Monday, August 28, 2006

Attention all Catholic students

Some sound advice ca 1942


Remember that no amount of prayers will keep you from sin unless you do your part and keep out of temptation. St Paul warns us that Faith without good works is dead. He also tells us that provided temptation is not of our making God will surely give us the grace to master it. Don’t weaken yourself by thinking that you are certain to fall. That is fifth column work against yourself. On the other hand don’t presume; don’t put yourself in danger. He that loveth the danger shall surely perish in the danger.

Amongst many soldiers there is an unfortunate notion that a man on leave is expected to do anything he likes and that proficiency in vice is a proof of one’s manhood. Don’t let yourself be led astray by such a miserable idea. It is self-control and not self-indulgence that will attest your manhood. In olden times the perfect knight was the one who fought without fear on the field of battle and off it had respect for himself and others. Let that be your idea of manliness –brave in the face of danger and at all times a Christian. Let it be your ambition to go back to your wife and children or to the girl you hope to marry, without stain and without reproach. Keep the thought of your good womenfolk at home in your mind always and you will find it easier to keep away from those hideous haunts of vice where you can only find death for your soul and loathsome disease for your body. Don’t ever give away the control of your own conduct by taking too much drink. If you have a pledge, keep it. If not, by all means take a drink but don’t take too much. Many a time too much drink is the cause of good men going where they would hate to be found if they were sober. And very often Sunday Mass on leave is missed because of too much drink the night before. If you happen to be on leave over a weekend make sure of finding out the time and place of Sunday Mass and get up in good time and go to mass. Don’t stay away from Mass because your mates might make some comment. At heart Pontius Pilate was not a bad man. Fear of the crowd made him do what he knew was wrong. He is not a model for soldiers to imitate.

Above all and in all and through all cherish a deep personal love for the Immaculate Mother of God – our tainted nature’s solitary boast – and remember that all your earthly loyalty to king and country is nothing if you yourself are not rooted in unswerving allegiance to the King of Kings. If he is the Captain of your soul at all times your soldiering will bring honour to your Faith, your Family and your Fatherland.

The Catholic Soldier’s Prayer Book, 1942

This advice with a few modifications would be usefully handed out to Catholic students going away to university, or indeed on pilgrimage to Lourdes.

Biretta tip to Fr Tim and Antonia


Blogger Alfred Kuchinski said...

I am a fifty year old single Roman Catholic. At one time I was a Catholic student.
To this day I am astounded at the number of young Catholic youth who, after Confirmation, have very little to do with the Church.
I am enrolled in a Catholic Bible Class where I just told out teacher that a young girl (about twelve years of age)askd me what the Forty Hours Devotion was!
Too many young Catholics arrive late for Mass and leave early. Those who stay for the entire Mass try to beat the priest out of the church. How sad is this?
Jesus said:"Could you not wait one hour with me?"
Do you have a Catholic question? E-mail me at
Alfred Kuchinski

4:05 AM  

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