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all that is being said—unless perhaps he has discovered the meaning of the words from a double-column prayer book. The childlike faith of the people is remarkable.

Traditionally they are Catholic. If conditions are favorable, if respectability demands, and if piety is simple enough, they remain so. They merge their individuality into a form of worship which demands no personal effort on their part. The priest is the one great personage in the procedure. He tells them what to do. He rates the spirituality of his parish, not by the lives of his people, but by the attendance at Mass and the number of Communions and confessions in his record.


It is the Catholic teaching on divine grace, perhaps, which has produced this mental attitude. Scholastics long ago evolved the theory that grace may be gained automatically from the reception of the sacraments. More grace, of course, could be gained by those who had fervor. But the mere worthy reception of a sacrament sufficed, even though it were a perfunctory act. Hence the desire on the part of priests to have their people receive the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and penance frequently.

The people are urged to go to Communion daily and to confess their sins weekly. In this manner they are supposed to grow better and better spiritually. Though the facts do not seem to support the theory, the practice continues. The priest sits long hours in the confessional each week. Often he is there daily.

The confessional presents the most difficult problem of the priest's life. Here he sits as judge between God and man. He must pass upon the worthiness of the penitent to receive absolu

tion from his sins. If he deems the poor sinner worthy, he forgives him in God's name. If otherwise, he sends him away in his sins. For this serious task he needs all his theological lore. He feels that he must answer to God for the judgments he has passed upon his people.

The sinner must be sorry for his sins to be forgiven. The priest must decide whether or not his sorrow is sincere. To aid him in this he has but the teaching of the old Scholastics which he learned in the seminary. He himself knows little of life. His own life has been guarded from worldly contamination since early childhood. He must pass upon the most intimate relations of connubial life. Of this he knows nothing save that which he has read in his ancient textbooks. He, a celibate, must solve the intricate problems of sex. He must sit hour after hour and listen to the description of sex impulses from the lips of both men and women. They must tell all. They believe that willfully to omit one single detail would be to tell a lie to the Holy Ghost. It would constitute the sin of sacrilege, the gravest of sins. Wherefore they must reveal to him every thought, word, and deed contrary to the law of God. They must also tell the number of times they have sinned, including all the circumstances which might affect the character of their sins.

When the confession is completed, the penitent recites the ready-made act of contrition, which he has memorized. Meanwhile the priest administers absolution, always in Latin. For penance the priest usually prescribes a few prayers or some other act of piety. It has grown to be so commonplace that it easily becomes a matter of routine for many. The priest often hears fifty or sixty confessions in an hour. In most cases these hurried confessions are mere recitals of foibles. After pronouncing

the formula prescribed, 'Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,' there follows some such narrative as this: 'I missed my morning prayers twice and my evening prayers three times; I failed to say my grace at meals once; I had bad thoughts several times, but did n't take pleasure in them.' Though this list theologically does not indicate the semblance of a sin, the penance is imposed and absolution is pronounced. Another confession has been added to the record. It is easy to see how a great sacrament can become almost a meaningless formulary.

There is much routine in religion. The Church organization calls for this. It develops group piety. This is manifest in the number of societies and sodalities that exist. From childhood to old age the people are urged to join these bodies. Such are the Children of Mary, the Saint Aloysius Society, the Young Ladies' Sodality, the Holy Name Society, the Altar Society, and many others. Usually the members are required, at stated intervals, to receive Communion in a body. The parish priest will announce, for example: 'Next Sunday will be Communion Sunday for the Altar Society; it is to be hoped that all the members will be here for confession Saturday afternoon and evening and all present Sunday morning to receive the Holy Eucharist.'

Then follow the seasons of special devotion. The four weeks before Christmas constitute a time of penance known as Advent, and the people are urged to attend the special services held during this period. The six weeks preceding Easter constitute the time of Lent. This is the rigorous season of penance, with fasting and abstinence. Special Lenten services are held several times weekly. There are a course of sermons and also the Stations of the Cross. The Lenten regulations are elaborate, yet mercifully surrounded by many

exceptions and dispensations. The votions are traditional and vary litt character from year to year.

There is a similar formalism in all ministrations of the priest. His v constitutes a spiritual rule over people. All is assiduously arranged their spiritual lives. They must form to regulations, fulfill the requ ments laid upon them. There is no ing in the system to engender perso religion in the people. The pries father to his people - an old-fashio father. He feels that he has done duty when he has told them what to or what not to do. Nor does he fai chide them bitterly when he finds th recreant to his mandates. It is easy see that in the modern world, when r are learning to think for themselves, position of the priest is becoming p gressively more difficult. Yet ther nothing in his ecclesiastical reperto which might enable him to meet spirit of the times.

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Much as he might desire it, he c not recommend to his people the healt exercise of personal thought. Thoug heart of gold beat in his bosom, he m still stand before his people in the gu of a mediæval pedagogue. To be t to his trust he must be a reactiona He must preach and interpret the tea ings of Christ according to the mind men who never dreamed of an age o country like this in which we live. every public expression must confo to the minds of those savants, mos Italian, who have grouped themsel about the Vatican. They hold it as sacred duty to fix the standards of orthodoxy. Rome demands absol intellectual submission of him. One d cordant statement, written or spok is sufficient to make him 'suspect at that high court. The Holy See serves the right of condemning hi without a hearing, for any opinio which do not conform with the rule

orthodoxy. Forsooth, this is logical in an ecclesiastical system such as the Catholic Church.

The priest submits humbly, abjectly, if he would maintain his standing. But many there are who rebel at heart. The world would be astounded did it know the number of priests who are struggling with the desire to remain faithful to the forms of ecclesiasticism while their very being cries out against the system. These are not the frivolous, not the careless, the negligent, or the unworthy. They are those who have broken through the fanatic wall that was built about them during the years of their seminary training. They are men who have burned the

midnight oil, and through their travail have come to know the glorious privilege of independent thought. Such men see clearly that religion in the Catholic Church to-day has become a complex and intricate mass of laws, dogmas, and practices that little resemble the simple faith of the early centuries. These men often suffer anguish of soul because of their helplessness. It is not fear that deters them. It is goodness of heart. They would not scandalize those devoted souls who are filled with simple faith. They love the people; they love the Church. They cannot protest against the evils of ecclesiastical bureaucracy without injuring these two objects of their love.

(The next paper in this series will be 'The Heresy of the Parochial School.' We shall be very glad to publish representative letters in comment on or criticism of these articles and shall invite more extended replies from members of the Roman Catholic Church competent to speak in her behalf)



In the old days, Mrs. Lucy Cashdollar used to run a cooks' agency for bachelor boaters over Bentley's Oyster Booth and Bar in Utica. Her office was a large room, very colorfully got up, with wall-paper patchings, mostly of red and blue; a white china set in the corner cupboard, with broad red stripes round the bulge of the cups; a high walnut bed with a blue quilt folded trianglewise at the foot; a green rag rug with a yellow border; yellow curtains at the window; and a Franklin stove. When she was n't on duty in the barroom, Mrs. Cashdollar held office hours. At

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Her face was remarkable for exceedingly blue eyes and a rubicund good humor which led one to suspect that she considered it her duty to sample the offerings of the bar before they were put on sale. Her face was plump, but not so plump as her bosom; and her bosom found ample support in the comfortable dimensions of her middle; and the whole of her was held up, in the occasional moments in which she was forced to make use of her feet, by a pair of ankles of proportions superior, if anything, to the rest of her.

In her capacity as cooks' agent for canal-boaters on the Erie, she picked up all the news; her room was a clearing house for gossip. Once a month or so the Gospel Messenger would send an editor down to interview her; and she always had on hand five or six stories from which the paper might take its choice, and which it wrote up with great literary taste, but being a religious periodical-with considerable reversed English on the morals. Mrs. Cashdollar enjoyed these interviews hugely; and she kept a file of the papers containing 'her articles' in a cedar chest under her bed.

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It was in one of these dusty numbers that the present writer discovered the facts of the following story-disguised, though they were, with the religious principles of the Gospel Messenger. Had Mrs. Cashdollar been endowed with the ability to read, she would unhesitatingly have denounced the editor as a liar; but secretly she would have considered his point of view very beautiful and touching.


They had bought a boat to run together, and they came to her in search of a cook. Because they had the same name, most people spoke of them as brothers; but they were not kin. They

did not resemble each other in a way. Stephen Glenn was about twen two or three, dark, slender, and wi quick, high-colored. There was a dus bloom on his cheeks and a sensit mobility in his full lips suggestive Southern blood. His smile was eag Andrew Herkimer Glenn, behind h as they stood in the doorway of Lu Cashdollar's room, towered a he above him. His blue eyes stared a height from the ground equal to own, and completely over Mrs. Cas dollar's head. The two of them, w the light of the fire playing on th dark shirts and ruddy faces, ma quite a picture.

Mrs. Cashdollar removed her pi from her mouth and sent a smoke ri over one of her big toes.

'What can I do for you two gent men?' she asked.

Stephen, who had removed his ha made a lithe bow, and smiled.

"We come for business,' said Andre heavily, and he took off his hat wi both hands and spat over it into t fire and cocked his head to hear t hiss. Mrs. Cashdollar frowned. Th she saw Stephen smiling at her h apologetically, as if to say, 'It's ju his way he don't mean nothing it'; and she grunted and grinned, a thereafter confined her attention him, without observing the effect of t firelight on the shaggy yellow hair Andrew.

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'Set down,' she said to Stephe motioning toward the Windsor cha with her right foot. 'Excuse me havi no slippers on it's the gout troubl me.' She smiled back at him; she w almost prettily plump in those ear days.

The big man sat down on the be because there were no other chairs, an cleared his throat.

'It's nothing,' he said. 'I take c my own shoes, once in a while.'

Lucy laid one finger to her right nostril and made a sort of snort through the other. Stephen raised his soft eyes from the toes of his boots and looked at her.

'We've a boat,' he said. 'We've just got her, and she's very nice; but we thought we'd need a cook, ma'm. Joe, downstairs, said you might help us getting one.'

'I suppose the pay's all right.' 'Fifteen dollars-dommed high, too,' growled Andrew, shaking the yellow hair from his eyes and hawking his throat clear.

'Don't you spit again in my room!' cried Lucy, and a shudder ran up her back that made her quiver in front like a mould of jelly.

Andrew went over to the window, raised it, and put his head outside.

'That's better,' said Lucy, when he had lowered the sash. 'Of course it's over the front door but that ain't my lookout.'

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'His'n,' said Andrew. Lucy took stock of the bigness of him for the first time. With his yellow hair bushy about his ears, his thick beard, and his great shoulders and hands, he looked monstrous. Stephen, somehow, in his fancy waistcoat and light-colored pants, suited his immediate surroundings. She liked to look at him across the embers of her own fire. Any woman might, she said to herself. But the old gray clothes of Andrew, the calluses on his hands, his long square-ended feet they made the fixings in her room look contemptuously small and out of place, like a bed of zinnias planted in the prairie. And the bright, farsighted blue of his eyes, staring at the opposite wall, had a chilling vacancy.

The wood basket's by your cheer,' she said to Stephen. Would you mind sticking a piece on to the fire?'

As she watched him laying it on, her ridiculous shiver passed up over her

again. But the oily sputter of the birch bark soon sent a yellow warmth along her legs, and she pulled at her pipe and settled herself to business.

'Well,' she said, 'you boys want a cook? I've got one or two on hand looking for places. I guess you'd like one young and pretty?'

'I guess I would,' replied Stephen, giving her his quick smile, so that even she felt a little fire stir under her side.

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'Well, I got one might do seeing your price is agreeable and regular.' 'How old is she?' asked Stephen. 'Nineteen. She's new on the canal; but she's been cooking for me this week, and she's no slouch at it.' 'What's her name?' 'May Friendly.' 'Clean?'

'Yes, she is. She's a nice-looking gal, too; nice-complected; dark hair. Sort of pretty little chitter.'

Andrew swallowed audibly, lowered his eyes to the back of Mrs. Cashdollar's head, and took over the conversation.

'Be her hands good strong ones?' 'What do you mean?' Mrs. Cashdollar was amazed.

'I want to see her.'

'Oh, all right. She's in the next room. I'll call her.'

Mrs. Cashdollar heaved herself out of her chair and went over to the door behind the stove.

'May!' she called. 'May Friend-ly!' Receiving no audible answer, she disappeared from view of the two Glenns. They caught her voice faintly from what must have been the head of a staircase and heard a subterranean mutter in answer. Then both voices faded into silence.

Stephen laughed softly.

'I wonder what the old gal will bring us.'

Andrew grunted, stared round the

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