Sir,—A recent experience of my own will answer many of the points raised by Miss Ingoldsby (March 11) about the Legion of Mary.
A few years ago with the active encouragement of Mr. Duff I began a new group in the Legion for children under the age of 11, which he himself names ;tellies. They have not yet been made an official part of the Legion but are gradually spreading throughout the world through the active co-operation and encouragement of the authorities in Dublin.
At a recent meeting I asked my own group what they considered to be the most important thing in an army and they replied without hesitation "discipline and obedience".
Whoever said the Roman Legion or any army should be run on democratic lines? Why should Mary's Legion? In fact the Legion is often too democratic! Its refusal to change its rules until every council in the world has been consulted and the proposed change seen as desirable for the whole Legion is not the result of autocratic ruling from Dublin but the opposite.
Mr. Duff is the last person in the world to impose his own ideas on the Legion and in the years I have known him has always been more than willing to listen to other people's ideas and opinions.
As to co-operation with other societies, I have never noticed any strong desire for this on the part of other societies. Most societies tend to be exclusive and to get on with their own work in their own sphere.
We all have our own work to do and for most people an active part in the activities of one society takes up all the time they have. Certainly the majority of legionaries are being quite heroic in their attendance at a weekly meeting and in the performing of two hours active work. There just isn't any time for anything else.
Total dedication to a cause, a willingness to accept discipline and obedience have been the strength of all the great movements of the past in both secular and religious history. An unwillingness to be told anything to accept any sort of discipline in the name of liberty and democracy is the malaise of our times.
Let's stop talking nonsense and thank God that the Church can still find those who are wilting to offer themselves in service and complete dedication. The only real foundation for Christian unity is obedience to the authority of the Church. "Holy obedience" is still a Christian virtue and an ideal to be offered to those willing to accept it for the love of Christ.
Rev. John F. Harding Brentwood Cornitium