on the Sword of the Spirit, in your current issue, raises questions that frequently appeated in our Correspondence bag in the early weeks of the Movement, but which are now becoming rarer as the Movement gets under way in different parts of the country.
Is it, he asks, primarily a win-the-war movement? By no Means. Your letter page asked this in August, and we gladly adopted the words of your correspondent, that " Our crusade is something more than an incident of the present war ; rather is the present war an incident of our crusade.'' The letters we get from members all over the country reveal an urgent desire to have the :principles of Christianity in social and international life clarified by the Movement so that they can be proclaimed when the task of reconstruction arises at the end of the war.
Is it a form of Catholic Action? Of course it is—as all Catholic life must be. But there is this profound qualification to add, having made that statement. This is the first time, for centuries, that we have had in this country a movement started under Catholic auspices with a mandate to enlist all men of goodwill throughout the enrire country, as Cardinal Iiinsley admonished the Movement at its inaugural meeting. That opens up a field of co-operative work among our fellow-countrymen that saddles on the individual Catholic a vaster definite responsibility than he has ever been given before.
The Movement is not, therefore, " only for the intelligentsia," Far from it. For it is a movement ; and the intelligentsia, by its nature, is usually prone to be content With a mere " attitude."
,.What is the ordinary person to do about it?" This is the crux of our problem, as in every case of a " movement." The Cardinal laid down three lines of action: prayer, study, action. All three are being developed. Along the lines of prayer and study there are no short cuts—for concentration needs time and leisure. But along the line of action, although we have in a sense " all the time there is," there will have to be short cuts. some or them are dealt with in most practical ways in the recently-issued pamphlet, " For New Memhers," obtainable from the office at 10R, Gloucester Place, W.1, for threepence. In addition to these lines of practical action for the individual there are others adopted independently by the various centres of the Movement themselves. Titus in Leeds a system of Question Boxes on the social questions involved, with answers given from the pulpit, has been developed, In Putney and Wandsworth the joint fortnightly meetings, addressed by outside experts, have secured a full column regularly in the local newspaper.
But the question of what die ordinary person can do is the crux. The cause for which this. movement stands can never get far until the individual Catholic realises that, in one way or another, it needs his every moment. It needs him for his prayers. It needs him if he has an hour a week to spare in which to find out, through a local group meeting, what the " Christian principles " really are, as applied to the life of a community. It needs him especially in his family and omnibus conversation, which, in a time of stress like the present, cannot help but include all those practical issues— from Family Wage and Unemployment to Reprisals and Imperialism and Dictatorship —cm which he may be expected to know something of the Christian answer, for the incalculable benefit of those who hear him discussing it in the public shelter or the restaurant.
In ways such as these the ordinary layman has opportunities for building a sound Christian public opinion that the Church can never build without him.
A. C. F. BEALES.
108, Gloucester Place, London, W.I.