\ATE say " Happy Easter" and " Happy Christmas," but l have never heard anyone say " Happy Pentecost " or even " Happy Whitsuntide." This, of course. may be due to the rather awkward names, though, but for long usage. Easter would sound iust as odd. I myself always think of Pentecost as Red Sunday, perhaps because of the gorgeousness of the red vestments at Stonyhurst. The word " Whit Sunday " means, in fact. While Sondes. because of the white dresses of the baptised on the eve of Pentecost. Another thing we forget is that Pentecost is as great a feast as Easter. and both are greater than Christmas. To-day, when many perhaps find that representation in religion is not as easy to profit from as in the past. Pentecost should increase in popularity because it is the feast of the Great Spirit. I have just been reading the account of a priest's mission among the Eskimos, and I notice that he had to explain Christianity in terms of the " Great Spirit or " Good Spirit" as opposed to the spirits, mostly evil, in which the Eskimos believed. So in a sense the most primitive and the most sophisticated like to think of religion in terms of the Spirit. However all this he. let me wish all my readers a " Happy Pentecost " and a happy holiday in weather which at the time of writing looks very hopeful. But if you think of a nice little motor drive nut of London or the other big towns, my advice is " I3on't." I tried it at Easter, and it took me four hours to cover 20 miles.
Does the Church have a flag?
ALETTER on the Papal flag in our letter-page this week raises a number of problems in my mind. The writer says that the Papal flag is the flag of the Catholic Church. Is it? Surely it is the flag of the Papal States, now the Vatican City. The writer also calls the flag of St. George the flag of the Esrabfished Church. Is it? If it was the flag of the Catholic Church in England before the Reformation. it should be the flag of the Catholic Church in England today. But does the Church really have any flag? A flag or standard is surely a secular emblem, as opposed to a religious banner or picture. but one which Christianity sanctified, the cross and other emblems of sacred banners originally being given by the spiritual authority to the temporal for its protection and blessing. Horrible problems of dual allegiance seem to he raised if the Church is truly to have a flag,
A NUMBER of mottoes for the Catholic. Motoring Club have already reached me. A perfect one seems " Non Morin Scd Vivam " from psalm 117, hut one may he reluctant to debase this beautiful spiritual aspiration to the crude uses of the motor, which arc hardly " the work of the Lord " which the Psalmist, in the rest of the verse. says he will proclaim. Certainly the chance of death weighs heavily on the motorist, though the Danish proverb " Death does not blow a trumpet" is most appropriate in the version " Death does not blew a horn." Another proverb suggested is " Fair and softly goes far in a day." Latin returns with the excellent " Den fovente, festina lente," and I cannot imagine anything better than that. The Mille Miglia motorist might well adopt " Dominus Vobiscum " to protect the perilously situated spectators.
Motto of mottoes
TALKING of mottoes. I wonder whether any reader has thumbed through Dehretts or Burke, looking at the mottoes under the armorial bearings of British titled families. It is a fascinating pastime and makes an excenent meditation both on the vanities and the aspirations of mankind. Among them all there is one motto which has always remained in my mind and which seems to me particularly beautiful. It is the motto of the Nugent family. " Vis Ea Nostra Voco." It means " We hardly call these things our own " and neatly epitomises the Christian attitude to all honours and possessions, They are not ours hut entrusted to us by God, and for them we shall make a return one day. Most up to date in these social times.
They all want books
IN making my suggestion that Catholic institutions needing books should send me their addresses in the hope that people having too many hooks or changing houses should get in touch with them. I seem to have started an almost wholly one-way traffic. Addresses of book-seekers pour in, but addresses of would-be bookdonors can hardly he detected. The best thing I can do in the circumstances is to give this list of some addresses, hoping that it will stimulate the donating of books from all quarters. Here arc some: Mother Antony. Presentation Convent, 8, Marshall Road, Egmore, Madras. India (hostel students); St. Michael's Catholic Club, 19. Hunter Road, Hillsborough. Sheffield (Catholic Action); Penylen Training Home, Cardiff (story books for girls IS18); The Priest's House, 37, Whyteleafe Road, Caterharn. Surrey (parish library); Rev. Mother. 8, Avenue Road, N.W.8 (working girls and students); St, Mary's Priory. Princethorpe. Rugby (retreatants and schoolchildren); Legion of Mary. Flat I. Clarendon Place. Leeds. 2 (instruction for prospective converts); St. Gerard's Ove;scas Cenire, 104, Denmark Road. Moss Side. Manchester, 15 (to build a library for coloured people); Fr. Beck, Dialan Tiode 2, Jogjakarta. Indonesia (Indonesian Catholic schools). This list may give rise to a further flood of addresses. But we must stick to " first come, first served " and leave it at this. I must, however. add on my own Dom Bede Griffiths, Nirmalashrane Kengeri, Bangalore, India. for the library of the new monastery. Talking about hooks, Fr. Prince's booklet, " A Guide to Pacifism " to which I referred recently. is obtainable from Michael Shelton and Murray, 39, Palace Street, SW. I.
Britannica Book of the Year
T SHOULD like to recommend -IMichael Derrick's regular contributions to the 13ritannica's Books of the Year, the 1956 edition of which has just appeared. The assistant editor of the Tablet deals with the Pope. the Holy See and the Vatican in admirable summaries of the year's events and their significance.