Many people have the same idea about religion as they had about war. They contribute something to the support of the church much as they pay their taxes, but they leave the active study and practice of religion to the professionals—to the clergy, the Sisters and pious souls. When called ,upon by the voice of authority, they do their bit even if it means the inconvenience of getting up for Mass on Sunday.
Guest of the Catholic Young Men's Society of Britain, and representative of the Catholic Youth Organisation of Canada, L.A.C. J. Gerrard MacDonald, serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, delivered to the assembled delegates at the National C.Y.M.S. Conference, a vigorous message of goodwill from his organisation overseas.
The speaker continued by explaining the growth of the Catholic Youth organisation of his country and concluded with a fervent statement of the aims and
the spirit which should animate Catholic Action.
"The Catholic Youth of Canada Were organised in the Catholic Youth
organisation in the early part of 1939 as a result of a meeting held by the Canadian Episenpato. Down through
the ages of the Chutch, societies and various religious organisatioes existed, and did good work, but it would seem
that they lacked a definite plan, and so to better their objective, they raised a new flag. the flag of C.Y.0.—Christ —Youth—Others—the Catholic Youth Organisation of the Dominion of Canada.' Accordingly all existing societies weie regrouped under this new banner, and a Much stronger body of youth was formed.
The purpose of this organisation is almost iderakad with your Catholic Young Men's Society, with this exception, that C.Y.O. embraces both Catholic ,young men and women. No farseeing individual will deny that . the future of Christian civilisation rests in great part with the Catholic youth of to-day.
" The Governments of Germany and Italy have proven that there can be no true arid lasting society when God and ash principles are relegated to the
h " These principles have been set beflue us time and again through the voice of our sovereign Pontiff. But it is not enough to merely know these principles, we must be convinced of them ourselves and carry them out in our daily fife, It is to Us therefore AS Catholic leaders to realise this responsibility and to bring our Catholic brethren into the. same realisation.
"Time.has changed many things and none of them noire than war. The days when war meant a hired, volunteer or conscript army going off to the front and leaving life at home quite
undisturbed are gone for ever. War to-day as we have seen it must he total war. This means that every phase of the country's life—viz., financial,agri
cultural, educational, social must be harnessed into action. We were slow to adopt this idea of total war, not only because we are a liberty-loving people but,. to put it frankly, we hated to be bothered. We much preferied living under the old rules which left matters military to the army, and let the rest of the country go about the important business of earning and enjoying its week's pay. That is a pleasant system but it does not win victories."
The speaker then referred to thc Sunday-only Christian who imagines that Catholicism is a pious formality.
"If you suggested that they carry their religion over into the week and harness their business and pleasure to it they would think you were mad. And yet the Catholic religion, like modern warfare, is ' total.' Christ did not giver it to us to be added on to an otherwise undisturbed and placid existence. It must be part and parcel of out everyday life. A man or a woman is not living a human life if they arc not living a religious life. Prayer and work, eternal and temporal ideas, the world to come and this world all must he united as one if we are to be victorious ill the great battle of life. Then, let us ask ourselves this morning, Iles our religion been • total '7 Has it been part and parcel of our daily lives Have we taken advantage of every opportunity to awaken our fellowCatholics, and God knows many are asleep, to rally around our cause, which is the cause of Jesus Christ ?
" If we have failed in the past, then let us renew our pledge at this convention to-day, let us renew our loyalty to God, to our country. to our organisation, and to the ideals of our constitution."