absurdity of all this: illustrate profusely.
Special Points On Materialism
(a) Matter is not a single entity: "to suppose an uncreated cosmic nebula is to suppose not a single self-existent thing, but myriads upon myriads of self-existent things" (which an examination of the conception of self-existence has already shown to be impossible, since inter alia there can be but one self existent being, and there can be no potentiality in such a being).
(b) The argument from design does prove an intelligent designer: chaos could never produce cosmos simply by whirling chaotically.
(c) Intelligence does exist in the universe: no number of millions of unintelligent atoms could produce intelligence simply by a series of collisions.
[For Questions see end of Lecture 5.]
5. The Problem Of Evil
Cuthbert: God and the Supernatural.
(1) The subject is difficult because:
(2) Do not give the crowd the impression that we know the answer: the most we can hope for is that we may make the doubter suspend judgment, the believer trust more firmly in God.
(3) It is possible to treat the subject merely from the point of view of natural religion: but it would be sheer folly to do so on the platform since Calvary is out strongest argument.
Since we find in the world:
how can we say
This is never a serious difficulty: the general framework of the universe is so obviously orderly, that the occasional things that appear to be out of harmony represent a difficulty but not an objection. To the man who, from this point of view, asks you to account for the evil in the universe, you may agree to do so if he will account for the universe.
[Note the by now traditional illustration: if you found in a dormitory twenty beds made and one unmade, you would be just as certain that a bed-maker had been present as though the twenty-one were made.]
(2) The Goodness of God
(a) Anima Sufferings:
—(i) We must realize that providence is concerned with the universe as a whole: and that it is only man that has absolute worth as an individual, all irrational things having value only as means to the perfection of the whole.
—(ii) We see how even the sufferings of animals do contribute to this perfection: e.g. animals of extraordinary reproductive fertility would soon block up the earth if not eaten by others:
—(iii) Further for the individual animals, note that pleasure seems to outweigh the pain, that we have no measure of animal suffering, beyond what seems so to us, and that even pain may have a value for the individual animal (e.g. hunger is a stimulus to the search for food).
—(iv) It is better to avoid the discussion of animal suffering, and concentrate on human because (i) We can really know very little of animal suffering. We know a great deal about the suffering of men. (ii) We live in an oddly sentimental age which takes no great interest in men but will discuss animals indefinitely, if allowed, to the exclusion of more important things.
(b) Human suffering
—(i) Man is an end in himself and his suffering must, in some way, be capable of bringing good to himself.
—(ii) As with animals, pain may be a stimulus to action: men must work to eat—and must work to be men: still more, pain gives the opportunity for heroic virtue: and as history shows, no man ever reaches his full stature as a man without having suffered.
—(iii) This life is in fact a place of preparation for the next: and thus the next life helps to solve the problem both by showing how suffering may work for good and by showing how suffering will be compensated.
—(iv) We must keep a balance in reckoning up the amount of suffering: if we think of the pleasure that comes to us—unnoticed— through any one sense, we must realize the enormous balance in favor of pleasure.
—(i) Life is a testing: and the possibility of our failing in the test would seem necessary to make the test a reality.
—(ii) Sin may bring good—to others—as a warning, and as a trial to be borne: thus the sinner having ceased to act according to reason, is ranked with the irrational things in being simply a means to the good of others.
The Heart Of The Problem
Obviously all these answers are only partial, useful in that they show how deep any investigation must go and how foolish is any mere superficial decision. But the problem still remains—even if all this evil may lead to good, why could not God secure good without it? We reply:
(a) We do not know: in the light of wireless and the cinema it is difficult to persuade the crowd of the immensity of human ignorance: but since for a true judgment one must know all the facts, and since God does know all the facts and we do not, it is simply absurd for us to sit in judgment on Him.
(b) We know that God is altogether to be trusted by us: if our love for creatures is troubled by their sufferings, Calvary is sufficient proof of His overwhelming love: as it is of the glory that can be in suffering.
(c) Therefore, before the work of One who knows more than we do and loves more than we do the highest act of our reason is to trust.
Questions (For Lectures, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5):
(1) God cannot be infinitely good and infinitely powerful or He would not
allow the misery that there is in this world.
6. The Human Soul
Literature (for this and next three lectures):
In this lecture we are not trying to prove anything, but simply to outline the Catholic view of the subject.
(a) Much confusion caused by thinking words "soul" and
"spirit" synonymous, e.g. common idea that animals have not souls,
simply because they have not spiritual souls. In fact, the soul of man is the
only kind of soul that is a spirit: or alternatively the only kind of spirit
that is a soul.
(b) Thus dividing its operations into two groups we may define the human soul
as the ultimate internal principle by which
(c) We know of the soul's existence and nature by reasoning from its operations: i.e. we do not look about till we find the soul (as a doctor finds the appendix) but by reasoning about man's actions, we find that they must spring from a principle of the sort described.
2. Soul And Body
This relation must be clearly grasped.
(a) It is the union of soul and body that constitutes the human person: the soul is a spiritual substance i.e. it is capable of subsisting in itself (and we know by revelation that it does so between death and the resurrection of the body). But it has a natural aptitude and even exigency for existence in a body (so that after death the soul is, till the resurrection, in an incomplete state, its spirit functions being active but its strict "soul" functions being dormant).
(b) The union is so close that it forms one individual being: so that in this life the body cannot perform a single action independently of the soul, nor the soul independently of the body (though the nature of the dependence varies from case to case).
(c) The soul is "in" the body not as, say, the heart is in the body, or as water is in a sponge: such a presence is not possible to a spirit. The soul is whole and entire in every part of the body in the sense in which a thing may be said to be where it operates: i.e., the soul exerts its proper activities in every part of the living body.
(d) The soul is not inherited: each soul is created by God and united with the body at the moment of conception: and it remains with the body so long as the latter remains capable of being animated by the soul: when the body is so impaired as to lose this capacity, we have death (the separation of soul and body).
(a) When we speak of intellect and will as faculties of the soul we do not mean that the soul has two parts but only that the soul is capable of operations of two kinds, cognitive and appetitive—corresponding to intellect and will—according as the object of its activities is regarded as true and therefore to be known, or as good or bad, and therefore to be desired or the reverse.
(b) Thus speaking technically we define a faculty:
4. Classification Of Faculties
(a) As shown above they are
(b) As a cross division, affecting both the main divisions, we speak of
faculties as rational and sensuous. But it is to be remembered that both
rational and sensuous are operations of the one spiritual soul (since man only
has one soul, and that is a spirit). The difference between them lies not in the
agent but in
(a) The sensuous powers
(b) The rational powers
[To illustrate the meaning of these distinctions we may take sight and judgment. The object of sight is some individual colored object, and we see by means of the eye which is definitely the instrument of sight. In a judgment—e.g. "cows are useful"—we are not thinking of any individual cow or cows, but of cows in general: and the brain is not the instrument of thinking, the mind does not think by means of the brain—the brain's function simply is to provide the mind with matter on which the mind then exercises its own perfectly immaterial operation of judgment. This latter distinction is enormously important when dealing with the possibility of the soul's separation from the body at death.]
5. The Separate Faculties
(a) Appetitive Sensuous:
(b) Appetitive Rational:
(c) Cognitive Sensuous
(d) Cognitive Rational Concept.
All the above must be grasped at least in outline: more careful note should be paid to:
(a) The difference between imagination and conception: which lies at the root of practically all the crowd's difficulties. This should be gone over again and again.
(b) The nature of judgment.
(c) The distinction between those operations which would be possible to a material soul, and those which would not. The former class is much larger than the learner usually realizes.
See end of next Lecture.
7. The Soul Is A Simple Spiritual Substance
(See last Lecture.)
In this lecture we must remember that the crowd will only be concerned with the soul's spirituality. Its substantiality and simplicity mean absolutely nothing to them and are therefore never questioned: they are only included here because the speaker must go into the question thoroughly.
1. The soul is a substance: i.e. it subsists in itself. (Difference between substance and accidents must be clearly grasped.)
This must be remembered against those who say the mind is merely a succession of mental states.
(a) States of consciousness necessarily presuppose a subject, a feeling necessarily implies a being which feels, cognitions and passions cannot inhere in nothing. Desires cannot proceed from nothing. Further, successive mental states could know no more of each other than successive lightning flashes.
(b) I am aware of myself as subject of sensations etc. If this is illusion, there is no knowledge.
2. This substance abides during all varying modes of consciousness.
Memory—our own certainty of identification of present self with self of past experiences: this impossible:
(a) If mind-merely a succession of states (in which memory could no more arise than in disconnected cognitions of successive generations of men).
(b) Were material organism the substance, for this changes completely.
3. Simplicity, i.e. not composed of separate parts or diverse principles.
Here again we must rely on an examination of the soul's operations:
(a) Simplicity of acts of judgment or inference: A judgment—e.g. money is useful—involves the comparison of two concepts, in this case money and utility. If two concepts in separate parts of mind, third part could not compare them: and they could not compare each other any more than concepts in mind of different people: therefore since in fact they are compared, the mind cannot have parts. When it comes to comparing judgments, this is even more obvious. So that the mind has not separate parts.
(b) Simplicity of acts of volition—may be shown in similar way.
(c) For crowd purposes it is not necessary to show that the various operations of the soul (vegetative, sentient, rational) all spring from one principle, not many: but it must be treated in class.
4. Spirituality, i.e., the human soul is, in existence (and to some extent in operations), independent of matter.
This is the important thing for the street corner: we prove that many of the soul's operations are spiritual and therefore could not come from any but a spiritual principle.
(a) Abstract and universal ideas (e.g. justice, man, triangle).
These are spiritual not concrete existences: bodily organ can only react in response to physical impressions. Each of them must be gone through carefully in detail and the speaker must be able to take any one of them and show how it proves the point at issue: e.g.
—(i) Abstract and universal ideas: Distinguish between an Image (which the senses can account for) and a concept (which rises beyond them). The image is of the individual thing (a particular cow, of a certain breed, size, color, etc.), but when we say "The cow is a useful animal" we are not thinking of a particular cow, we are not thinking of any particular breed, size, color: in other words we have abstracted the essence "cow" and are thinking of a thing with which our senses could never make contact.
—(ii) Possibilities: the human mind anticipates the future—the mere product of its own imagining and thinking—which has no material existence. Yet this purely non-material thing can most powerfully affect us. Therefore there must be something in us more than the material brain (which has a mere here and now existence like any other material thing).
This argument, the easiest and most effective for outdoor work, may be put
Thus you have complete and perfect reflection of an agent back upon itself: which is quite impossible to matter: e.g. an eye cannot see itself, still less can it see itself seeing; a brush cannot brush itself (though one part might brush another).
[One further point: the crowd usually think that the proof of the spirituality of the human soul lies in its difference from the soul of the lower animals: and they proceed to argue that animals can do all that men can do, only in a lower degree. Make clear that we know the human soul is spiritual because it does things only possible to a spirit—e.g. forms universal concepts. Animals' souls have nothing whatever to do with the proof: we should be able to prove the soul of man to be spiritual even if there were no lower animals. Anything of this sort a heckler may urge has a bearing only on the nature of animals' souls— and that is something we are not discussing. If it could be proved that animals form universal concepts, that would show that they have spiritual souls, not that men have not.]
8. Free Will
As for Lecture 6.
"The property in virtue of which a rational agent, when all the conditions required to elicit a volition are present, can either put forth or abstain from that volition." Note:
(a) Not all actions are free: but only those which imply
Spontaneous and indeliberate acts are merely outcome of motive and disposition.
(b) Man can never act without some motive: the will is the faculty of inclining towards some object intellectually apprehended as good; therefore it is only when two possible courses of action, both seen as good, are present that the freedom can be exercised. Free will means choice between motives, not choice without motives.
c) Freedom of the will does not mean freedom of action (thus the will may choose a course of action apprehended as possible, but that course of action may prove to be impossible: the will was free, though action was not).
Is the action of the will always and invariably determined by:
(1) Character, due to
(2) The circumstances of the moment?
Obviously these things count tremendously, but they do not absolutely control the action of man's will.
The statement that the strongest motive prevails is either:
Proofs Of Free Will
Psychological—the Argument from Consciousness.
(a) Attention: Observation shows that:
Will is a rational appetite and embraces nothing of necessity save what is apprehended as desirable in every respect; therefore any object that is not desirable in every respect, the will has the power to reject.
In this life neither the finite nor the Infinite appear to us desirable in every respect.
Questions (See also questions on Lecture 7):
See Lecture 6
The only rigid proof is from revelation: unaided reason cannot be said to prove absolutely that the soul is immortal, but the considerations it advances are wonderfully strong.
Metaphysical Argument Teleological Argument Ethical Argument
A thing can cease to exist in one of three ways:
None of these ways can apply to the soul.
That the soul is fitted by its nature for survival and that it could only be destroyed by an act of Omnipotence.
Science shows (and reason would seem to demand) that there is no activity or faculty in organic life that has not its appropriate object: "each instinct discovered in the animal kingdom points infallibly to some real object by which it is to be satisfied."
To deny another existence is to deny any real object to satisfy the highest and noblest desires, instincts, cravings of man, i.e., to hold that the universal law of "no organ without its function" does not apply to the highest part of the universe.
The argument proves a future conscious existence in which the higher aspirations of intellect and will can be satisfied:
Our intellect judges necessarily that what is right must be done. Therefore in a rational universe it cannot be ultimately worse for a man to do what is right.
But in this world right action frequently entails the maximum of misery.
Wrong action frequently adds to the total of a man's personal happiness.
Therefore, if the universe is rational, there must be another existence in which the wrong balance can be set right. Any other conclusion is in conflict with reason.
The argument proves a future conscious existence: it does not rigidly prove that it must be endless.
If God's existence has already been proved by reason, then
The Teleological and Ethical Arguments prove that there is a future life, but leave the apparent conflict between their conclusions and the appearance of decay in all living organism unsolved. The Metaphysical Argument shows that there is no such conflict, and that the soul is immortal unless God wills to annihilate it.
Specimen Historical Lectures
Julian The Apostate
(a) Julian's short reign marks a period: the last struggle of paganism to possess the empire.
(b) We see in Constantine, Constantius, Julian, the imperial idea that the
religion of empire is the Emperor's affair: He is Pontifex Maximus: religion is
tremendously and politically important. From this notion we get later:
(Many of the gibes of Gibbon and English historians of his school would be justified if the Christian emperors, Catholic or heretical, had been in fact the Church).
Constantine had thought it politic to make a united and Catholic Christianity the religion of the Empire, Constantius backed Arianism, Julian tried to restore paganism.
2. Before He Reigned
All his relations were massacred, himself watched by Constantius, brought up an Arian (picture confusion of tongues inside Arianism), secretly frequenting pagan teachers, diviners, etc. Was he ever a Christian at heart? Anyhow, he had ceased to be so before the death of Constantius. While ruling Gaul as Caesar he showed great military abilities and powers of governing.
Gibbon idealizes him and would like to picture him an eighteenth-century Deist and humanitarian, but regretfully admits him "superstitious."
In fact Julian was an enthusiastic pagan determined to stamp out Christianity.
3. His Effort
From Julian we can show historically two things our crowds will not admit:
(a) Uniqueness of Christianity: where it is in question none can say
"one religion is as good as another."
How did he do this?
(a) Against Christianity.
(b) Construction of Paganism.
He tried to build all these rites and cults into a stable system, borrowing for this purpose from Christianity, to elevate pagan priesthood into a copy of Christian, to imitate Christian institutions of charity.
—(iv) He took back again for paganism temples turned in the last reigns into churches, imposing fines on the churches which possessed them. This led in several instances to martyrdoms.
One of the most dramatic scenes in the fight is the story of the Temple of Apollo at Daphnae, near Antioch. This had been deserted for the Christian churches and had fallen into ruins. Julian rebuilt it and went thither to sacrifice. That night it was burnt to the ground while he watched, unable to save it. Julian accused the Christians, without proof, while they held it was God's judgment. (Mourret gives vivid description.)
—(v) Last struggle. He asks the Jews why they do not offer sacrifice. The Temple is destroyed: he gives them money to rebuild it. Fearful earthquakes follow, and balls of fire come out of the earth until the attempt is abandoned. (Two contemporaries describe this: Ammianus and St. Gregory.)
Libanius gives an account of Julian's death—noble and dignified. But both Christians and pagans believed the story which made him exclaim, "Galilean, Thou hast conquered." For it expressed his life. He had fought Christ in the person of His Church. He had called in the gods of Paganism against the God-Man. And Christ had conquered. Julian did not class Christianity with other religions. He did not think that Catholicism was merely Paganism faintly disguised. He knew better.
The hermits are the subject of much mediaeval art, and the pictures are of two sorts, (a) weird: saints in caves, on pillars, fighting demons, St. Jerome beating his breast with a stone. (b) Exquisite: meeting of Paul and Anthony, crow bringing them bread, lion digging Paul's grave.
The Stories correspond with the pictures: (a) Some strange, uncomfortable, or, as the Oxford professor said "scarcely respectable":—hermit building his pillar higher year by year, Melania rebuking deacon for luxuriousness because he washed his feet, the hermit living in a tower and scolding the quarreling nuns in the convent near by from his window, the monks who attack their Abbot because a solitary comes along who can fast longer than they can. (b) Some lovely: Eulogius and the cripple, the first meeting between Paul and Anthony, the death of St. Macrina, the judgment of Pambo over Paesius and Elias, Melania and the money—reading the Lausiac History especially we feel transplanted into a strange world where we have to get our bearings to understand what it all means.
The Reasons For The Movement
How do we account for the movement which drove thousands into the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, etc.? The idea of a dedicated life was not a new one: had existed from the beginning of Christianity. St. Ignatius, Tertullian and others speak of virgins and widows, ascetics and confessors, etc. In Judaism were the Essenes (taken by Cassian for Christian monks). The philosophers outside Christianity had some of them the idea of separation and dedication. St. Gregory calls the practice of asceticism philosophy. But the movement at the time of St. Paul and St. Anthony assumed quite new proportions: the causes of this were partly negative, partly positive.
1. Negatively: the civilization of new and old Rome and all the other great cities was for Christians (i) a menace and (ii) a temptation. There were frequent outbursts of persecution for which Christians were not prepared by the luxury that surrounded them. (Describe Byzantium or Rome, St. Jerome's fulminations against the luxury of the Roman women, etc.)
Apart from the persecution periods the worldly Catholic of that day was even more liable to get his standards wrong than today. Feeling this strongly, many attempted to revive the practice of an ascetic life at home as in the first days of the Church (Marcella, Melania, Paula, Eustochium). But feeling a more complete break was needed they went off—to the Holy Places in Palestine, to the desert.
2. But the movement was far more positive than negative—not merely an escape but something constructive arousing intense enthusiasm, it did much to begin a new civilization.
(a) First came an alteration of values: the dress of a slave was taken, life was lived with slaves as comrades or rather brethren, labor was prized, and learning given its rightful position.
(b) From the cities men of the world sought the solitaries for counsel: they flocked to Stylites and to Anthony. By their help they sought to drive away "all indecision and pettiness in business, all backwardness and pusillanimity in the domain of character, all resentment, worry, grief and irrational fear" (Palladius).
(c) They influenced the great men, and through them the practical life of the
(d) For from the solitaries came gradually the monks. St. Anthony brought the hermits together under one rule in the monastery of Phaium, left them to seek a deeper solitude and was followed by disciples whom he established at the foot of Mount Kolzim. (Palladius, pp. 58, 116, describes some of the many monasteries that grew up). The chain was: solitaries, groups, monasteries. Around them grew up towns and villages, presently universities. The remote effect of this movement which began in the desert was immense on the whole of Christian civilization.
Meaning Of The Movement
In modern discussions of this movement we find the idea that it was excusable because of the unexpected results on learning and civilization, but that on the whole it was highly exaggerated. Stress is laid on "mirages" caused by underfeeding, and comparisons made with fakirs, etc. We reply:
(a) The idea at root was utterly opposed to the fakir notion, being that of losing our life to find it positive not negative.
(b) These men who, by results admitted, show their wisdom declared that what
really counted for them was:
Their contemporaries knew what they were doing for the world and this was why they sought them out.
The Koran—Sale's translation, with Introduction and Notes. Margouliouth, Mahommed and the Rise of Islam. (Note that these are not Catholic authorities.)
Catholic Encyclopedia: Arts. Koran, Mohammed.
The crowd are fond of telling us that Mahommedanism and Buddhism are both quite as good as Christianity, if not a bit better. The speaker hardly ever finds that a man who talks like this has read the Koran or knows anything of Mahommed or the origins of his religion. This lecture has been found useful in refuting such a questioner, and thereby helping those others in the crowd who have an uneasy suspicion that, if they knew a little more, they would find Mahommedanism (or some other religion) really best. Make them look at Mahommed beside Our Lord, at his book beside the gospels, his military organization beside the Church Catholic.
1. Arabia before Mahommed consisted of a number of tribes, each having its own government, with frequent blood feuds between them. Communication was difficult, there were no chronicles. They worshipped Allah but also other deities. During the four months of pilgrimage to Mecca there was an agreed immunity from warfare between the tribes. The Arabs prided themselves on eloquence and skill in their own tongue, horsemanship and the use of arms and hospitality. The Byzantine and Persian emperors had "spheres of influence" but probably did not collect tribute.
Besides pagans were to be found in Arabia, Arab Christians, Jews and Sabians. These were called "people of the book." The Christians were mostly heretics, Eusebius speaks of Ebionites, followers of Beryllus, Nazarenes and Collyridians. They had the apocryphal gospels. About the time of Mahommed's birth Arabic script was beginning to be introduced.
2. Mahommed. When we first meet him a man in middle life, belonging to an important tribe of Mecca, he conducts or accompanies caravans and later sells goods retail. He accompanies a caravan for Kadijah a rich widow whom he afterwards marries. Then begins his mission, with an attack against prevalent evils;
(a) Theological: Worship of deities other than God and superstitions arising
therefrom. (See Sale, p. 17)
He starts his campaign by persuasion, wins protection of the head of his tribe, so that his opponents fear to awaken the blood feud: they try at first to starve him out. His followers go to Abyssinia where a Christian prince protects them. Mecca being a holy city no blood may be shed there, so Mahommed's enemies blockade it trying to starve his whole tribe into submission. Finally Mahommed flies to Medinah or Taif, reaching Kuba close by on the Jewish Day of Atonement, September 20th, 622. Winning the people of Medinah he attacks caravans from Mecca even during the sacred months—a thing unheard of. He substitutes a union of believers for the tribal union so that it becomes a virtue to attack one's own relations in the cause of Islam (Islam = the infinitive, Muslim or Moslem the participle of verb meaning "to deliver" or "to commit entirely"—used as meaning "to deliver the face to God.")
In Medinah Mahommed had made terms with the pagans, he tried to do so with the Jews but as they refused he exterminated them. Even his ardent admirers admit that he never hesitated to assassinate when he deemed it necessary. One admirer defends his having married nine wives because he did it, not from sensuality, but to consolidate his position by forming important alliances! Just before leaving Mecca for Medinah Mahommed wrote to all the sovereigns of the world calling on them to embrace Islam. Probably at the start he had intended Islam to be a military nation with soldier priests as well as a religious body. His ideas got bigger as he went on, until he dreamed of subjugating the world. He was a born leader and military genius. How far sincere is a very hard question to answer. It seems certain that his personal character deteriorated as he went on.
3. The Koran is written in rhymed prose of a peculiar kind. Mahommed claimed that the revelations were given by the angel Gabriel, that the whole was literally God's composition, the style a miracle. Each Surah was revealed separately, and a revelation might be given and afterwards abrogated. (This idea he introduced when shown that the text contradicted itself.) Mahommed could not read or write: he was called "the illiterate prophet." (Some authorities, however, disagree about this and maintain he could read and write.) He would go into a trance and the revelation was taken down by trustworthy scribes. But the taking down was only to be a temporary expedient: its true preservation was to be by committing it to memory. The project of collecting the Surahs probably originated with Omar the second caliph after Mahommed's death. Soon followed discussion as to the official and spurious versions, as to texts revealed and afterwards abrogated. Seventy-two sects were the speedy result of differences of texts and interpretation.
(a) Sources of the Koran.
But the virgin birth is acknowledged and high honor given to both Our Lord and Our Lady. Our Lord is a true prophet, working "evident miracles," who did not die but was taken up to heaven, accounts are given of scriptural and apocryphal miracles. Mohammed maintains that Our Lord never intended his followers to worship Him as God, and that the Koran is an additional revelation from God which confirms "the scripture which was revealed before it, preserving the same safe from corruption." (See Sale, pp. 105-6, 185, 117, etc.)
In the next world the Paradise of believers (a very material kind of heaven!) or Hell.
(b) Contrast kind of success with that of Catholic Church. This involves especially the four marks.
(c) Above all contrast Our Lord:
(This Outline will not equip any speaker to deal with the subject outdoors. Wide reading is necessary, as questions are nearly always on points of detail.)
The charge of Persecution leveled against the Church means one of two quite distinct things:
(a) That the Church has persecution woven into the very texture of her being, and would therefore persecute again if she got the chance.
(b) That the Church has persecuted in the past, and therefore cannot be the Church founded by the God of Love.
Line To Be Avoided
It is no answer to either point to show that Pagans (in the Roman Empire),
Protestants (at and after the Reformation), Atheists (at the French Revolution,
in heresies, etc.) have persecuted the Church: two wrongs do not make a right:
yet a general outline of all these things should be known:
1. For the first twelve centuries and the last two—i.e. for three-quarters of the Church's life—she is not even seriously accused by her enemies of having persecuted [see, however, questions at the end, which may be raised by less well-informed hecklers].
2. A distinction must be drawn between persecution and just punishment: punishment is persecution where it is inflicted:
(a) By other than a rightful authority, or
[There is small hope of making a crowd see this distinction in the abstract: but the lecturer must know it, and the crowd will see it in its application to particular cases.]
3. The Church claims the right to punish, but
(a) Only her own subjects—not members of other religions, e.g., Jews allowed to have their synagogues in the Middle Ages.
(b) She has never allowed conversion by force: e.g., Alcuin reproved Charlemagne for trying to force Saxons into the Church.
4. The Church does not claim the right to inflict the penalty of death:
(a) There is no law of the Church anywhere claiming this right: Gratian (twelfth century) codified the canon law up to his day and neither there nor in any canon since does it figure.
(b) Her writers have almost unanimously denied that the Church has the right
to inflict this penalty: e.g. Tertullian, Cyprian, Origen, St. John Chrysostom,
Alcuin, St. Peter Damian, St. Anselm, etc., etc. The only exceptions are a group
of sixteenth and seventeenth-century theologians; but:
Did The Church In Fact Persecute?
We are not now discussing the Church's right to inflict temporal punishments (but not the penalty of death) on her own children: but the Heretics who were out to death in great numbers in the Middle Ages.
(a) By whom? The death penalty for heresy was first made part of Common Law by the Emperor Frederick II in 1231, a bitter enemy of the Pope, who carefully explained that he was acting on his own authority because heresy was an offense against the State: and this appears to have been the rule.
5) Who were punished? The typical medieval heretics were the Catharists: strongly antisocial: "revolutionary, reformist movement". The anti-Catholic historian Lea says: "The conscientious belief in Catharism could only lead man back in time to his original condition of savagism" ("History of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages"). Against this the state had to protect itself. It did so, not only by punishing the Catharists who actually committed outrages, but also by trying to root out the doctrine from which the outrages logically arose. Ordinary speculative heresies practically untouched in all this time: Frederick II was an Averrhoist. As a rough comparison to show how the State may be forced to interfere in religious matters, we may instance the laws of the U.S.A. against the Mormons and of England against many Hindoo practices.
(c) The Church's Part.
—(ii) In the various Inquisitions, the Church appointed a judge to inquire into the question whether or not the accused was heretical: but this was the Church's province, and the same consideration applies as in (i) above.
—(iii) The whole question then simply is "were the measures taken by the State right and necessary for its own protection, or not?" Certainly no one, at that period and in face of those particular heresies, thought otherwise.
(a) In all this we have tried to show the principle behind what is called "medieval persecution": that there must over so long a period and so wide a space have been many abuses need not be denied: they must fall on the conscience of the individual wrong-doer.
(b) If these measures were really necessary for the protection of the community, they are obviously not contrary to the concept of a God of Love.
(c) Would the Church persecute again? Note:
—(i) It was the State, not the Church, that originated and carried through all these measures: and it did so not for the Church's sake but for its own.
—(ii) The Church had the power through nearly a thousand years without exercising it: this sufficiently shows the mind of the Church on the matter.
(d) It might be well to end on this: the Persecution times do not give either side much excuse for attacking the other: what they do give is the lesson that there were at that time on both sides men willing to die for their beliefs, and we might well search our own minds to see how far our sincerity compares with theirs.
[It is to be noted that the Spanish Inquisition, the Marian Persecution, the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, have quite special features that must be studied individually.]
St. Peter Claver And The Slaves
This lecture should bring out two points illustrating the holiness of the Church and her supernatural outlook: first that the primary concern of the Church has always been the salvation of the individual soul—social legislation, affecting only conditions in this life must be secondary since the Church's job is the salvation of souls. Secondly, that the true fruits of the Church are the Saints, for their lives are the direct result of following her teaching and using her means of grace.
1. What was the Church's attitude towards slavery, when she began her life in a world which was full of it? St. Paul said "now there is neither Jew nor Gentile neither bond nor free but all are one in Christ," yet he also said, "Slaves be subject to your masters," and we are often told that historically the Church owned slaves for many centuries, while on the other hand Catholic apologists claim that the Church abolished slavery. What is the answer to these apparent contradictions?
(a) What did slavery mean as understood by Pagans? The absolute ownership of a man as if he were an animal: the slave had no rights in Roman law—to marriage, to a decent human life. The master could put him to death at will, could dispose of him and his children absolutely. The Church by insisting on the spiritual equality of all men condemned this utterly: in a Christian civilization such a relation between human beings became a sheer impossibility and disappeared.
(b) The Church then abolished slavery among Christians from the first, but what she permitted was a kind of serfdom—ownership not of a man but of his
work under certain conditions safeguarding his human and spiritual rights. He
could not be deprived of
St. Paul's apparent paradox, the Church's legislation, all had one first care—the salvation of the souls of both slave and master. But it was the preaching of spiritual equality as essential to Christianity which caused slavery to disappear, and a different social structure to arise.
2. What was the Church's attitude to the revival of slavery, and especially to the slave trade in Africa and South America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Absolute and repeated condemnation. Beginning with Pius II who called the enslavement of the Indians "a great crime," six popes and numerous theologians condemned this traffic as inexcusable. Father Sandoval, who preceded St. Peter Claver at Carthagena wrote strongly, Dominicans and Jesuits preached openly to the slave owners on the wickedness of it.
But again their care for souls led them to concentrate first of all on helping the Negroes spiritually. Hence by their efforts the conditions of life for the Negroes and Indians enslaved in the Spanish colonies in 1600 were far better than those in Jamaica in 1800 under British rule.
3. Who was St. Peter Claver? The apostle of the Negroes. He chose the life, deliberately dedicating himself "their slave" for ever. As the slave ships arrived at Carthagena he met them, bringing delicacies for the sick: the crowding, etc., was so horrible that many died on the way, half arrived dying, and the smell was so fearful no one else dared approach. He had to use native interpreters, sometimes a whole chain, for as many as forty dialects were spoken on one ship. After helping them physically he instructed them, taught them how to die or to live as Christians. He baptized during his life 400,000. His nights were spent in prayer and penance of a terrible description for his Negroes, and he died a martyr for them, being neglected in his last illness by an old Negro who had care of him.
4. Who were the slave traders? Nominal Christians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Dutch—most of them Catholics. Which really represented the Church, Claver or the traders? Of which should it be said, "by their fruits..."?
We can put the test today: which obeyed the Church's teaching, which made use of her means of divine life?
The Negroes knew then. Marvelous is the description of the dying men looking at the crucifix which St. Peter held before them, making acts of faith, sorrow, love, accepting their sufferings as a preparation for death. These men embraced the religion which their captors might so well have rendered hateful in their eyes, on the word of their Apostle who lived it.
Containing all books and pamphlets mentioned in TRAINING OUTLINES. Works now out of print can be obtained from C.T.S. Lending Library, 72 Victoria St., London. S.W.I.
Abbreviations used throughout:—B.O.W. =Burns, Oates & Washbourne; C.T.S.=Catholic Truth Society; C.T.S.I.=Catholic Truth Society of Ireland; O.P.=Out of print.
Adam, K. Spirit of Catholicism. Sheed & Ward.
The following reference works are invaluable:—d'Ales. Dictionaire Apologetique de la Foi Catholique. Beauchesne (Paris). The Catholic Encyclopedia (London).
Certain books—Adam, Spirit of Catholicism; Rumble, Correspondence Course in Catholic Doctrine; Gibbons, Faith of Our Fathers; Sheehan, Apologetics; V. Phillips, Catholic Christianity; Conway, Question Box, and Burrows, The Open Door—are of use on a great number of subjects and are not given in the individual bibliographies when there is much other literature.