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nella speranza che questa istituzione sarà feconda di messe copiosa, consolante e per molti spiriti inattesa. Ce ne dà affidamento non solo l'esperto magistero dell'egregio insegnante, posto saggiamente sotto l'auspice e sicura guida dell'Aquinate, il quale, come nelle altre sacre discipline, così anche in questa apparisce grande Dottore e gran Santo; ma anche il volenteroso impegno di quegli uditori che già si ascrissero al corso, e degli altri che, solleciti di meglio corrispondere alla divina chiamata, si terranno felici di esservi assidui per l'avvenire. Al qual proposito, Ci è parso assai lodevole il vostro divisamento di tenere d'ora innanzi, non una, ma, due lezioni settimanali, con trattazione di materie diverse, per dare agio a chi non possa, in uno dei due giorni, di intervenire egualmente alla scuola e di avere ogni settimana un insegnamento continuato. Degno poi di particolare encomio Ci è sembrato anche il proposito di aprire nell'Università Gregoriana, a lato della scuola, una biblioteca ascetico-mistica, per la consultazione delle principali opere a vantaggio degli studiosi. A nessuno sfuggirà l'alta finalità e la singolarissima importanza di queste ben concepite intraprese, le quali, tendendo ad integrare l'istruzione del clero, gli faciliteranno insieme l'obbiettivo della sua sacra missione, vale a dire la sanctificazione di se stesso e del prossimo. Ci allieta quindi il pensiero che al suddetto corso non solo saranno attratti cotesti a unni di teologia, ma ancora, ed in gran numero, i sacerdoti sì secolari che regolari di quest'alma città, e coloro specialmente a cui compete per ufficio di attendere alla direzione delle anime e che non vorranno esporsi al rischio di lavorare, se non con niun frutto, certo con minore utilità. Così cotesto insigne Ateneo, alle tante benemerenze già acquistate nel campo della scienza, aggiunge ora anche questa, di dar lume ai direttori di spirito ; i quali poi, alla loro volta, nei seminari, nei chiostri e tra il popolo cristiano saranno fari di luce, contribuendo alla pratica di quella vera pietà che, nella grazia e nell'imitazione di Cristo, solleva le anime fino ai fastigi di virtù che sono proprii della santa Chiesa cattolica.
Come auspicio dei celesti favori e come pegno insieme della paterna Nostra benevolenza impartiamo di cuore a voi, diletto figlio, a quanti vi prestano aiuto ed a singoli vostri uditori l'apostolica benedizione. Dal Vaticano, 10 novembre 1919.
BENEDICTUS PP. XV.
APOSTOLIC LETTER TO THE ILLUSTRIOUS D. HERBERT
HOOVER, APPRAISING THE WORK INITIATED BY HIM ON BEHALF OF THE STARVING CHILDREN OF CENTRAL EUROPE
(January 9, 1920) AD PERILLUSTREM D. HERBERTUM HOOVER : DE OPERA AB EO INITA AD REFI
CIENDOS PUEROS IN REGIONIBUS EUROPAE BELLO VEXATIS GRATULATUR. CHER MONSIEUR,
Par l'intermédiaire de Notre cher fils, Monsieur le Cardinal Archevêque de Baltimore, Nous avons reçu de nouvelles informations sur l'œuvre vraiment admirable et providentielle que vous continuez à développer pour subvenir aux graves et multiples nécessités, dont souffre l'Europe, au point de vue de l'alimentation. De tels bienfaits, qui vous assurent, sans aucun doute, un très haut rang dans l'histoire de la charite chrétienne et, pour ainsi dire, un titre unique à la reconnaissance des peuples, remplissent Notre dme d'une profonde satisfaction et de la plus vive consolation, à la pensée du grand bien qui en découle pour la multitude des malheureux dans cette Europe désolée.
Nous avons appris, en particulier, que vous prodiguez actuellement votre sollicitude la plus empressée et la plus délicate, en faveur des pauvres petits enfants. Nous avons encore présent à l'esprit, et très vivant, le souvenir de tout ce que vous avez fait pour venir au secours des malheureux petits enfants Belges, à un moment où, par manque d'une nourriture apte à soutenir leur frêle existence, ils étaient sur le point de périr. C'est de tout cour que Nous avions, alors, fait entendre Notre voix pour encourager votre généreuse initiative: et, actuellement, Nous ne voulons pas faire autrement, d'autant plus que ce n'est plus seulement la vie des petits enfants d'une seule nation qui est en péril, mais, selon ce qui Nous a été rapporté, celle de plus de trois millions de petits enfants, appartenant à divers Etats d'Europe.
Ainsi donc, pressés par la charité de Jésus-Christ et participant à la prédilection qu'Il avoit pour les petits enfants, Nous recommandons de la manière la plus pressante l'ouvre, que vous développez dans ce but, a la générosité de tous les citoyens d'Amérique, sans distinction de foi ou de parti, bien assurés qu'eux-mêmes, dont le coeur reste toujours ouvert à toute noble initiative, répondront avec enthousiasme à cet appel ; d'autant plus qu'ils seront heureux de voir que votre ceuvre, étrangère à tout ressentiment et à tout particularisme, a pour but de secourir tous les malheureux, et de préférence les petits enfants innocents de ceux qui furent les ennemis d'hier et qui, actuellement, sont en proie à de plus grandes souffrances.
Nous-mêmes, comme vous le savez, Nous avons été poussés par, ces mêmes sentiments élevés, lorsque Nous Nous sommes adressés à tous les Evêques du monde entier pour exciter la charité des fidèles à secourir, le jour des Sts. Innocents, les petits enfants de l'Europe Centrale, lorsqu'il Nous a été agréable également de recommander l'oeuvre Save the Children Fund de Londres, qui s'est faite la promotrice d'une initiative analogue. Nous ne doutons pas que la multiplicité de ces efforts n'atteignent, Dieu aidant, les résultats les plus bienfaisants. Nouspensons, par ailleurs, que le but serait plus sûrement atteint si ces diverses énergies se coordonnaient entre elles, dans une sage entente.
Souhaitant de tout coeur le plus grand succès à votre généreuse, activité, nous prions Dieu instamment de vous accorder ses plus précieuses récompenses. Du Vatican, le 9 janvier 1920.
BENEDICTUS PP. XV.
REVIEWS AND NOTES
THE STORY OF HILDEBRAND. St. Gregory VII. By E. W. Buxton.
London: Burns & Oates, and Washbourne. INDESCRIBABLE chaos had succeeded the first ten centuries of the Christian era. The Christian world was in a deplorable condition. Society in Europe and all existing institutions seemed doomed to utter destruction and ruin. The Church herself had not been able to escape from the general debasement. The Popes, though not the Papacy, were the object of the scorn and hatred of the civilized world. The whole world,' said St. Bruno, Bishop of Segni, lay in wickedness, holiness had disappeared, justice had perished, and truth had been buried.' Simony and luxury had corrupted the Church. The second was largely due to the first.
The struggle between the Empire and the Papacy was looming large in the 11th century. The great impulse towards reform in the Church came from the monastery of Cluny, whose abbot was Hildebrand. The monks of St. Benedict spread themselves out over Europe. Rome began to feel the effect of the movement. The merging of Church and State had once been a necessary precaution against a common foe, but it led inevitably to a loss of high spiritual ideals. In a world where the Empire stood for material things, the Church must shake herself free if she would hold her place as the kingdom of Christ. And so the reform that is chiefly connected with the name of Hildebrand came about as the result of an inward force.
Such a reform stretching, as it did, through every grade of society, affecting Pope as well as priest, prince as well as peasa nt, called for a man of extraordinary personality to bring it about. Hildebrand for thirtyseven years (1048-1085) governed the Church, either as Cardinal-deacon to Leo IX, administrator of the Patrimony of St. Peter, Archdeacon of the Holy Roman Church, Chancellor of the Apostolic See, or then as Pope. He was a capable and energetic administrator and recovered a large part of the property of the Church from the hands of the Roman nobility and Normans. The two most important transactions—the celebrated decree of election, by which the power of choosing the Pope was vested in the college of Cardinals, and the alliance with the Normans, secured by the Treaty of Melfi, 1059—were in large measure the achievement of Hildebrand. The time at length came in 1073 when he who had been chiefly instrumental in the selection of the Church rulers, who had inspired and given purpose to her policy, and who had been steadily developing
and realizing, by successive acts, her sovereignty and purity, should assume in his own person the majesty and responsibility of that exalted power which his genius had so long directed. He was feverishly proclaimed Pope by the Cardinals, the clergy, and the people. He was clearly the man of the hour. His austere virtue commanded respect, his genius admiration. He was 'a devout man, a man mighty in human and divine knowledge, a distinguished lover of equity and justice, a man firm in adversity and temperate in prosperity.'
Such was Hildebrand when he became Pope. It has been well said that ‘Hildebrand found the Papacy dependant on the Empire-he left her free and supported by almost the whole of Italy. He found the Emperor the virtual patron of the Holy See--he wrested the power from his hands. He found the secular clergy the allies and dependants of the secular power—he converted them into auxiliaries of his own.' This was only one side of his work. He realized that Europe had to be reconstructed on spiritual lines. He began through the decrees of his first Lenten Synod his great work of purifying the Church by a reformation of the clergy. Then follows the opposition from Germany and France in the matter of reform, and then the beginning of the conflict between the Emperor Henry IV and Hildebrand which ended (10 years afterwards) in Hildebrand's death in exile in Salerno and in Henry's death in exile in Liège (31 years afterwards).
This great dramatic struggle between the Pope and the Emperor is graphically portrayed in the book before us. It is sufficiently detailed in its essential lines-the meeting of Gregory and Henry at Canossa, the subsequent siege of Rome, and the flight of the Pope, to give the reader & complete picture of all the elements at work and of all the issues at stake. Nothing is stated that is not authoritative. The dramatis personae are depicted in realistic colours, and receive just the proper amount of attention. Chief amongst them stands out in bold relief the romantic and warlike figure of Matilda, Countess of Tuscany, who by her life and her property ably supported Hildebrand in his conflict with the temporal powers. After him, she was the most remarkable personality of that century.
The book neatly brought out, with some interesting illustrations, is one of a series of the Heroes of the Church. It is an excellent addition to that important series. It is clear, concise, and clever. It is rather a history than a biographya history of the Church in the 11th century which served as the framework of the great figure of Hildebrand, one of the greatest of the Roman Pontiffs, and one of the most remarkable men of all times.
PREACHING. By Rev. W. B. O'Dowd. London: Longmans, Green & Co.
: A Book from the Westminster Library comes with a good family name on it. The present volume will add new lustre to the name, for it is an excellent treatise on the subject of preaching.
Preach the word in
Season and out of season was the maxim of the Apostles; they gloried in the privilege of being Ministers of the Word, and the conversion of the Gentile world crowned their zeal. Nowadays many regard the duty of preaching as a task rather than a privilege, and critics are not wanting who assert that the age of preaching is evolutionized or revolutionized into the age of journalism. The truth is that when preaching ceases to be living and effectual,' the failure is the fault of the preacher. In chapters on The Making of the Preacher, Real and Unreal Preaching, The Preparation of a Sermon, and in the Pulpit, Father O'Dowd gathers together the best of what is old, and adds valuable criticisms and suggestions of his own. It is worthy of note that he pays the minimum of tribute to sermon books and books on elocution. After the general treatise on Preaching, he devotes several chapters to the different classes of sermons-Dogmatic and Moral Sermons, Apologetic Conferences, Five-minute Sermons, Controversy, Panegyrics of Saints, Funeral Sermons, Charity Sermons, and Sermons to Children. The Appendix contains three instructions on Preaching from Leo XIII, Pius X, and Bendict XV. As a final appendix, Father O'Dowd gives a Three Years' Course of Sermons for the Sundays of the year.
From Dust To GLORY. By Rev. M. J. Phelan, S.J. London:
Longmans, Green & Co. This volume is a sequel to the Straight Path in which an anxious inquirer is led to the Catholic Church. It leads him still onward through the Church to Heaven, by way of instruction in the mysteries of Creation and Redemption.
There are ten chapters in the book of 157 pages; Life's Starting-point and Goal, The Glory Due, How Angels Fell, The Fatal Fruit, Life's Dream is O'er, The Trumpet Call, The Bayonet-point, Earth's Priceless Treasure, The Garden's Gloom, The Light of Victory. These interpreted mean: Man made after God's Image, Man made to give God glory, The Sin of the Angels, Adam's Sin, Death and Judgment, Self-sacrifice, The Service of Christ, The Mass, The Passion of Christ, The Resurrection. Some of these chapters are very beautiful, such as the chapters on Death, the Mass, and the Passion. They reach a high order of eloquence and excellence. They are thrilling and convincing.
The book is not a dogmatic treatise. It does not seek to prove by argument but to convince by example. The author drives home his points and their moral by pictorial representation. The pages of history and the book of nature are culled from to illustrate his thesis. There is originality, there is genius, in his handling of these facts. He seeks to touch the heart. The book is a series of sermons, and contains many practical reflections. The author is gifted with keen observation and a poetic fancy. A current of warm devotion runs through the whole book which cannot fail to kindle a fire in the heart of the reader.