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Mt. Carmel

Our Lady of Fatima

St. Joseph




There is something splendid about a uniform.

We honour the soldier who returns with ribbons on his chest and wound stripes on his sleeve, and we salute his


Romance has attached itself to the uniform of a sailor or a marine.

The plain white uniform of the nurse has become a gleaming symbol of mercy and tender service. The uniform donned by the doctor in the operating room is ugly-and wonderful.

The priest is proud of his cassock, Christ's uniform; the nun regards her habit as her cloister, her dwelling place of


The scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a uniform, the splendid uniform of those who enlist under Christ and

Mary to battle evil and defend the right.

Wear that scapular, love it, honour it. Be proud of this, your uniform and sign of grace.

In this pride we say:

The Prayer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O God, who has honoured the Order of Carmel with the special title of thy Blessed Mother Mary, ever Virgin, grant in thy mercy that we who keep her memory this day may be shielded by her protection and be found worthy to attain unto joy eternal. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


Almost from the dawn of history uniforms have suggested war.

Soldiers wore them when they went out to do battle.

Now with the coming of Christ a new kind of war was emphasized: the war of truth against lies, of right against


Naturally enough in this new war, in which there were armies on the side of Christ, the men and women pledged to fight the good fight and thrust Satan back into hell came to wear uniforms. These were the religious habits of early Christian times, the special garb worn by priests and brothers and nuns.

The most distinctive feature of this uniform was the cloth cape worn in front and in back. This was called the scapular.

When lay men and women, eager to join the fight of right against evil, asked to be enrolled in the army of Christ, they wanted a uniform. So the scapular, the long cloak, was given to them too. And since this scapular was difficult to wear in ordinary workaday life, the cloth was cut to a small square in front and in back. That is our modern scapular. It is the badge of our allegiance to Christ and His Mother in their fight against the forces of Evil. It is a distinctive emblem of a Catholic.

We who in our youth were enrolled in the scapular say:

The Prayer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

(recite the prayer on page 1)


How strange it seems to think of Mary as a warrior.

The gentle maid of Nazareth, the Virginal Mother, the Mother of the Prince of Peace, is still called-and properly

called -'More terrible than army in battle array.'

And so she is. For when Satan, the great and immortal enemy of the human race, won the preliminary skirmish of

Eden, the voice of God Himself foretold that the foot of a conquering woman would crush the devil's head. Mary, conqueror of heresies . . .

Mary, triumphant always in the battle with sin . .

When then we put on the scapular, which is Marys uniform, we join in a special way the regiment of which Mary is

queen and honourary colonel.

We pledge ourselves to do battle against the enemy of the human race.

We will be victorious as Mary is victorious, and conquering as Christ is conquering.

Part of the always-beaten and the never-vanquished, the always-attacked and the never-overcome army of Christ's

kingdom, we wearers of the uniform of Mary know the certainty of victory and the clear prospect of eternal peace. To Mary, queen of the armies of Christ, we say:

The Prayer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

(recite the prayer on page 1)


Among the many uniforms that are worn by members of the various regiments in Christ's army of peace, none is more widely known or better loved or most historically honoured than the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The legend and tradition of the great Carmelite Order, which gave this uniform to the Christian world, goes far back into history.

On the heights of Mount Carmel the great Prophet Elias lived a life of hunger for Christ. Looking forward into history, he saw the Saviour who was to come, and the Virgin who would be His Mother.

He honoured her whom he had never seen and spoke of her to the disciples that he gathered around him. Sons of the Prophets they were called. They lived together on Mount Carmel and kept their souls in alert expectation of the coming Saviour. They sang in advance the praises of the Saviour's Mother. They were a religious vanguard of Christianity.

When their uniform, their scapular, became known throughout the world as the special badge of Mary's soldiers, they gave it to lay men and women too-and with it a share in their fight to advance the kingdom of Christ.

To the Lady foreseen and beloved by Elias we say:

The Prayer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

(recite the prayer on page 1)


A uniform is a splendid and shining thing.

Beyond all else it is unmistakable.

One has no doubt about the differentiating characteristics of one who wears a general's stars, or a Roman collar, or

the red coat of the Mounties, or the veil of a nun.

A uniform says to friends: 'Here I am, and you may call upon me if you need me.'

A uniform speaks to enemies: 'I am on guard, and you must reckon with me.'

So it is that a scapular, the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, is a public profession of the wearer to fight. Before all observers that scapular says: 'I am a soldier of Christ and of Mary. I am a sworn enemy of evil.' 'Do not disgrace the uniform,' cries the general to his soldiers. And they know that they merit death if they turn


'Do not disgrace the scapular,' cries Our Lady, to those who wear it. And they know that they cannot go over to the

side of the devil or become party to lies or accomplices in evil. They cannot be cowards when temptation threatens, and they dare not, in the life-and-death struggle that is constantly waged between the powers of heaven and the powers

of hell, grow slack and fall asleep.

Pledging ourselves anew to the great fight for Christ against evil, we say:

The Prayer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

(recite the prayer on page 1)


Mary knows her own.

Mary watches over her own.

She has a Mother's love for those who profess openly before the world their love for her.

So she watches with eagerness and guards with care those sons and daughters who wear her uniform and profess by

her scapular their consecration to her.

A wedding ring is a sign of love pledged and fidelity preserved.

A locket is eternal reminder of the one whose picture the locket frames.

A scapular is public manifestation in the sight of God, of men, and of angels that we belong to Mary, that we love

her virtues, and that we are trying to live her life before all observers . . . a beautiful 'spectacle for God and men.'

How wise is the person who in this age of temptations marks himself clearly as Mary's property. Mary guards her own. She will guard him.

How full of divine common sense is the person who makes it clear that he wants Mary near him in danger and that he hopes her eyes will find him easily when he is in peril. Mary watches over her own. She has no doubt that this one who is marked clearly with her uniform is her own.

Confident in the protection that Mary grants to those who are her own we say:

The Prayer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

(recite the prayer on page 1)


Since it is part of a great tradition, the story of the Carmelite scapular should be told-even if only briefly. Saint Simon Stock, a Carmelite of heroic stature, loved Our Lady, as the Order of Mount Carmel was vowed to do. He saw the temptations that threatened the purity of young people.

He watched with horror as the devil won to his side cleverness and strength and power.

'Mary,' he prayed, 'what can I do to safeguard your beloved sons and daughters?'

In a vision Mary presented him with her scapular.

Saint Simon placed it upon the tempted breasts of the young, and their temptation fled. In all simplicity he gave it to

the wise and the learned, and they suddenly knew that the highest wisdom is faith in Mary and in her Son. He consecrated cleverness by enlisting it in Marys army and clothing it in her uniform. He made power and strength humble as he dressed them in the simple livery of the maid of Nazareth.

Mary saw her uniform worn now by millions. Down through the ages the priests of the Order of Carmel continued to clothe the followers of Mary in her uniform.

And Mary continued to watch over and protect her own. To her we pray:

The Prayer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

(recite the prayer on page 1)


When a soldier dies, he is buried in his uniform. In a way his burial is his final dress parade.

When a priest dies, he is clad as for Mass, vestments covering his human form with divine disguise. When a man or a woman religious dies, he or she is clothed for the last time in the habit; he or she goes to the grave

and to final judgment unmistakably marked as one consecrated to God.

In life the scapular is a public profession of the wearer's love for Mary.

It is an assurance that the wearer will do Mary's work and fight her fight if she will protect and guard and mother Him.

In death that scapular is a fresh pledge of immortality.

The wearer of the scapular goes down into the grave marked clearly as Mary's soldier.

God sees this sign. The angels recognize and honour it. The devils know it and in hatred flee it.

We pray to Mary, 'Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.'

As wearers of the scapular we give that prayer new meaning when in death we are marked as soldiers who have tried to fight the good fight and who wanted to be buried in the uniform of their queen.

To Mary, our hope in death, we say:

The Prayer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

(recite the prayer on page 1)


The great moment in a soldier's career is the moment of home-coming.

Battle over and victory won, he walks into the city of his birth and is welcomed by the citizens, thanked by the

rulers, and embraced by his mother.

His uniform, battle-stained though it may be, is something of which he is proud.

He wears it whenever he and his comrades gather for a grand review.

The great moment in the life of a Christian soldier, a warrior of Christ and of Mary, is the moment of home-coming

to heaven.

He is the conquering hero; there is no chance of his having been forgotten.

The citizenry of heaven greet him with applause.

His palm of victory and his crown are waiting for him.

He will be presented as one of the conquering army to the Blessed Trinity.

Mary, his beloved Mother, folds him to her heart.

How splendid if at that moment of entrance into heaven the soldier of Christ proudly wears the uniform that is the

scapular and with utter confidence and a sense of a fight well fought smiles into the grateful eyes of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

To her we say: The Prayer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (recite the prayer on page 1)


FIRST DAY: Fatima was long a name filled with anti-Christian associations.

It had been borne by the only daughter of Mohammed, prophet of the first Red peril.

In God's sweet providence during the rise of the second Red peril, atheistic communism, the name Fatima suddenly

assumed a beautiful Christian meaning.

For to three little Portuguese shepherds in Fatima, two girls and a boy, appeared Our Lady of the Rosary. In the third year of World War I she came to speak words that promised peace.

She held in her hand the weapon that men could use forever to end all wars-the rosary.

She spoke of her pure and immaculate heart to women tempted to sin.

And in all this a new vision of Mary, Mother of us all, was given to the world. To Our Lady of Fatima we say:

The Prayer of the Queen of the Rosary

O God, whose only-begotten Son by His life, death and Resurrection hath purchased for us the reward of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech thee, that meditating on these mysteries in the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


The first sweeping rush of World War I and then the dreary siege of the trenches had sickened Europe. To win the war, the best brains available had been summoned and the man power of the nations had been exhausted. Science invented as it had never before invented. The war drew on all the resources of laboratory and factory. So the war dragged on, and peace became prelude to worse war.

In the midst of chaos worse confused, the beautiful Lady singled out, not the wise, but the simple, not the statesmen,

but the children, not the generals, but three little shepherds.

For them and through them for the world she laid down a simple platform for the ending of all wars and the permanence of peace. The only trouble with it is that it is simple and right; the 'wise' want something complicated and wrong.

War will end and peace will endure, said Our Lady of Fatima, if we pray:

My Jesus, forgive us our sins.

Save us from the fire of hell.

Relieve the holy souls in purgatory, especially the most abandoned.

If we dedicate ourselves to sinless lives,

If we say the rosary . . .

In honour of Our Lady of Fatima we say:

The Prayer of the Queen of the Rosary

(recite the prayer on page 4)


During the years of war the Queen of Peace appears with a rosary in her hand.

She offers the simple way to peace: Pray the rosary. Why the rosary?

The Rosary begins with the splendid act of faith that we call the Apostles' Creed.

It continues with the prayer which the Lord Himself gave us, the greatest single prayer that ever linked earth with

heaven -the Lord's Prayer, the 'Our Father.'

Each cluster of prayers ends with a prayer that is a reverent gesture to the Trinity, a salutation to the three Persons in one God-the Gloria.

And as the main prayer, repeated in beautifully poetic rhythm, the rosary offers the prayer that was composed by the Angel Gabriel; by the inspired Saint Elizabeth, and by the Church speaking its love for the Mother of God-the 'Hail, Mary.'

The beat and measure, the rhythm of the prayers become the undercurrent of thought linked to the life of Christ as in the meditations we follow the Archangel Gabriel to Nazareth, follow Christ the eternal Word from heaven to Bethlehem, follow the holy family through the Infancy, follow Christ through His redeeming death, follow the Saviour and Mary through the Resurrection to the Coronation and glory.

In honour of Our Lady of Fatima we say:

The Prayer of the Queen of the Rosary

(recite the prayer on page 4)


'To save souls, the Lord desires that devotion to my immaculate heart be established in the world.' The Sacred Heart of Jesus had always in the devotion of the Catholic faithful been linked with the immaculate heart

of Mary.

Now in the vision of Fatima, Mary reminds her children of the importance of that close connection. Why? Mary's was a sinless heart, the purest next to that of her Son.

Sin is the simple cause of all war.

Blame what economic causes we wish, underlying all those causes are greed and lust for power, cruelty and pride,

long-practiced revolt against God expressing itself in swift and bitter revolt against the happiness of men. As a corrective for these causes of war the Saviour orders devotion to the immaculate heart of His mother. 'Imitate,' He bids us, 'that heart whose first and greatest love was always God.

'Pattern human hearts upon that heart, which was devotedly faithful to a husband and a Child. 'Follow that heart, which loved all of God's children and prayed for them and served them in the blissful ways of


We honour the immaculate heart of Mary and say:

The Prayer of the Queen of the Rosary (recite the prayer on page 4)


'I am the Lady of the Rosary, and I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon of their sins.

They must not continue to offend Our Lord already so deeply offended.'

In times of war there always seems to be a swift and pitiful turning to God.

'Save us,' even the sinful cry, 'from the consequences of the folly we have brought upon ourselves.' At the same time the cynical dares to ask why God permits the wars into which men rush eagerly and for which they

plan craftily during the days of peace.

War over, God is forgotten, and back they rush to their sins.

There can be an end to civil and international war only when men give up their part in the war of evil against good,

of lies against truth, of Satan against Christ.

If men will give up their sins, they will give up their wars.

If men will stop offending God, they will cease to give those miserable offenses that result in national incidents and

the excuses for war.

The Prince of Peace will lead us only when we cease to turn upon Him, only when we cease to nail Him helpless to the cross.

With a great desire for peace we pray to Our Lady of Fatima:

The Prayer of the Queen of the Rosary

(recite the prayer on page 4)


Today we live under the fear of the atomic bomb.

We have seen it and heard it less than half a dozen times. Yet we know with frightening clarity that if it is used

again, the next war will be, not years, but hours.

Again in the providence of God during the course of World War I, Mary foretold and in a kind of way anticipated the atomic bomb.

Seventy thousand people, believers and nonbelievers, Catholics and skeptics, had gathered round the three little shepherds. A driving rain made the day dark. Suddenly the rain stopped. As if emerging from eclipse, the sun rolled into the heavens.

Rolled is the word, for the sun was spinning, shooting forth tremendous rays of colored light. As the multitudes below screamed in terror, the sun rushed toward the earth, a gigantic falling bomb, a perilous menace moving to obliterate mankind.

Then the sun stopped. The lovely Lady smiled her reassurance. The sun rolled back into its normal position. The threat of the atomic bomb had yielded to the intercessory power of Mary Mother of mankind. In her protective role as our Mother, She will always guard us.

For protection against the threat of the atomic bomb we pray:

The Prayer of the Queen of the Rosary


Man is always his own worst enemy. He deliberately shuts his eyes to the truth. He turns away from his salvation and pre-tends he does not see it.

So we are not surprised that the simple platform of peace laid down by heaven's queen aroused the fierce opposition of God's enemies.

The little shepherds of Fatima were treated by the agnostic officials of the country as if they were criminals.

Every effort was made to keep Mary herself from reappearing.

A conspiracy of silence, deliberate and brutal, was developed so that Christendom would not learn how easy was the program by which to end war and keep peace.

Men had their own elaborate programs of armament and treaties of balanced power and unbalanced budgets, of cultivated alliances and more carefully cultivated national enmities. They did not want God's plan for peace or Our Lady's invincible weapon-the rosary.

Yet despite persecution and the deliberate hiding of the truth, despite hatred and opposition the news of Fatima spread.

Pius XII gave the world a prayer by which it could dedicate itself to the immaculate heart of Mary. And millions took up the rosary, the weapon of lasting peace.

To Mary of Fatima we pray:

The Prayer of the Queen of the Rosary (recite the prayer on page 4)


On the horizon of our modern age hangs the threat of Russia.

Atheistic communism, despising God and enslaving men, is the peril, half known, always watched with terror.

Russia, mysterious, brutal in philosophy, gigantic in power.

A thousand vain schemes are being tried to safeguard Christian democracy against the rise of anti-God and antihuman power. Leagues, paper treaties, conciliations, bribes, all are tried-but with a disbelief that makes them failures even before they are tried.

All the while the solution had been offered by Mary.

'If my requests are heard, Russia will be converted and there will be peace.'

How complicated are the ways of men! How simple are the ways of God!

If we will consecrate the world to Mary's immaculate heart . . .

If we will say her rosary . .

If we will be sorry for sin and keep our hearts sinless . . .

If we will love purity and truth .

Russia will find its way back into the arms of the Father of the prodigal, and the threat that lies behind the Iron Curtain will be removed from the world.

In the hope of all that Our Lady of Fatima promised we say:

The Prayer of the Queen of the Rosary

(recite the prayer on page 4)


So Fatima became a new place of pilgrimage.

Millions have gone to see the place to which Mary came from heaven in order to show her children the ways of


Men who hated God and Mary destroyed the oak tree that marked the spot on which she appeared and bombed the little church that had been built to commemorate her apparition. Pilgrims came in ever growing numbers, and the fame of Our Lady of Fatima swept the Christian nations.

Rosary in hand, individuals and families, nuns and priests, educated and unlettered did battle for the cause of Christ.

The image of Mary's immaculate heart began to appear on thousands of walls; Mary's immaculate heart became the model on which devoted Catholic youth patterned their hearts.

Once more we knew that God loves us and Mary watches over us.

Once more we were assured that God's ways are the ways of peace and that those who in their secret souls win the battle against sin are victors in historys most important battle.

'Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.' . . . and the faithful clients of Mary Our Lady of Fatima.

To her we say: The Prayer of the Queen of the Rosary (recite the prayer on page 4)


FIRST DAY: The man nearest to Christ Jesus was His foster father, Joseph the carpenter.

John the Baptist saw Christ briefly near the Jordan and knew that his work as Precursor was over. The Apostles lived and worked with Christ during the brief days of His public life.

But Joseph presided over the events of Christ's Infancy, provided for Him the house that sheltered Him from birth to

baptism, and was of all the men of earth the one at whose hands Jesus received most in service and love and unselfish devotion.

Born of a royal line, Joseph was a carpenter. That trade he passed on to his foster Son. Joseph was destined to immortal honours of the Church, yet no spoken word of his is recorded in the Scriptures.

Still the Church with good reason cries out, 'Go to Joseph.'

This injunction we confidently obey as we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph

O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


There is always a cause for the choices God makes.

Out of the long procession of men through history, God selected Joseph to be the husband of Mary and the protector

of the Saviour.

Joseph's youth was one of stainless virtue.

His young manhood was marked by deep religious faith and a burning desire to see the Saviour of Israel. His was a

life of honest work and of a humility that fitted him for his part in the hidden life of the Saviour.

Little did he dream as he visited the synagogue on the Sabbath that someday he would be the protector of the synagogue's God. Little did he understand that the trade of carpenter that he was learning would be the means by which he would provide food and clothing for the world's maker, would be the trade that he would teach the creator of the universe.

Without knowing what it was that he was getting ready for, he gave to his simple jobs the full devotion and the full strength of a character of a simple, honest man.

In these ordinary ways did he fit himself for the extraordinary assignment that God would give him.

Remembering this splendid man, who walked the simple ways, we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph


Tradition has it that Joseph had taken the vow of virginity, thus renouncing the right to marriage. At any rate he lived a life of purity. He was stainless among men and pure in the sight of God.

But God in His providence had greater designs for Joseph than mere abstinence. He chose Joseph, the just man, for the delicate mission of sheltering Mary's virginity and at the same time being her loyal spouse and guardian of the Incarnate Son of God.

Legend tells us that he was selected by a miracle: The barren rod that he held in his hand blossomed with lilies. Perhaps. But surely his soul was bright with joy when he knew that God had given him to be the partner of his life the rose of Sharon, the stainless lily of Israel, the flower among all the flowers in Gods garden.

He accepted his bride and his new responsibility with the determination to make her happy, to keep her safe, and in her company to carry out whatever were Gods plans for their future.

So Joseph and Mary were married, and they established the holy house of Nazareth. There they lived most exemplary lives.

To this strong and pure protector of Mary we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph

(recite the prayer on page 8)


Wedded to the loveliest of brides, entering marriage with strong ideals and a trust in God's provident care, Joseph had a right to expect love and security that come with consecrated marriage.

While marriage for him was the beginning of a high honour, it was also the beginning of a new pain. While it added to his royal dignity, it was also the occasion of poverty, patience, exile, obscurity, confusion and wonderment.

For at once he found that his virgin bride was with child. What could this possibly mean? He wanted to think her stainless, but what of this clear evidence? He was confused and bewildered. And while it was distasteful to a man of his simple reticence, the law of his people demanded that he put her away.

Since Mary herself did nothing to enlighten him (for she was committed by God to secrecy) his confusion gave way to grave doubt, and doubt in turn gave way to firm, honourable resolve to take action.

What a period of suffering and suspense this must have been to Joseph. In His own good time, God would reveal the wonders of the Incarnation of His Divine Son. But to prepare his soul for so great a miracle, God chose to cleanse his heart in suffering.

Remembering his trial and suffering, we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph

(recite the prayer on page 8)


Pain and patience in the service of Christ and His Mother soon turn to joy.

The visit of the angel brought an end to Joseph's problems.

The Child whom the lovely Mary carried was the Son of the Most High. He had no earthly father, for God Himself

was His Father. The Holy Spirit had wrought the wonder in Mary s body.

Over Joseph there came in a rush the realization of what his marriage meant.

He among all men of earth was to be the guardian of the Mother of the Saviour.

Upon him would rest the responsibility to protect the Christ Child, to provide His home, to watch over His

childhood, to lead Him into the safe maturity that would be a prelude to His public life.

The home? Joseph had only the house of the carpenter to offer. The food of the Son of God would be plain. The clothes He wore would be those of a laborer's child. But Joseph silently vowed that the Christ should never want for a heart to love Him, for hands to serve Him, for feet to run His errands, for a back to shoulder whatever weight God would let him bear.

Joseph and Mary smiled upon each other and together waited for the coming of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.

To Joseph, guardian of Mary and protector of the Infant Saviour, we say: The Prayer of Saint Joseph (recite the prayer on page 8)


To us Christmas is a day of uninterrupted joy.

To Joseph it was a day of the brightest light and the deepest shadows: a blazing sky and a chilly cave; the presence

of angels and the cold shoulder of the villagers; faith and sorrow; intensest joy in the Infant and grief that he could give the Infant only a stable and straw and his ineffectual service.

The story of Joseph and Christmas is dearly familiar to us.

It was decreed that they leave the comforts of home and journey to Bethlehem. The doors of the crowded inns were slammed in his face. He quested through the night until he found the cave and prepared it for his bride and for the coming Child.

His was the joy of hearing the song of the angels and watching the procession of the first adorers. His was the pain of seeing Mary shiver in the cold darkness and of remembering that they had been forced to leave in Nazareth the cradle that he had made with such loving care.

He was the first sentry in the court of the new king, His first man-at-arms, His prime minister, His treasurer, the faithful disciple of the master, who had yet to speak His first word.

To Joseph at Christmastide we say:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph (recite the prayer on page 8)


Compared to the powerful and important Herod, Joseph was in the eyes of his times a nobody. Yet as this faithful carpenter and saint made smooth the ways of his Lord, worked for His comfort, and knelt to

adore Him, Herod plotted the destruction of this Child, whom he looked upon as a possible rival for his throne.

Herod had tried to turn the Magi into messengers of death, but these wise men had on a warning from God, through the star-lighted night found their way to the king. Failing this, Herod sent his soldiers out to kill the Child and end the threat to his brief and pitiful power.

Another visit of an angel, and Joseph is moving through the night, leading the ass that carries the sacred burden of Mother and Child.

Eyes alert for danger, staff gripped tightly against possible threat, feet tirelessly striding forward, a few coins in his purse, his locked shop left behind him, Joseph travels the glorious and ignominious road to exile.

But God had chosen well when He chose this protector of Mother and Son. The journey was safe, the exile comfortable, and the return happy and secure.

To Joseph, guardian of Jesus and of Mary in danger and in exile, we say:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph

(recite the prayer on page 8)


Wonderful things have happened in the long annals of mankind, but none have been more wonderful than what occurred in the little house and shop of Joseph in Nazareth.

The earnings of a laborer provide the food for the creator of heaven and earth.

Into the little carpenter shop comes the young Jesus, apprenticed to a trade. Joseph guides the hands that guided the course of the stars; he teaches the maker of sun, stars, and planets the craft of making tables and chairs for peasants and yokes for oxen.

The Trinity looks down to the lovely trinity of earth-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit beautifully mirrored in Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.

Modern Christian homes receive their design and pattern from this model.

Modern Catholic marriage is here given its lovely example.

Childhood learns obedience as the young Jesus obeys the commands of his parents.

The hearts of Mary and Joseph create a union close and dear and intimate and utterly beautiful; together they live and think and plan and work for the Child, who has been given into their keeping.

Their's was a beautiful family.

Remembering the happiness of Joseph in Nazareth, we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph

(recite the prayer on page 8)


Death in the days before Christ was often frightening, often terrible.

It was left for Joseph to show us for the first time the perfect way to die.

Graciously God let him know that his work was done. Jesus was almost ready to enter His public life; in that the

humble carpenter would play no part.

He obeyed the voice of God in death as he had obeyed that voice in life. But for him the voice had no terrors. As Joseph lay on his bed, Jesus and Mary were close to him. His head rested on the virgin breast of his untouched

bride. His hand rested in the firm grasp of his foster Son. Jesus was speaking gratefully of what Joseph had done for Him. Mary was saying a loving thank-you. His thoughts were being lifted up . . . and up and up toward the heaven that lay ahead and the glory that comes to those who have done their simple duty well:

Jesus and Mary followed their beloved protector to the grave.

In his place in glory the whole Church has sought him, called him its faithful guardian, and known that from his powerful intercession favours past counting fall upon the world of men and women, whom he regards as his beloved sons and daughters.

To Joseph in Heaven we say: The Prayer of Saint Joseph (recite the prayer on page 8)

Nihil Obstat,

John M. Fearns, S.T.D.

Imprimatur .

@ Francis Cardinal Spellman Archbishop, New York, 1947



We were walking up and down the deck, somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean if I remember rightly. My companion was not a Catholic and, perhaps in consequence of this, we had struck up a friendship for he wanted to discuss many points of the Churches' teaching. It was quite clear that he was deeply interested and we had talked things over by the hour, sometimes sitting on deck or in the divan, sometimes strolling as we were strolling on this pleasantly tropical afternoon. I forget what the precise point this time was; but I can recall him presently standing still and looking me straight between the eyes in a piercing way he had. 'Father,' he said, 'people call me a great success in life, but deep down in my heart I know perfectly well I am a failure. When I was a young fellow I set out to make money, and now I have money to burn. I have a grand home over in England and a good wife and children. I see clearly that the world has no more to give me, and in spite of all it has given I feel disappointed, I know I'm missing something, but I can't find out what it is.'

What was lacking? Any Catholic could have told him. There was a hunger in the man's heart for God Whom as yet he did not know, or at least knew very imperfectly. He was only echoing the cry of the king of old who gave himself unrestrainedly to every sort of enjoyment and was finally disillusioned. 'Whatsoever my eyes desired I refused them not, and I withheld not my heart from enjoying every pleasure . . . and I saw in all things vanity and vexation of spirit . . . and I was weary of life.'

That is the very alphabet of the spiritual life, but what years we often consume in mastering even the alphabet! Solomon was an old man and discovered his mistake only when the best years had been squandered. Sooner or later the truth must of necessity dawn upon the mind of every man and woman. But what one longs for is that this solid truth would brow into your most intimate conviction while you are still young and have time to put to splendid account the realisation that in this shifting, unstable, fickle world there is one abiding reality-God.

Have you ever come home after a dance or a picture and thought how unsatisfied your night's fun has left you? It was all right while you had it in your hands, but now it is gone and your only refuge is too look forward to the next thrill. Have .you ever sat back and considered how silly and empty is much of your conversation? What hours you spend telling about your new house, or discussing the different hotels in the country, or debating about the respective merits of the two sides of a team. What a lengthy description,-or series of descriptions- you must enter into in order to make sure that your neighbour will have the full facts of your recent illness,-while he good man, is all the time wondering when you will get to the point where the recovery started! I have often sat and listened in a railway carriage or bus and this is the sort of tittle-tattle that absorbs men's minds.

Do not think I am cynical. Far from it. My point is simply to bring out how superficial all this is! How many of us realise that in the midst of these tremendous trifles we are hastening out of this world to another where all these things will count for nothing.? To listen to men and watch their conduct, even when they are living tolerably good lives, you would think they were destined to live here for ever. Cinema, radio, the gossip of the day;-these are thy gods, O Israel!

It is true that when young people sit back and begin to think on these lines they are often led to turn their backs entirely on the world and its baubles, and seek their happiness in a life of consecration to God in the priesthood or the Religious State. And it is their invariable experience that if there is a man or woman who finds a corner of paradise in this vale of tears it is the true priest or religious. And the reason is obvious. Such a person seeks God with all his heart and he does not seek in vain. And in the measure in which he looks and discovers, in the same does the peace of God inundate his soul.

It is our purpose in these pages to try to trace out three roads which will lead the soul to the Object of her search. You remember that one day when John the Baptist was preaching at the Jordan Our Lord appeared on the scene and John stopped speaking and fixed his gaze upon the newcomer. 'There He is!' he exclaimed. 'Behold the Lamb of God!' Two of John's disciples slipped away and proceeded to follow the stranger down along the little pathway at the bank of the river. Presently He turned around and put to them the most natural question in the world: 'Whom seek ye?' They were embarrassed and awkward, for the truth was they were simply tracking Him down and they were shy about admitting it. So after a moment's pause they answer His question by blurting out another: 'Master, where dwellest Thou?' And He answered: 'Come and see.'

It is a very significant scene and it well illustrates the aim of our own lives. Like those men we too are seeking Him,- sometimes even without knowing it. That man on board was seeking Him but he could not find out how to fill the void in his hungering heart. Those crowds in O'Connell Street running here and there are seeking Him,-but they do not believe it or understand ‘that they are trying to satisfy themselves by taking shadow for substance.

As we turn over the pages of this booklet He proposes to walk with us in spirit away from the madding crowds and to teach us the answer to our question. Seeing that God alone can give us the satisfaction we long for, the question must be answered,-Where am I to look for Him? 'Master, where dwellest Thou?' It would be the height of cruelty to give me a craving which only He can ease and then baulk me of the means of satisfying it. I could never imagine even an earthly father who professes to love his child leaving that child to starve by the roadside. As long as the father who loves has a crust, he will feed that hungry little mouth, even if he tarnishes himself. Can we dream of imagining that our heavenly Father is less merciful? He knows we need Him. He has created us for Himself and only He can ease and satisfy our longings. So we take it for granted that He will further teach us where we are to look for Him.'Master, where dwellest Thou?'

Now there are three tabernacles in which we can find God, even in this life. In answer to our question Our Lord walks with us down the bank of the river and invites us. 'You want to know where to find God? Come and see.'

The first of these tabernacles is nothing else than the world in which we are living. It is the sheer truth that the Presence of God permeates the atmosphere around us like the aether: There is never a moment, sleeping or waking, alone or in company, but the eye of God is fixed upon me. You go down the street and chat with your friends,-every word is heard by the ear of God. You think in your mind,-unkind thoughts or kindly thoughts, unclean thoughts or beautiful thoughts,-not a thought passes through your mind, even in the most fleeting manner, but it is witnessed by the eye of God. 'In Him,' says the apostle, ' we live and move and have our being.' God's eye therefore is always upon me,-, not as the eye of a stern Judge but as the eye of a most loving Father. Every effort to live a decent Catholic life is known to Him. Every attempt to stir up in my neighbour a love of Him and a sense of responsibility to Him meets with His divine blessing and approval, though in men's eyes it may be a failure.

'Whither shall I flee from Thy face? If I ascend into heaven Thou art there. If I descend into hell Thou art present. If I take my wings early in the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there also shall Thy hand lead me . . . Perhaps darkness shall cover me? But darkness shall not be dark to Thee and night shall be light as the day . . .'

Just as a little child will wander all over the great palace of her father and be interested in everything it contains because of its connection with the one she loves, so does the soul seeking God gradually come to regard the universe as His great home. The Child looks at this strange animal stuffed and preserved in the glass-case. She is interested in it,-why? Because she knows it was shot in the jungle by her father. Here is an oil-painting which she loves-why? Because it is a likeness of her father. Look at this illuminated address. The child reads every line, studies intently every tiny decoration on the margin,-why? Because this address was presented to her father when he was coming home from India. She is keen to see and to learn about everything that serves as a reminder of the father she loves.

This is exactly what the world means to a soul earnestly seeking God. On every side she sees 'the shadow of His hand outstretched caressingly.' 'The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.' The glory of the summer sun, the winter landscape, the starlit sky,-all these have their message to speak, all tell of the beauty and the power of the Creator, of the love of the heavenly Father.

What a difference it would make to your life to realise this magnificent truth! I see you sitting in that office, all day hammering your typewriter or answering the ‘phone. Do you ever pause for a minute to bring home to yourself that He too is there in that office; all day and every day? 'In Him we live and move and have our being.' Or you are busy about the work of the house,-a little 'domestic' and you have to wax the stairs or wash out the hall and the stone step outside, or, you have to get ready the youngsters for school or wheel out the baby. As you busy yourself thus you are not for a single moment unobserved. God's eye is upon you all the time, and if you are wise and train yourself, you can very easily offer your humble tasks for His blessing. Or you are a man of the world. You consider, and quite rightly, that your business is of first importance. But tell me, is it going to injure your various employments today if you, as a Catholic layman, make yourself, force yourself even, to recall the tremendous fact that God is here with you, listening to every word, witnessing that deal, reading that letter and knowing your reply and what it implies'?

Look at the unseeing, unthinking multitudes thronging the street outside. How many of them, even in a Catholic city, have the dimmest perception of the marvellous truth that God has pitched His tabernacle right in the midst of them? 'In Him we live and move and have our being,' but often our life and movement pay but scant tribute to the all pervading Presence of Him Who dwells amongst us.

What would be one big result of this realisation of God's first tabernacle? St. Teresa of Avila, maintains that all sin, from the smallest deliberate imperfection to the most heinous crime, is committed for one reason,-because men do not remember the Presence of God. And that stands to reason. Let me suppose you are on the point of flying into a rage and giving vent to your feelings in a tirade of abuse. Or that you are just about to tell a very indecent story over the teacups. (God grant that you wouldn't because, as we have pointed out elsewhere, there is no knowing the farreaching evil effects of this sin).* Or you are going to indulge in deliberate laziness and throw yourself any old way on the bed or sofa.

But just before you fly into that rage, or tell that story, or throw yourself about, your eye wanders towards the door of the room where you are sitting. Now for the first time you notice the shadow of a man and you look more intently. To your amazement you learn that the archbishop or the cardinal has called and is chatting in the next apartment with your father and mother. Now what about your tirade of abuse or your suggestive story? You forget it at once. And why? Out of respect for the presence of such a dignitary. You will mumble instead, somewhere down in the depths of your heart,-'Thank God, I saw him in time.' You would have been much embarrassed to be heard by such a person airing your grievances or venting your fury on some unfortunate child, and you quickly smile pleasantly and advance with your best Sunday manner to kiss the episcopal ring.

But a greater than any dignitary is present by your side always. Don't you see that if you would curb your wrath or disguise your annoyance merely in presence of a bishop or cardinal you have a thousand times more reason for doing so in the Presence of God? 'In Him we live and move and leave our being.' And I need not insist that if this Presence will restrain you from lesser offences its influence ought to be mightier still if there is question of mortal sin. What, does it avail to crawl out into the darkness in order to hide your sin when the eye of God penetrates all darkness? 'Darkness shall not be dark to Thee and night shall be light as the day.' If you were to pause and say quietly to yourself: 'I am a Catholic, and I know that God's eye is watching this,'-would you dare to go on with it?

The darkness of sin must disappear if men understood that their foul deeds were done under the light of God's Presence. The storms of passion must be quieted in men's souls if men would but remember the majestic Presence of Him Who commanded the winds and the waves and there followed a great calm. The wounds of sin in the wayward soul must be healed if the sinner will realise Who his Physician is and what are His remedies. It is only by shutting off the light of His Presence, or by trying to do so, that man can dare to commit sin. It is only by deliberately making himself forget the nearness of God in Whose sight the angels are not pure, that a man has the effrontery to wallow in the cesspool of passion:

We are hearing a great deal about the prevailing laxity and many remedies are discussed. Let men be brought to an understanding of the fact that the earth is God's Tabernacle and much evil must disappear. It is a truth we do not dwell upon sufficiently. The time to begin to teach it is in the impressionable years of childhood. Little children have an innate reverence for God and can very easily be led to a sense of His nearness to them. This sense if cultivated in childhood, is going to be an invaluable help to them all through the subsequent years. And who is to develop it if not the parents, to whom God has entrusted the soul and the body of that child? Another time we hope to return to this theme in so far as it bears upon our fathers and mothers and their responsibility in this connection.

Forgetfulness of God is undoubtedly the cause of much sin. St. Teresa would say of all sin. 'Master, where dwellest Thou?' 'Come and see.' The first tabernacle in which to seek and find Him is the world around you. And how is the realisation of this nearness to grow? I would suggest, by way of a start, that at fixed times every day you

* See ' We Aren't Dumb,' by Father Nash, S.J.

train yourself just to think for the space of thirty seconds about the truth we are stressing. Suppose you said quietly twenty times every day: 'God sees me at this moment,' or 'God's eye is upon me now,' inclined to believe that little by little the grand truth would become a greater reality to you.

Then, perhaps with that thought you could couple a tiny prayer. We have seen that the first way in which He is tabernacle should have the effect of making us hate sin and flee from it. Very well. Now having steadied my mind for a moment and focussed it on the fact of His Presence, I make a small act of sorrow for my own sins, or I beg for grace to side-step the occasions that have led me to sin in the past, or my prayer takes on an apostolic turn and I beg His mercy on the many sinners of the world. A determined effort of this sort will, I am convinced, revolutionise your whole outlook on life. Try it. And remember that your care is going to be most powerfully supported by God's grace. The habitual sense of His Presence, which is so marked a trait in the lives of all His saints, is the product of grace taking hold of and using to the full, their generous co-operation.

If you are a stranger to this sense of His Presence it is time you made a start to develop it. The more determined your effort and the more persevering, the more fully will grace cooperate with you. And the result will be a loathing of sin, a horror at the very thought of sin, an eagerness to open men's eyes to its true nature. And this fear and disgust is the beginning of a solidly holy life. As the light of the Presence grows stronger it will show more clearly sin in its true colours and the result must be the happy one we envisage.

If forgetfulness of God is the explanation, of all sin, then surely continual remembrance of Him must be the most powerful antidote to sin.

Continuing our walk with Our Lord He now proceeds to tell me about a second tabernacle in which God is to be found. He opens out before me a stupendous plan He has formed,-nothing less than to leave with His Church the power to consecrate bread and wine into the body and blood of God Himself. Let me return for a moment to the friend whom we encountered on page one. When our voyage was over he came to see me in a Jesuit College in Australia. We went all over the various rooms and halls, and finally I asked him if he would like to see the College Chapel. Of course he would like, and very much.

So we went in and I can still see him looking intently in the direction of the Tabernacle. He stood there and listened as I explained that we Catholics believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is as truly present there as He is in heaven or as He was in Nazareth or Jerusalem. Never have I seen a more serious face, and he continued to look fixedly towards the centre of the altar. At last, with a deep sigh, came the result: 'No, Father. I can't. It is too much for me. I can't believe it.'

Yes, you feel sorry for such an earnest man who, through no fault of his own, is deprived of the light of faith. But we Catholics do believe it, and we know and are certain of the reasons why. Our faith is not a mere emotional assent or a blind accepting of something forced upon us by our parents or our priests. Our faith is eminently reasonable. We know that to doubt or to contradict the truth of the Presence in the Blessed Eucharist would be not only blasphemous but the height of folly.

All this we know. But it is not mere knowledge that is wanted. The Blessed Eucharist is, above all, a challenge to our personal love of Christ. In the first of the three tabernacles we learn to hate sin and to shun it. But the service of God is not merely the avoidance of sin. Important though this is it is only the first step, for you will never get much distinguished service from a man who stops short at the mere negative side of his work. The soul of man is hungering for happiness,-as we saw from the start,-and the avoidance of sin is the first requisite if a healthy appetite is to follow. According as a man starves his soul of its hunger for what is of sin so does his desire increase for what is of God.

It is true that the world around us is His tabernacle, but He has set up a second tabernacle wherein there is a very special Presence. And as the first tabernacle deters us from sinning, the second fills the heart with a burning love of God. Nothing is easier to illustrate. Do you remember how Father William Doyle describes 'the mad longing for His Presence, which is at times overpowering '? Or have you read about St. Paschal Baylon, the Franciscan lay-brother and patron of the Blessed Eucharist? If so you will recall how his heart used to bleed when he listened to the Mass bell and was unable to answer the summons. You know that Matt Talbot, the Dublin workingman, found in the Blessed Eucharist his support and his strength? As a young man he was a slave to drink. He took the pledge and kept it. But who can tell what it cost him? When the temptation was fiercest Matt would make his way to the church and sit there. 'I'm safe as long as I stay here'! One of the finest things in his life, don't you think?

Personal love of God through the Blessed Eucharist? Only this day I spoke to a broken-hearted man. His young wife died just a year ago and the tears in that fine strong man's eyes were sad to see. 'There is the only place I can get consolation, Father.' And he pointed towards the church. ' I'm going every morning to Mass and Holy Communion.' And who knows, in the mysterious designs of God, what treasures he is laying up for himself in heaven because he has discovered this pearl of great price, which perhaps he never would have known had all gone well?

If intimacy with Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist is going to develop there must once more be co-operation between Him. and the soul that is seeking Him. In the hurricane existence of many a modern man or woman there will never develop this delicacy in relations towards the Blessed Sacrament. For this it is essential that the soul gives itself time to think and to pray. Now what is your attitude towards the Blessed Eucharist? If you realised that here lives your best Friend would You dream of passing His door without at least a word of salvation?

If you understood a little better the Presence here would it be so difficult for you to get up a bit earlier in order to receive Him into your soul? And would you rush up with such scant preparation or hurry away with such a listless thanksgiving? How do your genuflections before the Presence bespeak the faith that is in you? I well remember a venerable old man, a Redemptorist lay-brother, and the reverence of his genuflections. He was crippled with rheumatism or arthritis, and it cost him much evident pain to bend his knee. But never would he let himself off, and to this day I can see his feeble body bending, and his knee going down, so slowly, but down none the less till it touched the ground.

Other practical suggestions will come readily to your own mind if you are keen, for love, St. Teresa tells you, is always showing itself in a thousand different ways. Let this divine flame once begin ‘to blaze up within you and it will urge you forcefully to prove your sincerity, not by high-sounding words but by deeds. You could, for instance, spread among your friends some of the Messenger pamphlets which tell about the Marvels of the Eucharist, the fruits It bears in your soul, the reasons why those fruits are often not produced. On the cover of this booklet you will probably find some titles of the Eucharistic Series. I know nothing more in accordance with the expressed with of Our Lord than that you should enkindle in yourself and in others a practical living love for God in this, His second tabernacle with men.

And what is the third tabernacle in which the soul can find God, even in this life? 'Master, where dwellest Thou?' By way of answering you Our Lord points to yourself, and tells you that your own soul is actually the place where God has deigned to choose His abode. If you doubt this listen to His assurance. 'If any man love Me, My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our abode with him.' Or turn, to St. Paul. 'Know you not that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? Now if any man violate the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which you are.' This is what it means to possess in one's soul this inestimable treasure, purchased for us through the merits of Christ,- sanctifying grace.

So it is true that your soul is His tabernacle. The world around us will one day crumble and fall to pieces. A day will come when the last Mass will be said and the last Sacred Host consumed. But the third tabernacle is eternal for the soul will live for ever. Indeed the world exists for the good of the soul; the things God has placed in the world are to be used or not used just in so far as they help or hinder the soul's progress. Even the Blessed Eucharist is given us for the nourishment of the divine life of grace within the soul.

Learned people, in trying to make us understand a little better the truth of this third Real Presence of God in the soul, ask us to make two suppositions. Suppose, by an impossibility, that God was to be annihilated in heaven and also in the Blessed Sacrament. There is then no God in heaven and every particle of the Sacred Species has been destroyed. Does God therefore cease to exist? No. For there is still another Real Presence, distinct from the other two,-the Real Presence of God by grace in the soul of the just man.

It is a good many years now since a certain poor old Woman, living in a small country town, received a letter from her son in America containing a large sum,-something like £400 or £500. She had had a hard life and now old age was setting in. Most of her children were in America, and the boy writes to tell her they had collected this sum between them to ensure that she would have a little comfort at the end of her days. A short time before this, she had heard a sermon on the Blessed Sacrament. In the course of the sermon the priest had asked his audience to turn their eyes towards the Tabernacle and to try to bring home to themselves the stupendous fact that God was really and truly present there,-as truly as He is in heaven.

The thought had been haunting her ever since. And now that she possesses this sum of money her mind is made up. She seeks out the priest and asks him to accept the gift sent her by her son. Why? 'Father, I've been thinking quite a lot about your sermon and the way you emphasised the Real Presence. I can get along nicely without this money, as I've managed to do for nearly seventy years. But what I want you to do is to buy a tabernacle for Him. Get the best you can. ‘I want the entire sum spent on the tabernacle alone.'

Yes, you admire her generous spirit of sacrifice. But it is even more incumbent on you to adorn the tabernacle within you. 'I sought Thee outside, O God,' wrote St. Augustine, 'and, lo, all the time Thou wast within me.' A soul in the state of sanctifying grace shares, in some mysterious way, in the very life of God Himself. This happy state of things we owe to Jesus Christ. He came, as He tells us, that men might have life and might have it more abundantly. Our first parents had been raised to a state to which they had no claim. Through God's great love alone, they had been lifted up to a plane in which God's own life was shared with them. When they sinned they lost this gift, which had been freely given to them, and the loss became the sad heritage of their children. A homely illustration will serve to clarify what happened, and also to show us how to beautify this third tabernacle. Suppose you go for a spin on your bike and on the way home this evening you see over there in the field a cow, standing under a tree, and a man sitting and milking the cow. That tree which, shelters them has life, though of a very inferior kind. The tree grew from a small seed, and it puts forth leaves and branches. To do that implies that it is a living thing. The cow standing under the tree has life also, but of a higher grade. The cow can walk about, and she can make known her wants though in a very crude fashion. If she is hungry or in pain you will know all about it. And the man milking the cow? Well he may not be a genius, but unless he is an utter dolt, he can understand at least elementary truths,-that two and two make four or that he must get out of the way to let a car pass.

It would be a very marvellous state of affairs if, as you cycle past, you saw that tree pull out its roots and begin to walk around the field! Or if you could make the cow understand that two and two are four! Although both tree and animal have life, they do not possess the kind of life which would enable them to perform acts of this sort.

Now when God created our first parents He raised them to a status which did not belong to the kind of life that was their due. Man was made to share in the life of God Himself,-a much more extraordinary miracle than to raise the tree or the animal to a grade higher than belongs to their nature. To help the imagination think of God's life on one plane and man's life on a parallel plane. Those two parallels can never meet, but God raised the lower to the higher and man then shared the very life of God.

When sin entered into man's soul at once he lost this divine lift. In other words he fell back on to the plane that belonged to his nature, as if the tree, having walked about for two hours settled back again into the earth and was ever after deprived of the power of motion. Man too must have been so deprived for ever, for all that he could do could never reinstate him in the condition from which he had fallen. He could never regain the divine life if left to himself.

But he was not left to himself. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity 'descended from heaven and became incarnate.' He descended from the higher plane to the lower and brought with Him the divine life which man had forfeited by his sin. 'I am come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly.' 'If any man love Me, My Father will love him and we will come to him and take up our abode with him.' Through Jesus Christ Our Lord, then, the damage done to souls has been repaired. The tabernacle was in ruins, but He has rebuilt it. The temple was desecrated but in His great love for the beauty of God's House Jesus Christ has restored it. Once more man is God's tabernacle. Once more he is lifted up to a state (to which of himself he has no claim),-to a kind of life in which he shares in the very life of God.

From this it is easy to see that the closer man keeps himself united with Our Lord the more will his soul grow in the life divine. Our Lord is the source and fountain-head from which this divine life emanates, so man's great object should be ever to foster and increase his union, his contact, with Jesus Christ. From Him all grace flows as from a fountain of living water and that is why Holy Church asks for everything she wants 'through Jesus Christ Our Lord.'

Hence the work of adorning this third tabernacle resolves itself into the work of keeping united with Christ. The closer that union the more freely will grace flow into the soul. And this union is synonomous with holiness. A saint is simply a man or woman who lives united to Christ by grace, and his holiness is to be measured by the care and constancy with which he fosters this divine life within his soul.

The Sacraments have been happily called 'taps to an infinite reservoir of grace:' Our Lord has left them to His Church as seven channels by means of which this divine life is borne into the soul. That is why you are urged, in season and out of season, to frequent the Sacraments frequently and worthily. With every Sacrament received in this way you increase your stock of sanctifying grace, and moreover you receive an additional grace which it is the effect of that particular Sacrament to bestow upon your soul. Thus Holy Orders gives a man, in addition to sanctifying grace, the special grace to live as a worthy priest. Matrimony enables those who receive it worthily to fulfil the duties of the married state.

Much of the efficacy of the Sacraments depends upon the dispositions with which they are received. Fire cannot ignite a piece of damp timber; water cannot penetrate into a frozen surface. Hence in order to adorn this temple fittingly man has to foster prayer and sacrifice in his life. In this temple, his own soul, there are many false gods, many idols raised by sin and selfishness. To destroy these is the work of sacrifice. It is not easy, and the difficulty appals many and makes them give up the struggle. Prayer is nothing else than a loving attention to the divine Guest Who deigns to make the soul His tabernacle. Once let the soul begin to realise Who she has continually within her and this attention, loving and unbroken, becomes the most natural thing in the world.

Hence on Our Lord's side the beautifying process is done principally through the seven Sacraments, and on the soul's side the co-operation will consist of prayer and sacrifice. Often Our Lord will help the soul's share too,-by inflaming her heart with loving desires in prayer and drawing her towards Himself and letting her see very clearly the emptiness and futility of worldliness and sin.

Often He will grant her opportunities,-great and small,-of sharing in His own life of sacrifice. Little by little the soul comes to see His guiding hand in every detail of the passage of life. Little by little she schools herself to accept lovingly whatever He ordains for her. And in the proportion in which this frame of mind develops, in the same is divine grace, received through the Sacraments, enabled to produce its effects upon the soul.

Briefly, these effects will be that the seed of divine life will expand wondrously, in the soul and the life of sin and selfishness decrease. And as this happens the man who is undergoing the process will change even in his external behaviour. Ordinarily you will find him more pliable, more ready to lend a helping hand, more inclined to keep silence about the faults of his neighbour. You will note that now he is more zealots, more on the alert to work for the salvation of the souls of others, more eager for prayer whenever he can manage to give it a little extra time. in a word, the divine life developing within is manifesting itself exteriorly too. Not only is that man a living tabernacle but he is also a living monstrance, showing Christ to the world by his external demeanour and outlook on life and interest in what is of supreme interest to Christ, And such a man is on the high road to great and solid happiness.

'Master, where dwellest Thou?' And He answered: 'Come and see.' And the soul begins to realise what is the third tabernacle, and, out of loving regard for the divine Guest she fosters a life of prayer and sacrifice and drinks deeply at the fountains of divine life, the Sacraments He has left for the nourishment of her gift of life. This is what Our Lord meant when He told Pilate His kingdom was not of this world. This is St. Luke's statement that the kingdom of God is 'within you.' Such a dignity and how easy to forget it and ignore the Presence that floods with light and beauty the halls of the temple!

Every soul that ends the journey of life in the state of sanctifying grace has a gilt-edge guarantee that she will possess God throughout eternity. Every soul in heaven will be perfectly happy but not every soul will he equally happy. In God Whom the soul possesses there are, to put it in our human way, endless avenues to be explored. In God there is the plenitude of every perfection so that a soul can know more and more of God, and as she knows more she is rapt more in love of His marvellous beauty. Now what will determine the amount of knowledge of God and love of God that is to be her everlasting portion? These will be in direct proportion to the amount of sanctifying grace accumulated in her soul at the hour of death.

Suppose you are out in a small rowing boat and you put over the side a tiny thimble. Your thimble floats on the surface for a minute, then fills with water and sinks. Put out next a wooden tub. Let it too float about for a while till presently it fills with water and goes to the bottom. Next let me suppose that your own little craft begins to take in water. You can do nothing to save it. You call in a frightened manner to your companion in the next boat and he rows over and delivers you, only just in time for regretfully you watch the water fill your boat and send it to the depths of the sea. Lastly, suppose a great ocean liner springs a leak in mid-Atlantic and fills with water and founders.

Now all these vessels are completely filled with water but not equally filled. The thimble cannot hold as much as the tub, nor the tub and thimble combined as much as your rowing boat, while the great liner can contain ever so much more than thimble, tub, and boat all three together. They are each as full as they can be, and the amount of water they contain depends on the capacity of each. There is plenty more water in the sea but they cannot contain any more. A few drops fill the thimble, a few gallons fill the wooden tub; the rowing boat can hold no more than fifty or sixty gallons; the liner is able to contain several thousand gallons.

In some such way we may say that each soul in heaven will be completely filled with happiness just according to the capacity of the soul to receive. And this capacity in turn will be measured and determined by the amount of grace possessed by the soul at death. The more assiduous she has been in cultivating the divine life in the third tabernacle the more, abundant harvest will she reap in eternity. God contains in Himself all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge and it will be the soul's ecstasy to contemplate Him, to know Him, to love Him. Regret is not possible in heaven but if it were how the soul would mourn her loss! It is much indeed to have secured, her eternal salvation and the soul is inundated with joy. But so much more might have been secured, and at such a small price!

I suppose it is thoughts of this sort that draw such exclamations of encouragement from the lips of the saints. 'I reckon,' writes St. Paul, 'that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us. For that which is at present light and momentary of our tribulation worketh for us, beyond measure exceedingly, an eternal weight of glory.' I suppose that is why St. Peter of Alcantara appeared after his death to St. Teresa with a countenance radiant with joy. 'O happy penance,' he cried out to her, 'which has purchased for me such ineffable happiness.'

Nearer our own day I suppose these thoughts were in the mind of the old Jesuit, who, himself on the threshold of eternity, gave this advice: 'If there is anything that will cause you regret on your deathbed, it is the thought that you have ever spared yourself in the service of so good a God . . . Do all you can for Him while you are'in it.' He's worth it all.'

'If there could be sorrow in heaven,' wrote Cardinal Merry del Val, 'it would be the thought that now there is no more left to do for Jesus.' To these men the supernatural world is the great reality. Sin is the only misfortune. Grace is the only treasure. The soul a pearl of great price. With such standards they measure values and they know that their standards are correct. Their one longing is to set up God's kingdom in the souls of men, and to co-operate themselves with the workings and promptings of grace in their awn souls.

If God is living in this third tabernacle His Presence sanctifies everything you do and renders your every good act highly meritorious. If His Presence be banished by mortal sin your naturally good acts have no merit for heaven, only a natural reward for a naturally good deed. Let me try again to illustrate.

You are standing at the corner of a street. watching a poor blind man begging at the other side. A well-dressed gentleman passes the poor man, and, moved by natural sympathy, he puts his hand into his pocket, finds a sixpence, places it in the old man's hat, goes around the corner and forgets all about the incident.

After a few minutes you see a second gentleman approach. He too is ended to compassion at the poor man's plight, and in his turn be places a sixpence in his hat. Now you looking on would say that these two men have done exactly the same act. They have each given the same amount, to the same man, and moved by the same motive of natural compassion for a less fortunate fellow-man. But there is all the difference in the world between the two. Why?

We suppose that number one has sanctifying grace in his soul and number two is in mortal sin. The moment number one gives that alms, although he perhaps is not thinking of doing it for the love of God at all, still, because he is in the state of grace the act is registered at once on the right side of his ledger for heaven. If he dies in the state of grace he will find to his amazement that that tiny act of kindness, so quickly forgotten, has been treasured up by the heavenly Father and now actually adds to his eternal happiness.

The second man's act can merit no such surpassing reward. He has no grace in his soul and so his act of kindness is merely a natural one. God in His goodness will give him a reward but it will be a natural one,-good news, health, an unexpected recovery of a friend. But as long as he remains in mortal sin he can lay up no merit in heaven.

Does this seem unfair? It oughtn't to. If you see a farmer digging in his field you see him turning over the sods with his spade. If there is a ceremony in town which we call the 'turning of the first sod,' what do we expect?

A new building is to be erected and the bishop is invited for this ceremony. A great crowd has assembled, and, clothed in his vestments the bishops takes a spade and drives it into the ground and turns over a square of the earth. He has done the same material act as your honest farmer in his field, but everyone can see that the moral value of the act is enhanced enormously by the dignity of the person performing it today.

Gentleman number one is invested with a dignity that the second lacks. God is living in his soul; he is clothed with the raiment of sanctifying grace. Because of his intimate union with Christ, the source of grace, his act has a stupendous value which a man deprived of this intimacy could never possess.

At the same time it is true that the more a man tries to refer his different deeds actually to God at the time of doing them, the more pleasing they will be to God and the more meritorious.

It is true that number one will receive a great reward for his kind act, but if he had trained himself, here and now to refer it to God, to give his alms actually from the motive of pleasing Him and showing love to Him in one of His suffering members,-if all this was in his act the merit would have increased enormously.

That is why the saints tell us 'to seek God, not only in a general way but in all details, striving to please Him alone.' If it is good to preserve sanctifying grace and to lay up treasure by so doing, it is sanctity or something like it, to pay the divine Guest the compliment of presenting your good deed first for His blessing, and to protest that you wish to do it for the single motive of pleasing Him.

As the incense is presented to the priest to be blessed before it is offered to the Most High, so does the fervent soul take care to present her entire life, in general and in all details, for the blessing of the Guest Who dwells within her.

And in this wise does the third tabernacle reach its perfection. On His side God sheds into it His divine life 'through Jesus Christ Our Lord.' And on the soul's side there is prayer and sacrifice, and a care to increase the divine life by training herself to act consciously from the motive of pleasing God. She is buoyed up by the promise of eternal life when the seed will bring forth abundant fruit. She drinks at the fountains of the Sacraments and every Sacrament received with such fervour and care adds enormously to her stock of grace. Such a life! 'To those who love God all things work together unto good.'

To live in the first tabernacle means that you will flee from sin. To live in sight of the second means that your heart will glow with love for God. To live as befits you as His Tabernacle will lead you to co-operate each day more fully with grace and such co-operation is the way to spell sanctity. Now Mary knows what sin is, for she saw its dire work as she stood on Calvary. And Mary loved Him as never since or before He was loved for she was His [Mother. And to Mary He has entrusted the work of distributing His graces. That is why Mary is qualified as none other is qualified to answer the question of the eager soul: 'Master, where dwellest Thou?'

Nihil Obstat:

Carolus Doyle, S.J., Censor Theol. Deput.

Imprimi Potest:


Archiep. Dublinen.,

Hiberniae Primas.

DUBLINI, die 8 Novembris, 1943.


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