The Invitation Heeded: Reasons For Return to Catholic Unity
- ISBN-13: 9781500685348
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: Jul 30, 2014
- Pages: 342 pages
- Dimensions: 0.78 x 9.0 x 6.0 inches
The Catholic Church is the great incubus which is perpetually haunting and troubling the dreams of the world. Men try to ignore it; but it obtrudes itself upon their up willing notice. They would fain remand it to a place among the effete superstitions of the past but when they think the spectre is laid, it returns unbidden, and casts its vast shadow over the present. In that shadow the world lies uneasily; and, consciously or unconsciously, it betrays its dissatisfaction. In every great political and social movement, in the literature of the day, nay, in every magazine and newspaper which drops from the teeming press, the influence may be more or less distinctly discerned of the mysterious presence of this great spiritual organization. The world has always been puzzled to account for this influence. Protestantism it can understand perfectly there is nothing unearthly or mysterious about that. but in the life and progress of the Catholic Church there is something which defies every attempt at rational and systematic explanation. To be sure, men have their theories; but, if the truth be told, they are by no means so satisfactory as might be wished. Such expressions as (the consummate policy of Rome, and (the marvellous machinery of the Catholic Church, are after all but stock phrases, with which men dispose of phenomena which must have at least a nominal resolution. What is there behind the policy? What puts life into the machinery, and guides the great engine in its noiseless, frictionless activity?" Will discipline explain the devotion of the Catholic Priesthood? Men do not turn hypocrites in order to spend their years in prayer and fasting; neither do they voluntarily elect to become the passive tools of a sordid despotism, to be rewarded only by a life of sacrifice and toil. Indeed, the world does not believe its own slanders. And now and then, when some periodic gust of persecution assails the Church, and not a martyr flinches; or when pestilence goes through the land, and faithful seekers of souls follow quickly in the trail of the destroyer, and the places of those who fall are instantly and noiselessly filled; or when tidings come that a score or so of missionaries and a few thousand converts have been massacred in some hitherto unheard-of province of China; the world, conscience-smitten, holds its peace, and pays to the Kingdom which is 'not of this world' the tribute of a sullen, if not a respectful silence.
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