“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” G.K. Chesterton (b. 1874- d. 1936)
Let us pass on the Roman Catholic Faith to the next generation.
If we do that, we will leave behind a living thing: the soul of our Catholic society, the society that we entered at Baptism.
It will be a great happiness on our deathbeds if we have done such a work either through parenting, or within our extended families, or in friendships; or, for priests: through their vital priestly ministry.
At the conclusion of every Tridentine Latin Mass, the priest reads what is called the “second Gospel” which is John 1: 1-14. This reading gives us a glimpse of the beauty of the Catholic Faith, of the beauty of the soul of our Catholic society, which is the child born of Our Lady, Jesus Christ:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him: and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the Light, that all men might believe through Him. He was not the Light, but was to give testimony of the Light. That was the true Light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.
He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, He gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in His name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (here all kneel)
AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US,
and we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
That summarizes the soul of our Catholic society, the gift of Jesus Christ (in a sense, every day is Christmas morning in the life of a Catholic!), which is priceless: a gift given to us at Baptism; a gift to share, and pass on to the succeeding generations.
May we not be the link that is broken in the golden chain that landed us at the Baptismal font.
May the chain that follows us be long and glorious!
Image: a child learns early that, to the Roman Catholic, Our Lady is the air that we breathe (Gerard Manley Hopkins, b. 1844- d. 1889, source).