Catholic Tradition Newsletter B45: Holy Eucharist, Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost, Four Holy Crowned Martyrs

Nanni di Banco | The Four Crowned Martyrs (ca. 1409-17) | Artsy |  Renaissance artists, Renaissance, Art history

Vol 13 Issue 45 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
November 7, 2020 ~ Saint Willibrord, opn!

1.      What is the Holy Eucharist
2.      Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
3.      Four Holy Crowned Martyrs
4.      Family and Marriage
5.      Articles and noticesDear Reader:

One of the difficulties we have today in speaking with people is the loss of rationality and the acceptance of emotions as a basis for decisions. To establish a foundation for a conversation one would hope to look at natural law and the divine law, but these are unacceptable in progressive circles and they go to statistics of how people feel about an issue to determine the right or wrong answer (why they always stress democratic and democracy and making the world a democracy—that is, majority (mob) rule). This irrationality prohibits logical conversations on moral issues. Despite the world, which is guided by the father of lies and one who is a murderer from the beginning (cf. John 8:44), as Catholics we must have a clear understanding of what the Church teaches on moral issues and it is clear marriage is between a man and a woman (cf. Gen. 1:27-28; Matt. 19:4ff) who are free to contract a marriage bond; and it is clear that sodomy is a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance, that is, a most horrible offense against God. (cf. Gen. 18:20-21)

The world presents the argument that one is born as a homosexual (same sex) or a male trapped in a female body or a female trapped in a male body, or, no gender at all and free to choose a gender. Of course this defies what is gender, for a male is a male and a female is a female or there is no such thing as male and female. But reason rejects this because a male and a female are necessary for biological reproduction without exception—not two females or two males. The male recognizes his biological body as male—otherwise he would not want to change it to female. The female recognizes her biological body as female otherwise she would not want to change it to male. Therefore one is not born something one is not.

But, one may say the person in the body is not able to identify with the body. Here one has taken a leap because if a human is, as the world claims, merely material, the human is the body and the body is the human. But it is understood that materialistic atheism and evolutionary science are complete contradictions. Despite this, since I am addressing Catholics who know they cannot hold the absurdity that they are a thinking mass of mud that doesn’t want more dirt or water but happiness, which is not material, and so one must consider the person. Is a person determined male or female? This determination is apparent in the natural body one has. And it is the body that one uses to develop one’s personality.

Therefore, it is in this development that one must find the answer, not in the birth. Parents have a grave responsibility to form their child into a mature responsible man or woman. It begins immediately and all actions that stray from the direction of morality (right living according to the law of God—which is also the natural law) must be corrected. Undue curiosity, touching or self-gratification must be checked immediately. Boys should be expected to interact with boys and girls to interact with girls in a way that masculinizes or feminizes the body that masculinizes or feminizes the person in reciprocation. It is not being born in the wrong body, it is the formation and culture today that has feminized the boy and masculinized the girl—this in the name of equality of genders. Added to this is the sexualization of the body as an end that the child encounters from the very beginning with television, public displays of sexual acts, the encouragement—especially in public school—to stimulate oneself and to engage in mutual stimulation and sex. This inundation makes one sexually sick (it used to be listed as a sickness in the DSM until removed to legalize sodomy) and the perversions resulting range from masturbation, pedophilia, sodomy, and sex slavery. These are all choices—choices comparable to the murderer (for there is no natural born killer) who enjoins torturing and killing begun by torturing animals, bullying and fighting classmates and now the pleasure of torturing and killing people.

Prior to political correctness and hate crimes, parents who recognized the propensity of a wayward child would redirect the child into the proper channels of development. Today, a child with perverse propensities is encouraged to rebel and develop its deviant behavior such that little girls are being taught to become exceptional sluts as shown on a Netflix film called “Cuties” as though this behaviour is to be congratulated. Therefore, how can Bergoglio add to the problem by promoting deviant behavior when parents are trying to save their children! He should have fought for the parents in obtaining help for the children. He should have fought for the government to stop the promotion of sodomy. He should have fought for the schools to end their sex education programs that cause our youth to lose their innocence. He should have fought against the error of equality of sexes. But he couldn’t because he doesn’t have the faith in God, he has faith only in man’s institutions. It is the consequence that if you choose the world you reject Christ.

With these considerations, one cannot accept the claim that one is born what one is not, but rather one becomes what one is not by one’s own defects that were not corrected and the environment that promotes such defects as normal and to be extolled and have developed into the perverse life style in which one now engages.

As always, enjoy the readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor



By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier

Part V

Reception of the Holy Eucharist: Holy Communion

The Reception of the Body and Blood of Christ

In chapter six of John’s Gospel, Christ initiated the presentation of His giving His Body and Blood, not only in sacrificing Himself, as He first announces:

Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you; Moses gave you not bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world. They said therefore unto him: Lord, give us always this bread. And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.

[36] But I said unto you, that you also have seen me, and you believe not. All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will not cast out. Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day. And this is the will of my Father that sent me: that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him up in the last day. (John 6:32-40)

He also gives His Body and Blood as food to be consumed, as He continues to explain to His disciples and the Jews:

I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.

For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever. (Vv. 48-59)

Therefore, Christ gives His Body and Blood not only to be sacrificed, but also to be consumed. This consuming, or eating, of His Body and Blood gives everlasting life. The command to eat His Body and drink His Blood is found in verse 54: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. The reception of the Body and Blood of Christ is called Holy Communion.

One speaks of the Eucharistic Sacrifice (which was discussed above) and the reception of the Eucharist—this refers to the reality that receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is receiving the Eucharistic Food or partaking in the Sacrificial Meal, even though separated from the sacrifice by time. The miracle of Transubstantiation, the change of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, allows Christ—through the ministry of the priest—to sacrificially offer His Body and Blood continually in time to the Father and to sacramentally offer His Body and Blood to be eaten by those wanting to abide in Him and Him in them until the end of time. (Cf. John 6:57) Faith, both in the renewal of the Redemptive Sacrifice and in the Real Presence are required as Saint Paul admonishes the Corinthian Community:

For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. (1 Cor. 11:26-29)

The Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist is the blessed Sacrament, the reception of the blessed Sacrament is the reception of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, that is Holy Communion. This Sacrament is different from the other Sacraments in as much as the others are dependent upon the ministration of the sacrament, such that, for example, there is no sacrament of baptism unless one baptizes; but there is the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist, even if one is not receiving Holy Communion.

Since each of the Species, that is, the Species of Bread and the Species of Wine, contain whole and entire the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, to receive one is to receive all. This means, to receive only the Host is to receive whole and entire the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. This is the custom (and law) in the Latin Rite that the laity only receive the Host. Those who would turn to John 6:54 (Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.) as absolute would then have to reject verses 52, 58 and 59 in which Christ speaks only of eating of the bread with no mention of drinking of the wine or drinking at all, yet declares such as do eat obtaining life for ever. Pohle comments:

The fact that there are two distinct Eucharistic elements, i. e. bread and wine, no more interferes with the unity of this Sacrament than the different stages of ordination interfere with the unity of Holy Orders.

Sacred Scripture represents the Holy Eucharist as a celestial banquet, at which both meat and drink are dispensed. [Cfr. John VI, 56; I Cor. X, 17.] Besides, the separate species of bread and wine also symbolize the mystic separation of Christ’s Body and Blood, i. e. the slaughtering of the Eucharistic Lamb of sacrifice. (Pohle, Sacraments II, 189)

The Council of Constance, in its thirteenth session (June 15, 1415), approved the Definition of Communion under One Species:

Since in some parts of the world certain ones have rashly presumed to assert that Christian people should receive the sacrament of the Eucharist under both species of bread and wine, and since they give communion to the laity indiscriminately, not only under the species of bread, but also under the species of wine, after dinner or otherwise when not fasting, and since they pertinaciously assert that communion should be enjoyed contrary to the praiseworthy custom of the Church reasonably approved which they try damnably to disprove as a sacrilege, it is for this reason that this present Council . . . declares, decides, and defines, that, although Christ instituted that venerable sacrament after supper and administered it to His disciples under both species of bread and wine; yet, notwithstanding this, the laudable authority of the sacred canons and the approved custom of the Church have maintained and still maintain that a sacrament of this kind should not be consecrated after supper, nor be received by the faithful who are not fasting, except in case of sickness or of another necessity granted or admitted by law or Church.

And similarly, although this sacrament was received by the faithful in the early Church under both species, nevertheless this custom has been reasonably introduced to avoid certain dangers and scandals, namely, that it be received by those who consecrate it under both species, and by the laity only under the species of bread, since it must be believed most firmly and not at all doubted that the whole body of Christ and the blood are truly contained under the species of bread as well as under the species of wine.

Therefore, to say that to observe this custom or law is a sacrilege or illicit must be considered erroneous, those pertinaciously asserting the opposite of the above mentioned must be avoided as heretics and should be severely punished, either by the local diocesan officials or by the inquisitors of heretical depravity. (Cf. DB 626)

Since the Innovators of the sixteenth century introduced all the past errors, the Council of Trent defined once more that reception of the Holy Eucharist under one Species was fulfilling the command to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. The following are its teachings from the XXI Session:

Chapter 1. That Laymen and Clerics who are not Offering Mass are not Bound by Divine Law to Communion under Both Species

Thus, the holy Synod itself, instructed by the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and piety, [Isa. 11:2]. and following the judgment and custom of the Church itself, declares and teaches that laymen and clerics not officiating are bound by no divine law to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist under both species, and that without injury to the faith there can be no doubt at all that communion under either species suffices for them for salvation. For although Christ the Lord at the Last Supper instituted and delivered to the apostles this venerable sacrament under the species of bread and wine [cf. Matt. 26:26 f.; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19;1 Cor. 11:23 f.], yet, that institution and tradition do not contend that all the faithful of Christ by an enactment of the Lord are bound [can. 1, 2] to receive under both species [can. 1, 2]. But neither is it rightly inferred from that sixth discourse in John that communion under both forms was commanded by the Lord [can. 3], whatever the understanding may be according to the various interpretations of the holy Fathers and Doctors. For, He who said: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you” [John 6:54], also said: “If anyone eat of this bread, he shall live forever” [John 6:52]. And He who said: “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood hath life everlasting” [ John 6:55] also said: “The bread, which I shall give, is my flesh for the life of the world” [John 6:52]: and finally, He who said: “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in him” [ John 6:57], said nevertheless: “He that eateth this bread, shall live forever” [John 6:58]. (Cf. DB 930)

Chapter 3. Christ Whole and Entire and a True Sacrament is Received under Either Species

Moreover, it declares that although our Redeemer, as has been said before, at that Last Supper instituted this sacrament and gave it to the apostles under two species, yet it must be confessed that Christ whole and entire and a true sacrament is received even under either species alone, and that on that account, as far as regards its fruit, those who receive only one species are not to be deprived of any grace which is necessary for salvation. (Cf. DB 932)


Canon 3. If anyone denies that Christ whole and entire, who is the fountain and author of all graces, is received under the one species of bread, because, as some falsely assert, He is not received according to the institution of Christ Himself under both species: let him be anathema. (Cf. DB 936)

Saint Paul already spoke of abuses to the Corinthians:

For every one taketh before his own supper to eat. And one indeed is hungry and another is drunk. What, have you not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the church of God; and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? Do I praise you? In this I praise you not. (1 Cor. 11:21-22)

As mentioned previously, the Church, seemingly from Apostolic times, did not always allow everyone to drink from the Chalice. This was to reverence the Blood of Christ as Saint Paul indicates above, or for not being able to have sufficient wine to consecrate so everyone could partake, and in the taking of the Body of Christ (the Host) alone to those who were not able to be present at Mass, as also when sickness was present. As the congregations grew, it became even more difficult to allow all the congregants to receive from the Chalice, the chances of sufficiency and the Chalice being spilled increasing. The Mass of the Presanctified, a shorter Communion service during the week in which previously consecrated Hosts alone are distributed, became a prevalent custom in the fourth century (in the Latin Church it is only offered on Good Friday)   From the very beginning receiving the Chalice was seemingly optional until it became the exception and not the norm, especially during times of the plague, and even by the tenth century no one but the celebrant received the Chalice. There was never a note of opposition in the laity not partaking of the Chalice—even by Berengarius or by Wycliffe. It would only be their later followers that would resort to earlier customs that had ceased in practice to give some semblance of legitimacy to their erroneous claims against the Church.

The Eastern, or Oriental Church, still distributes Holy Communion under both Species; and, if a Latin Rite Catholic attends the Oriental Rite, they may receive under both Species—as also an Oriental Rite Catholic may receive Holy Communion under that of the Species of Bread only.

(To be continued)


The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal


MATTHEW ix. 18-26

At that time: as Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, behold, a certain ruler came and adored him, saying: Lord, my daughter is even now dead; but come, lay thy hand upon her and she shall live. And Jesus rising up followed him, with his disciples.

And, behold, a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years came behind him and touched the hem of his garment. For she said within herself: If I shall only touch his garment, I shall be healed. But Jesus, turning and seeing her, said: Be of good heart, daughter; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

And, when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the ministrels and the multitude making a rout, he said: Give place; for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. And, when the multitude was put forth, he went in and took her by the hand. And the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that country.


CHRYSOSTOM, in Matthew, Homily: XXXI-II: After the word came the work, which served even more than the word to stop the mouths of the Pharisees. For he who now came to Him was a ruler of the synagogue, and his was a grievous sorrow: for the girl was his only daughter, and twelve years old; when the flower of age begins; and so we read:

V.18. As he was speaking these things unto them, behold, a certain ruler came to him.

AUGUSTINE, Harmony of the Gospels, II, 28, 64-67: And here we learn something that we must know: that in whatever a man says, we should consider only his meaning; to which his words should be subservient; and also that a man does not lie, if he tells what someone said in words other than those used by the speaker.

CHRYSOSTOM, in Matthew, Homily 32: Or, that the ruler spoke of the girl as dead was an exaggeration of his affliction. For it is the way of those asking help to magnify their miseries, and enlarge upon them in the telling, to draw out the more the sympathy of those they beg from. And so he goes on: But come, lay thy hand upon her and she shall live. See how dull he is. He asks two things of Christ: to come, and to lay His hand upon her. This Namaan the Syrian asked also, from the Prophet (IV Kings v. 11), For those who are of a duller disposition need the assurance of sight and touch. REMIGIUS: Let us equally admire and imitate the humility and mildness of Christ; for scarce is He asked, than He starts up to follow the one who asked Him. Hence follows:

V.19. And Jesus rising up followed him.

Here He teaches superiors as well as subjects. To subjects He has left an example of obedience; to those placed over others He gives a lesson in promptitude and concern in teaching; so that as often as they hear that someone is dead in his soul, they should hasten at once to help him. And his disciples went with him. CHRYSOSTOM, as above: Mark and Luke say that He took three Disciples, namely, Peter, James and John. He did not however take Matthew, to create in him a greater eagerness; and also because his disposition was still imperfect. He honoured the others that the rest might strive to be like them. For the present, it sufficed for Matthew to see what took place in the case of the woman who had an issue of blood; concerning whom he now adds:

V.20. And, behold, a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years came behind him and touched the hem of his garment.


November 8

The Four Crowned Brothers, Martyrs A.D. 304.

FOUR brothers in the persecution of Dioclesian, employed in offices of trust and honour at Rome, were apprehended for declaring against the worship of idols, and whipped with scourges loaded with plummets of lead, till they expired in the hands of their tormentors. They were buried on the Lavican Way, three miles from Rome, and were at first called the Four Crowned Martyrs: their names were, Severus, Severianus, Carpophorus, and Victorious. Pope Gregory the Great mentions an old church of the four crowned martyrs in Rome. Pope Leo IV. in 841, caused the church to be repaired, and the relies of these martyrs to be translated thither out of the cemetery on the Lavican Way. When this church had been consumed by fire Paschal II. rebuilt it; upon which occasion the relics of these martyrs were discovered under the altar in two rich urns, the one of porphyry, the other of serpentine marble, deposited in a stone vault. The new altar was built upon the same spot; and these relics were again found in the same situation under Paul V. This church is an ancient title of a cardinal-priest. Five other martyrs, called Claudius, Nicostratus, Symphorianus, Castorius, and Simplicius, who had suffered in the same persecution were buried in the same cemetery. Their precious remains were translated by Leo IV. into the same church, and are likewise honoured there to this day. These martyrs are named in the martyrology of Bede and others. These five are said to have been put to death, because, being carvers by profession, they refused to make idols.

  The rage of tyrants, who were masters of the world, spread the faith which they vainly endeavoured, by fighting against heaven, to extinguish. The martyrs, who died for it, sealed it with their blood, and gave a testimony to Jesus Christ, which was, of all others, the strongest and most persuasive. Other Christians, who fled, became the apostles of the countries whither they went. Whence St. Austin compares them to torches, which, if you attempt to put them out by shaking them, are kindled, and flame so much the more. The martyrs, by the meekness and fervour of their lives, and their constancy in resisting evil to death, converted an infidel world, and disarmed the obstinacy of the most implacable enemies of the truth. But what judgments must await those Christians who, by the scandal of their sloth and worldly spirit, dishonour their religion, blaspheme Christ, withdraw even the faithful from the practice of the gospel, and tempt a Christian world to turn infidel? (Benedict Baur)



A Book for Young Women





IN dedicating this work to English-speaking mothers, the author hopes he has not taken an undue liberty in venturing to address their daughters in their name.

He feels that mothers, who are conscious of the dangers their children have now to face, will not only pardon the liberty taken, but be grateful for his humble attempt to come to their aid.

POSTSCRIPT.—As this volume was being put into the printers’ hands news was flashed across the wires that the great prelate who had carefully read the manuscript and honoured it with a preface was no more. May he rest in peace. May his burning love of God, his strenuous labours for the Church, and his self-sacrificing devotion for his flock, be amply and everlastingly rewarded.

The author feels that his readers will be interested in the history of the little volume which, but for the fatherly interest of the late Archbishop, might never have seen the light.

In November last he accompanied his Provincial on a visit to “Archbishop’s House,” and, in the course of conversation, mentioned that he was writing a book for young women. His Grace commented on the difficulties surrounding the subject, and said he would gladly go through the manuscript and give his candid opinion thereon.

On January 19 his Grace favoured the author with a long letter from which the following passages may be quoted for the benefit of those who might presume that the writing of a Preface need not necessarily presuppose the close scrutiny of the volume which follows it:

“I have carefully read your booklet, and parts of it I have read and re-read. . . . As far as my opinion is of any value, I think you have said neither too little nor too much. . . . You have given a young woman what was necessary to avoid obscurity and further questioning. You have done that well. . . . In a word, I think you have been most successful in treating of the whole sex question.

But I should like to congratulate you on what cannot be open to any two opinions. I refer first of all to what though not crucial is perhaps of more importance practically than other questions—I mean your full and careful instruction on the question of curiosity. A girl and a girl’s mother could with advantage read and re-read the first of those chapters before they proceed further. You know by your experience how the whole theology of ‘ thoughts ‘ needs careful and full treatment.

“Next, I think all you have said about company-keeping, etc., is splendid, and yet it needed saying as you have said it.

“I do not wish to flatter, but I believe that many a Catholic mother who is tortured about what to say to her daughter will rise up and bless you.

“If put by a mother into the hands of a daughter, say about seventeen or eighteen years of age, she will feel that she has discharged her duty. After such a perusal, she will have no difficulty in answering physiological questions that are supplementary, and on questions on all the moral issues affecting marriage and courtship she has the Church’s view explained by a Catholic priest whom they know.

“Trusting you will not hesitate to publish,

“I remain,

” Yours faithfully in Christ,


In begging the reader’s prayers for the repose of the soul of that great-hearted prelate, may not the author say: “He, although, dead, yet speaketh“?




You will doubtless be full of wonderment when I tell you that it is only now I feel I can open my heart to you. Is not that strange? To think that you have been the idol of that heart for so many long years and that, nevertheless, we have never enjoyed a real heart-to-heart talk!

It seems unnatural, but alas! it is true.

Was I, then, trifling with you when I spoke—as I often did—of giving you my whole heart? No, dearest, to that I cannot plead guilty, for you always got such measure as was sufficient to fill yours; but now that you are older, and are therefore more or less emancipated from control, it seems to me that ampler measure is needed and must be poured out.

Although a mother’s heart goes wholly out to her child with an indescribable yearning for her welfare, she finds herself tongue-tied so long as that child is by her side. Distance lends courage and makes candour a necessity, for some things are more easily written than said, and removal from old supports makes new helps necessary.

All that I have said seems at variance with the Scriptural words that “from the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh,” yet it is not so. The heart does reveal itself by voicing its love, but a mother’s would fain voice also its hopes and its fears, its solicitude and its experiences, its doubts and its apprehensions.

This may puzzle you, but I’ll come to the point presently, and once I begin I hope you will urge me to go on, for—otherwise—I’m afraid I should repent of my boldness.

“Why?” you ask. Because you have no idea of how a mother longs to speak out, nor of how much she feels she could say—but she is never asked. Thus it is that timidity grows on both sides until it becomes a positive barrier between mother and daughter.

Quite possibly there is a reason for a girl’s shyness, and it is to be feared that we mothers are to blame. Speaking only of our own relationship, when you were a mere dot you used to bombard me with, oh, such questions! You don’t remember? Like most mothers, I presume, I was accustomed to chase you from my presence as if you were a little imp sent to expose my ignorance or to try my faith—for your queries were embarrassing. The net result was that I drove you into a shell from which you have never since emerged.

Be that as it may, I know that from about the age of ten you have bottled up your inquisitiveness and have never put a single question.

Oh, how pained I have been, time after time, at my original stupidity (for did not I, as a child, bristle with curiosity?). And yet, dearest, I cannot plead guilty to injustice, for having been brought up on those lines I felt I was in duty bound to follow them. In my young days the rule was that out-of-the-way questions should not be put, and, when contravened, the only answer vouchsafed was: “Oh, you naughty, naughty girl! Who, or what, put that into your head? Where have you been? With whom have you been? Oh, what a wicked child!”

Now, of course, I see the absurdity of the thing, and I am glad to know that teachers and mothers of young children deal more rationally with the little ones, but in those days reticence was an unalterable rule. Reticence, I am convinced, must always be the rule in good circles, but it should guard against shutting up the child-mind. Questions should be answered according to age and capacity or, if inopportune, should be warded off in such a way as to cause neither surprise nor a feeling of injustice.

So, dearest, you must have suffered! You must not, in your charitableness, say nay, for I know you must. I, as a young girl, suffered dreadfully. So must you. Indeed, I often read it in your eyes, to my distress and sorrow. If you ask: ” Why, then, mother, did you not rise to the occasion and speak out?” my only answer is that I could not. Custom was too strong for me. I had not the courage. Sometimes I was inspired to take my courage in both hands and speak out bravely in answer to your mute queries, but the difficulty was to find the proper words.

Quite recently, “The Catholic Home” has been put into my hands, and I am encouraged to write as I am now doing because of the opinion therein expressed that a mother should, in justice, help her daughters to the utmost of her ability by answering whatever questions they may put.

My only fear is that I may not have the necessary talent, for you, dearest, have outdistanced me in your educational strides; but if there is anything at all that you wish to ask me, rather than another, I beg of you not to be in the least shy, but to open up your heart. I feel that I’ll always understand, and if, personally, I find myself unable to answer to my own satisfaction (and to yours) I’ll suggest an application to someone better informed.

That is what I mean by a “heart-to-heart” talk—viz., a talk about the things you do not quite understand, but which you believe you have a right to know.

I need not say more lest I should lay myself open to the charge of prompting you. I prefer to leave you perfectly free, confident that you will be frank and allow me, as far as possible, to see the workings of your mind. My one wish is to help you as much as I can. Strange as it may seem, I feel that I can write about possible difficulties better than I can speak, but you must be the judge.

As you may wish to keep my letters in your scrap-book for future reference, I shan’t close them with the usual greetings. Perhaps by the time I finish you’ll have quite a book. Imagine!


Father Krier will be in Los Angeles November 9, Pahrump, Nevada, November 12, in Albuquerque November 13, and Eureka, November 19.


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