Some Helpful Thoughts on Spiritual Progress BY REV. EDWARD F. GARESCHE, SJ.
IF YOU wish to offer a salutary prayer and do a blessed work for the Church in America, pray and work for a greater union of action amongst us, to bring all our people together, and fling their mighty energies with a common aim and steady purpose into the work of promoting the cause of Christ in America. Our union of faith and principle is perfect and most admirable. Pray for a like union of action amongst us.
The times move with bewildering swiftness, and bring most urgent opportunities crowding upon us American Catholics. In no land have we a more tremendous mission than here in our own land. The great body of Americans are splendid material for the making of fervent Christians. They are by nature intelligent and honest minded, upright and clean. But the unsound and non-religious education of the schools, the withering agnosticism of the universities, the trimming indifference of the press, the plague of salacious books and plays, are preying on our people and corrupting their native goodness.
Conscious of their weakening morals and broken family life, the good citizens of America are looking anxiously about for some way of salvation. They seek it vainly in pretentious culture, in literature and education, science and art. There is but one organization which has within it the seeds of civic and religious regeneration, of whom its Founder said it was to be the leaven of nations, the salt of the earth, the light of the world. The Catholic Church has in itself every essential gift and power from God to purge and save our nation. But to do its work it needs the added circumstance of union and unison of effort among its members.
The multiplication of private enterprises and small societies amongst us may be a sign not of life but of disease, and a source not of strength but of weakness. We must not fritter away our giant energies in little pigmy undertakings that clash and overlap. We must forget our individual interests and must leap over our parish limits and plan and pray and work for the Church at large and for the nation. Many years ago a sneering infidel exclaimed, "What a pity it is that the good people are so timid." That was a false saying. Really good people are the bravest people in the world. But he would have expressed the pity of it more truly, if he had said: "What a pity that the good people are not more united." For want of unity in action is the greatest obstacle to the efficiency of the good, just as union is the strongest ally of organized wickedness.