Is This Our Ideal Today?
S1R,—I would be grateful to know whether your readers agree with certain critics that English people prefer an impersonal, indirect and less radical approach to the Faith and that the appeals you have allowed me to make in an opposite sense are misplaced. I can only say that during the past 20 years I have travelled a good deal in England and have never found anything but a grateful welcome for my own method of approach. The only obstacle to its enthusiastic acceptance for most people was, and is, as far as I have been able to learn, fear, fear of the effort to get out of the present rut and much snore fear of the loneliness
that would result from such a step. The general tendency therefore has been a more or less dead silence or the contention that direct approach to the spiritual life was only meant for peculiarly gifted people called
mystics. Whether rightly or wrongly, my object in writing and speaking has been to fight this attitude with all the strength that I possess.
In this connection would you allow me to raise a question in regard to our colleges? We have lost the tradition of intense personal, and above all, homely Jove of cur Divine Lord and His Blessed Mother that was so characteristic of pre-Reformation England. Hence in all our scholastic institutions, the students have Co he content with exhortations to the interior life unsupported by an accepted tradition What takes the place of such a tradition is at the best a supernaturalised puritanism. This has borne considerable fruit M the past. But in my judgment. such as it is. it has not protected us from the pressure of the puritan world around us and is quite unfitted to help us to face the tremendous issues of to-day. Because of it our spirituality is still, as I wrote a good nrany years ago in a contemporary amid general agreement, mediocre, inarticulate and out of touch with the main stream of Catholic tradition. One would he grate. ful if some good Samaritan among your learned readers would tell me if there is any truth in the contention that our social work will tend to 'he a cruel playing with words, our liturgical movement an academic fad and our fraternising with non-Catholics an evil rather than a good unless we can see our way to creating an accepted tradition of the interior life such as we had in preReformation times and which would show us in these terrible times that however much we may be frustrated in the natural order we have the union trecessarium, the one thing that really completes and fulfils our personalities: the love of Christ and His Blessed Mother.
(Rev.) GERALD FLANAGAN. The Sanctuary, Gunton, Lowestoft.