Defending the Faith of our Fathers!
Christ's Faithful People

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CHAPTER 27 How to Avoid Liberalism

How may Catholics, who are perpetually surrounded by the snares of Liberalism, guard themselves securely against its dangers?

1. By the organization of all good Catholics, be their number great or small: They should become known to each other, meet each other, unite together in every locality-every city, town or village, should have a nucleus of Catholic men of action. Such an organization will attract the undecided, give courage to the hesitating and counteract the influence of hostile or indifferent surroundings. If you number only a dozen men of spirit, no matter. Found societies, especially of young men. Put yourselves in correspondence with older societies in your neighborhood, or even at a distance. Link your associations togetherassociation with association-as the Roman legions used to form the military tortoise, by uniting shield with shield over their heads. Thus united, be your number ever so small, lift on high the banner of a sound, pure and uncompromising doctrine, without disguise, without attenuation, yielding not an inch to the enemy. Uncompromising courage is always noble, commands sympathy, and wins over the chivalric. To see a man battered by the floods, yet standing firm as a rock, upright and immovable, is an inspiring sight! Above all, give good example, give good example always.

What you preach, do! You will soon see how easily you force people to respect you; when you have gained their admiration, their sympathy will soon follow. Proselytes will be forthcoming. If Catholics only understood what a brilliant secular apostolate they could exercise by being open, straightforward, uncompromising practical Catholics, in word and deed, Liberalism and heresy would die a quick death.

2. Good journals: Choose from among good journals that which is best, the one best adapted to the needs and the intelligence of the people who surround you. Read it; but not content with that, give it to others to read; explain it; comment on it, let it be your basis of operations. Busy yourself in securing subscriptions for it. Encourage the reluctant to take it; make it easy for those to whom it seems troublesome to send in their subscriptions. Place it in the hands of young people who are beginning their careers. Impress on them the necessity of reading it; show them its merits and its value. They will begin by tasting the sauce and will at last eat the fish. This is the way the advocates of Liberalism and impiety work for their journals; so then ought we to work for ours. A good Catholic journal is a peremptory or imperative necessity in our day. Whatever be its defects or inconveniences, its advantages and its benefits will outweigh them a thousandfold. The Holy Father has said that "a Catholic paper is a perpetual mission in every parish." It is ever an antidote to the false journalism that meets you on every side. In general, do all in your power to further the circulation of Catholic literature, be it in the shape of book, brochure, lecture, sermon or pastoral letter. The weapon of the crusader of our times is the printed word.

3. The Catholic school: With all your power support the Catholic school, in deed and in word, with your whole heart and your whole soul. The Catholic school has become in this age the only secure bridge of the Faith from generation to generation. In our own country, we have been compelled to establish our own schools, unaided and alone. The prejudice and intolerance of Liberalism has refused us common justice. While we protest against the wrong and never cease demanding our right, our clear and peremptory duty is to provide the best possible schools of our own, where our children may be educated in the full and only true sense of the word. Where Catholic schools are needed, build them, build them, build them! Never tire in this absolutely necessary work. Bend every energy to it. Archbishop Hughes said, "Not until I have built my school shall one stone of my Cathedral be laid upon another' " This great prelate fully realized what every Catholic today should take as his motto, "The foundation of the parish church is the schoolhouse'" Be the support of the school a burden, be it built and perpetuated at a great sacrifice, its value is beyond estimation, the burden and the sacrifice are featherweights in comparison to the good that arises from the Catholic school. The spiritual life of a parish without a school is tepid, neither hot nor cold. Let the school be the best possible. Too much time or too much care cannot be given to it, for Catholic education amidst the deluge of Liberalism-which has overwhelmed the world-is the ark of salvation. Speak out fearlessly on this matter of education. Say squarely and frankly that irreligious education leads to the devil. An irreligious school is the school of Satan. Danton, a celebrated French revolutionist, continually cried, "Boldness! More boldness!" But we, for our part, must let our constant cry be, "Frankness! Frankness! Light! Light!" Nothing will more quickly put to flight the legions of Hell, who seduce only under the shelter of darkness.

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