Readers respond to Register articles.
Small, Quiet Actions
Relative to “Fabric of the Liturgy” (Culture of Life, Aug. 1 issue): I want to thank Virginia Aabram for her fascinating article.
There’s so much coverage of major issues of the day in all media that it’s particularly rewarding to read of the small, quiet actions of members of our Church that remind us of the fundamental and often-quiet goodness of people such as those in St. Martha’s Guild.
Such actions are often overlooked and always underreported. Miss Aabram’s story was as fascinating in its technical descriptions of the actions of the guild as it was well-written and a joy to read.
Clayton, North Carolina
In the midst of a nation gone woke, a pandemic slicing our civil liberties, a pope turning his back on the tradition of the Church, and yet another Church sex scandal, one has to wonder: Where is Evelyn Waugh when you need him?
Evelyn Waugh is most famous for his novel Brideshead Revisited, a story of the unfathomable workings of grace. His writing is graceful and his portrayal of the shortcomings of modern civilization are caustic, hilarious and spot-on. He might be the only one capable of writing a novel properly satirizing the absurdity of our times and giving a clue as to how to proceed. Perhaps he did.
His Sword of Honor trilogy is the story of Guy Crouchback, an English Catholic who, at the outbreak of World War II, joins the army seeing the war as a resurgence of Christendom against the atheistic powers of Nazism and communism. (Waugh served in the war, and one must remember that, when it started, Hitler and Stalin were bedfellows.) Guy’s enthusiasm for the crusade is slowly stifled as he becomes acquainted with the irrationality of modern war and life.
Several darkly humorous events reveal to him that a cause once glorious seems to have become politics as usual. Then, recovering from wounds suffered in the ignominious English retreat from Crete, he learns of the new alliance of England and the U.S. with communist Russia. He is completely disenchanted. Convalescing in England with his father (a truly saintly character), Guy expresses his sense of futility in the institutions he once believed in. His father’s advice is something we all need: “Quantitative measures do not apply.” It could have come straight from Thérèse of Lisieux. I’m not sure what to do, and, at times, what and whom to believe, in this mess of a culture we’re living in. And Waugh would be the last to advise sticking one’s head in the sand and not calling out the rot when you see it. Yet I must remember that I am not called to save the world, but only my soul, and, God willing, help a few others save theirs. If my faith in institutions has decreased, my faith in God must increase. I will do the good that I can. Quantitative measures do not apply.
Robert B. Greving
An article in the Aug. 29 issue of the Register incorrectly stated that the current governor of the state of New Hampshire is John Sununu. Sununu was governor of New Hampshire from 1983 to 1989. His son, Chris Sununu, is the current governor. The Register regrets the error.
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