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statement; wrong in that it is misused and made a pretext to avoid helping the needy. Charity never faileth. The love and condescension of the Master in feeding the multitude doubtless did more to stamp His doctrine on their hearts and waken love for Him than anything else could possible have done. And had they been hungry when He first found them, before the sermon, no doubt He would have fed them first.
In any case no better means exists of bringing the indifferent man from the world's viewpoint to that of the Church than to see that Church given to works of charity. He understands the temporal benefit proceeds from the known to the unknown by a natural process, wonders at it, seeks its motive, and, when sure of its sincerity and that its motive is love, melts into sweet submission. Dogma will not trouble him much then, and the sermon perhaps hardly need to be preached.
The world's ideal is not low, intellectually, however low its moral standard. To deem it so is a tremendous mistake, especially in this land. The Catholic Church has always had success, as her history shows, with ignorant and poverty-stricken masses of men. Her ways of instructing and controlling them have met their needs. Her dogmatic authority they dare not question. This has been true of the natives in the Philippines, the South Americans and Mexicans. It will be true soon, doubtless, of our own negroes and Indians. But the well-to-do masses have used their freedom of late all over the world to grow very intelligent. Schools and books and newspapers have aided the movement. Education is now a part—and a large part—of the world's ideal. No bad one, either, and nowise apt to check its progress heavenward. Freedom becomes a glorious thing if rightly used. And education, if it be thorough, evolves meekness.
The half-taught man is cock-sure of everything, thinks he knows it all, will not hear wisdom or learn from any man. He despises authority, "speaks evil of dignities," and is hard to handle. His intellectual freedom is dangerous, like a weapon in unskillful hands. The highly intellectual man on the other hand is modest, having gone beyond this stage, if indeed he ever passed through it. He sees the infinitude of truth, the limitations of our poor humanity, its inability to grasp more than a fraction of all knowledge, gladly learns from one and all—just as ^gassiz, a truly great man, would make friends with any Settled coast fisherman, old, weather-beaten and poor, because eager ioT the increased knowledge of fishes he might thus ac^Wfe. These finer, higher spirits, are far more easily approached fcA TtvoTe quickly led to the narrow ideal, with its white beauty, than are trie others. Catholicism is continually drawing such vathirvher circle.
With the independent, public-school trained masses, the Protestant falls more in touch. In his teaching the claim of "authority" is not pressed. The man approached is not irritated hy the prospect of intellectual shackles and moral restraint he is soon ready to admit. Moreover, Protestant preaching is of the \rind that arouses interest; the hearer is set to thinking for himself, while yet, by a gentle suggestiveness, that thought is imperceptibly guided. No opposition is stirred; the man reaches his own conclusions, only half aware of the hand that impelled him on. It is all skillful in the extreme. The highly-trained clergy —we are speaking now of the superior men in all denominations —touch a highly-trained laity with a velvet glove. The softer that mental touch the calmer and more profound the reasoning, the more quiet and cogent the argument, the better these persuade. All this is matter for pondering.
The intelligence of the masses in this land favors the distribution of religious reading matter. Even a half-taught man can read. Here the Catholic Truth Societies, Summer and Winter Schools, and various Reading Circles do good service. Lectures in rural neighborhoods reach the Protestant element—the love of fair play generally insuring a mixed audience and a respectful hearing. Much can be taught orally if the teacher himself be humble. That is the key to success. "In meekness instructing them that oppose themselves," says the Apostle. The world's intellectual ideals may be made to give way and subserve far loftier ends. But let us not strive, nor cry, nor enter into any warfare, lest we destroy that most precious of all things, the peace of God.
Our own knowledge is limited at best. "We know in part and we prophecy in part" here among earthly shadows. Only in the world of light shall we "know even as also we are known." Others may have caught some portions of truth which we have not yet grasped. Every good thinker adds something to our store of knowledge. And this even in theology. Why should we be pompous and authoritative?
Is it not better to move slowly, reverently, softly, in our teaching of men? The world's ideal may be gently moulded and raised to heights it hardly dreams of—the religious ideal being adequate to this as to other tasks. The intense beauty of holiness may be revealed to sinners through the saints of to-day who have first attained it themselves; the half-taught American held by "the power of an endless life" and led to see new stars in his heavens, which are yet the old ones, set there by God Himself from all eternity.
Most Rev. Michael Augustine Corrigan, late Archbishop of New York, was born in Newark, N. J., August 13, 1839; died in the City of New York May 5, 1902, in the sixty-second year of his age. All the Catholic papers issued since his death have published detailed statements of his career and have magnified and glorified that career. He studied at St. Mary's School, Wilmington, Del., at St. Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Md., and at the American College in Rome. He was ordained a priest in Rome November 13, 1863. In 1864 he returned to his native city as a Doctor of Divinity, and was assigned to the Professorship of Dogmatic Theology in Sacred Scripture and the rectorship of the Ecclesiastical Seminary of Seton Hall College. His rapid rise to ecclesiastical honors is without a parallel in the history of the Catholic Church in this country. At twenty-five years of age he was a Doctor of Divinity; at twenty-nine, President of Seton Hall College, at Orange, N. J.; at thirty-four, in 1873, he was made Bishop of Newark, N. J., the youngest Bishop ever consecrated in America; at forty-one, Coadjutor Bishop to Archbishop McCloskey, with the right of succession, and five years later, when Cardinal McCloskey died, he became the Archbishop of the greatest Catholic Archdiocese in America, at the age of forty-six.
ihis rapid, rise seems to imply a scarcity of men of ability u"ng Yvis early manhood. It was the period of Civil War, when thousands of trie best men ever born in this land were dying as sacrifices for tbe rest of us. The Archbishop's life is one that provoke endless discussion. It will be impossible not to ■contrast him sharply with other American prelates, and to compare him favorably or unfavorably with them. Vast as are the responsibilities and opportunities of each and all of them, his opportunity and his responsibility were incomparably greater ;than that of any other prelate in the United States. His enemies, in the Church and out of it, will affirm that he did not comprehend this incomparable greatness of his office and that, at all •events, he never rose to its magnitude. None of the questions involved in these comparisons and contrasts can be truly and wisely decided by the men of his own generation—certainly not by his adulatory friends or by his envious and disgruntled •enemies.
His life, like that of nearly all our American prelates, was a striking illustration of the essential Christian democracy of the Church, as also of the land in which we live. They were nearly all of them poor boys, or of very humble birth, like their Master before them, and they rose to eminence, not by trickery, sycophancy, hypocrisy and duplicity alone, though these elements seem to have entered not a little into their earlier and their later days, and to have worked assiduously in their promotion. But these elements were not the leading elements in their characters, and they are not the leading elements in the Church, though often so represented. Archbishop Corrigan had most of the faults and most of the virtues of his class.
The Church cannot boast of the exclusiveness of this Christian •democracy. Many of our ablest American Presidents, judges, lawyers, professors and millionaires were born poor and have risen to eminence by the same general qualities of character that have lifted our Roman Catholic prelates to eminence and fame.
Indeed, this ascension of genius is not limited to the Church or to democratic nations. The poor rise to power under monarchies as well as in democracies.
In these days, when nearly all our boys go to college and wherein the tendency is to aristocratic pretentions in all lines, there is also a tendency to show that our American Presidents were mostly what is called well born and well provided for. It is a foolish contention. Jackson and Lincoln—the two that are worth all the rest, from Washington to Roosevelt—were poor enough and not college-bred in the ordinary sense of the word. But education, in its true sense, as that mode or method or pedagogic influence, professorship, or body of such, that draws out of the human soul to their fullest and clearest capacity of action and expression the latent powers in that soul, every great man, Archbishop, President or whatnot, has always attained. Whether he got it at the wood pile or by numerous "ponies" in college classes is of no consequence. It is a foolish contention, as we said. Genius always manages to get itself educated. It has never failed.
In truth, we cannot claim the exclusiveness of this Christian democracy, either among prelates or Presidents in the United States. It is rather, as we have suggested, the sure and certain aristocracy of human genius, after all. Some of the most influential of Roman Cardinals at this hour were born poor, and have risen to eminence under a monarchy by precisely the same mixed elements of cunning and intellectuality that our own prelates had and used to win their positions. Bismarck and Richelieu used the same sort of faculties and won their fame.
A good friend of mine, who was also a schoolmate of Corrigan's in their younger days at St. Mary's, in Wilmington, Del., told me, years ago, that Michael's schoolfellows even then used to dub him the Archbishop. It was a queer compound, this.
Men's atmospheres and destinies are born with them and surround them and envelop them, if you only know how to read the signs. Sometimes the boys get at the secret instinctively, like women.
What was this in and about the young Corrigan that made his schoolfellows, involuntarily and half in jest, thus know the boy?
I believe that, first of all, it was the element of innate, delicate modesty, producing, as it always does in a boy and sometimes in a man, except on rare occasions, a certain quiet reserve of manner, which again acts as a separation and keeps the boy thus born and surrounded more or less apart from his fellows, in