Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

against him: they, on their part, tricks he played on his teachers are bound to state whatever they whilst at college ; but by his side may have noticed amiss in his walks a mournful one; who, mindconduct. Of course, external de- ful of Seneca's saying, Quoties fects alone are to be mentioned. inter homines fui, minor homo Instead of saying, "Notre frère is redii," and of the Eastern proverb, not fervent," they must point out 'Speech is silver, but silence is fixed acts of seeming negligence gold,” has resolved to be silent,in religious duties, which may and does not even look up once spring from absent-mindedness during the whole time. And the quite as well as from lack of difficulty is greater still, because fervour. This exercise, properly one is never allowed to choose practised, effectually stops ail one's companions; the first group backbiting or complaints against you find is your group. They are, others; while the defects are made besides, generally formed by the known to the person himself, so Admoniteur at the beginning of that he can take advantage of this the Recreation; he, according to knowledge. It is quite an upside- instructions received, often puts down world.

together, as a test of temper, the The fact that so many virtues most opposite characters of all. -- charity, modesty, cordiality, How amusing it is to see the piety, self-possession, gaiety—are Frère Directeur, late a lieutenant requisite to pass the Recreation in the Mobiles during the warwell

, is the reason why the result a rollicking, jovial lover of harmis so generally unsuccessful. Some, less fun, and a great hater of what striving to be supernatural in all he calls “mysticism," — walking things, contrive to be only un about day after day and week natural and highly disagreeable in after week with the Seraphic all. Others, very rightly laying Brother above mentioned, who down as a first principle that one never will speak of anything less must be natural, forget their posi- holy than the Sacred Heart, the tion, and talk as they used to talk, conversion of the whole world, or before they “left the world.” A few a scheme formed by him for adsentences having been exchanged ministering all railways by some about the weather, one novice, new religious Order, designed to eager to avoid “useless words,” stoke and convey the passengers effectually puts an end to the con- gratis, for the love of God! If versation in his group by relating, you step into the Novitiate a immediately and without transis month later, you will find them tion, what he is reading about the both in the same room; when torments of hell. Another has Irère Séraphique begins sighing filled a little note-book with anec and groaning in his meditations, dotes and sentences of the Saints Frère Directeur has orders to put about the Mother of Christ: he a stop to this piété extérieure by begins the Recreation by asking a loud, dry cough. his brother novices to tell him Then there are differences of something about Mary"; and, on principle too. Who would fancy their professing themselves un that in the Novitiate, on a mere equal to the task, launches off for question of interpretation of the a whole hour into a sea of words Rules, there could be found a veslearned by heart, The Franco- tige of two great parties? Yet so it Irish Brother makes his com is. Frère Admoniteur is waxing panions roar with laughter at the very red in the face, and having

a serious tussle with the stoutest with the very same eyes as the Brother in the whole lot. The latter. Ah, mon Frère !says latter, who has been a barrister of Brother Seraphicus, " on retrouve le considerable practice at Angoulême, monde au noviciat." Rather disis now trying his professional abili- appointing, but very much to be ties in the Novitiate. The Rules expected; no man--and a fortiori contradict each other, he says. In no number of men-being quite one place we find that Brothers unworldly. All is relative, mon who are “in experiment," i.e., Frère! This worldly tendency is having their vocation tested by of course kept down and severely menial offices and labours, are not dealt with ; but that those in whom to speak with those who remain it is found the most are the most after the first Recreation is over, opposed to the “ spirit of the until two o'clock. In another, it Society," I am not prepared to is said, on the contrary, that they affirm. Worldly-minded men are must be present at this second usually practical; and practical Recreation. Frère Admoniteur, men are of great use. Certainly, full of zeal, thinks to reconcile the among my con-novices who left, contradiction by laying down the as many left on account of exlaw thus: they are to be present, aggerated fervour as of worldliness. but not to speak. The ex-lawyer The lofty mystic will find more bas him on the hip at once. What difficulty in getting on with St absurdity! a speechless Recreation! Ignatius than the terre-d-terre man Both are indignant, but their in- of business; and yet Ignatius is dignation soon cools down, and mystic too. they will beg each other's pardon No wonder that, under these very frankly before sunset. difficulties, the Recreation is fol

In recreation again, the two lowed (for many) by a very recontrary currents that must always morseful visit to the chapel, be found in any Christian body of deploring broken

resolutions, men are clearly noticeable; I mean schemes of “interior life” blown the worldly and the unworldly up, soro feelings of irritation, or tendency. This of course is very headaches caused by too much relative, and perhaps the term constraint. Shortly after, the bell "' worldly” may be found too rings again for another exercisestrong, when describing a that of the “ Tones." It is a short who regularly scourges himself sermon, only one page in length, once a-week or oftener. Still, in which every novice knows by a community where this is the heart; it contains in that brief fashion, it is no decisive proof compass, and without any transiof unworldliness, A dislike to tions, all the principal tones which such as more fervent; an & preacher can take.. The calm undue notice and nervous horror measured notes of the expositionof those little cxaggerations to the thrilling call of tenderness and which pious persons are liable; mercy—the ecstatic invocation to an inordinate esteem of the purely God—the thunders of rebuke, fol. natural qualities, - wit, energy, lowed up by a long Latin quotation

, imagination, &c.,-aro much surer from Joel,-a get more vehement signs of the contrary direction of cry of holy indignation, swelling mind. Placed in a very different at once to enthusiasm, and then situation from men of the world, suddenly dying away on a key still they judge of things, so far as it is lower than that of the exordium; lawful for them to judge at all, all these so short, so condensed as

[ocr errors]

man

a

are

to render it quite impossible really his energy, his self-command, and to feel sentiments of so brief dura- all the qualities indispensable to tion: such is this exercise. A a good teacher. Then comes, as good delivery of the Tones is usual, the criticism; sometimes almost as seldom to be met with as favourable, sometimes severe, ala black swan. But then, say those ways useful. In after - life, the who favour it, that is the great teacher will have no witnesses of advantage of the thing. If you his class but the boys, and no one can once get to deliver the Tones to give him good advice. True, it with effect: if you can manage to will be more serious then, and this pass from this sentence, " Agneau is but a sort of child's play; but plein de douceur ! qui vous a donc there is no objection to sham forcé à vous charger de nos fautes, fights, naval maneuvres, and the à accepter la mort pour nous Kriegspiel-why then should not donner la vie ?” to the following: this sort of game have its value too? “O hommes stupides ! 0 hommes Here I may add a word or two plongés dans le sommeil du péché!" about a similar exercise, which, as giving their full and natural em- I have heard, is practised during phasis to each of these sentences, the Third Probation (or second both so vehement in such a differ- novitiate) by the priests who, after ent way, you are not very likely their theological studies, pass a to have much difficulty in deliver- year to prepare for active life in ing an ordinary sermon.

the ministry. I allude to the After the Tones, the bell is rung " Exercise of Confession.” Certain for Catechism, an exercise in which of the "Tertiaires ” are appointed the novices have to learn, both in beforehand, and have to study speculation and by practice, the their parts as penitents, so as to art of teaching in general, and give the most trouble possible to especially the art of teaching the Confessor. One is a dévote, religion. The Father who pre- laden with the sins of other sides (sometimes a novice, at others people; another, a nun, with no the Socius of the Master) first end of scruples and peccadilloes of gives general rules and hints, both her own; a third is a soldier, as to what to say and how to say it; rough and ready-says he has done and notes how much severity, with nothing, but lets plenty of sins be what temperament of kindness, is wormed out of him by degrees. required to maintain discipline. A man kneels down — he is a Then a novice stands forth in the Voltairean workman, come to dismiddle, and for the nonce becomes pute; followed by an inn-keeper, the catechist; all the others are whose earnings are not always of Sunday-school children. He pro- the most honourable kind; and ceeds to explain the first' notions then there comes a monk, with an of religion to them ; questions unintelligible confession, having them sometimes; they, on their done something he does not like to part, must personate children. say, and fears to leave unsaid. They rather overdo it in general. After all these have been Such laziness, such disorder, such questioned, counselled, rebuked, insubordination, could hardly be and (if possible) absolved in turn, found in' a reformatory. He has there is the inevitable judgment here to show his presence of mind. upon the performance. "Notre Père

1 The First Probation comprises only the time of Postulance, before admission as & novice,

" and so on.

on

and no

night have showu biunself a little my feelings of curiosity as to how niore authoritative in dealing with far they could be properly authenthe Voltairean

perhaps ticated. For instance, the life of patience was wauting in his treat Father Anchieta, a nissionary in ment of the nionk . . . Le seenied Brazil, deals in the marvellous to to listen too willingly to the a very great extent; and withdévote's tales

out questioning the possibility of This exercise, though highly coini- miracles, we very naturally incal, if properly prepared by the quire by what evidence these characters, is also of great and miracles are corroborated. Father undeniable value to the Catholic Anchieta commanded the birds of priest. It certainly seems at first the air, and they came and perched sight irreverent; but then, let on his shoulder, or hovered over & such as are shocked at the idea sick companion to shade him from of “making gane" of confession the burning sun. He walked out renieinber that by no other means in the forest at night, and recan a priest, on account of the turned accompanied by a couple inviolable secrecy of that sacra- of “panthers,” to which he throw meut, discover either his own de- a cluster of bananas to reward fects, or the remedy to them. Other them for having gone with him. priests cannot hear him while he He took most venomous serpents confesses, and he is not allowed into his hands and placed them to hear others. The penitent may his lap, and they did not uot correct him when he is wrong, bite him. Many other similar

one else is there to set and still more extraordinary things hin right. Long experience will are related of him, probably first

, of course help him, but at the made known to the world by his cost of the penitents; and besides, Indian converts, whose truthfultime and age too often only con- ness was not equal to the occasion, firm a bad habit of undue stern- and collected by some Father who ness or leniency.

never thought of suspecting others After the Catechism, half an of falsehood of which he was him. bour of manual work.

I pass self incapable. Such Fathers, rapidly over the rest of the day, dove-like in simplicity, if not in which the exercises of serpent-like in wisdom, do exist, less importance. A writing lesson, as I well know;- whether my French grainnar class, reading of supposition as regards the Indians the 'Imitation of Christ' and the is likely, the reader way judge *Life of a Saint,' a short medita- for hin self. tion, the recital of the Rosary, The evening Recreation, froin and the preparation of the Medi- 7.30 to 8.15, is enlivened by tation for next day, bring the several interesting incidents. One novices down to supper before is the arrival of a new Brother, they have time to think about it. who, having gone home after his Busy hours fly swiftly.

retreat to bid his relations fareAt supper the Menologium is well, is rather low-spirited and read - a short biographical notice dejected, and will remain so for of the most remarkable Fathers about a week or two; but there who died on the following day. is great jubilation over him for I do not mean to call in question all that. Another is the visit the good faith of the author of of the Father Minister,

, who these notices ; but, really, some has to take charge of all tem. facts, when read, always excited poral afairs in the house; an

are

noon,

ayed, hoary - headed and white- hands together; it is the signal bearded priest, who looks older to begin rehearsing the points of than he is on account of the next day's Meditation, during the scorching sun of Madura, where fifteen minutes which remain. The he was a missionary. He gen. rehearsal does not, of course, exerally has plenty of tales to clude any private remarks or derelate concerning the Hindoos; velopments that a novice may have revolts of the native Ohristians to give; and so the conversation against their missionaries when goes on, until the bell rings. the latter are too high-handed; Then commences the great siarrival of an excommunicated lence-silentium majus—to be obpriest from Goa to take his place; served until after breakfast next state of drunkenness in which the day. Novices must not speak at latter is found shortly after; any time without some degree of disgust and repentance of the necessity; but during the silentium natives, and subsequent recall of majus they must not speak unless the missionary. Also his poor the necessity be absolute and imopinion of the English Church mediate. All go to the private in those parts, and his high chapel, together with the Residence appreciation of the impartiality Fathers, and evening prayer, viz., of the British Government. But the Litany of the Saints, is said. to-night he comes on a very dif- They then retire to their cells and feront errand. As Minister of examine their consciences, as before the Residence, he is in want of money. Things are going on very At nine the bell rings for bedbadly indeed; expenses are high time. Frère Réglementaire is pro

. and few alms are given, because bably very glad to be able to put the Jesuits have the reputation of by his instrument for seven whole being rich. “It is our churches,” hours—if he does not dream of it says he. “When people see the at night. The curtains are pulled churches adorned as they are, down, and divide the room into as they cannot believe that we are many compartments as there are sometimes at a loss to know beds. Even to take off their coat what we shall have to eat to- or soutane, they must withdraw morrow.” And it is true: for behind the curtains. Lights are the rule is, that the Residences extinguished, one after another; and Novitiates must subsist on you soon hear a rushing, whistling, alms. The colleges, which have heating sound : it is the discipline, fixed revenues, come to their help only permitted to some by special now and then; but there is no favour, for it is not Friday to-day. denying that sometimes there is All is silent again; and the a hard pull. Nevertheless, Igna- novices, by order of Holy Obeditius is for adorning the churches, ence, go to sleep thinking of the no matter what impression is next day's Meditation, with their produced, and Ignatius must be hands crossed over their breast. obeyed. Having arranged with And now as we retire, let me the novices for a Novena to St in conclusion remind you, reader, Joseph, the Father goes away; of the title which this paper bears. to return a few days afterwards, It is but a glimpse into the Novitriumphantly showing four bank. tiate, and the very best eyes can notes of a hundred francs. see but little at one glimpse. Frère Admoniteur smites his

M. H. DZIEWICKI.

.

« НазадПродовжити »