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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1919 edition. Excerpt: ...nothing during the last century. Material things have been this and no more: dead lumps and clods, from the gold that has become the one desire of man, to the human body bought and sold and outraged as utterly as under black African slavery. The spiritual ideal that is the life of man, isolated from its material symbol, has ceased to manifest itself, and is therefore denied save as a by-product of biological processes. Even the pledged word, in itself a just symbol, even a "sacramental," has been degraded, and by intellectual processes untouched by the fire of spiritual perception, has been proved no more than the evanescent formula of a discredited epoch. There are two alternatives, sacramental-ism or materialism. In the great civilization of the Middle Ages, as this had its flowering and in a sense its sacramental expression in Reims Cathedral and Soissons, we may see what the one leads to; in the bestial destruction of Reims and Soissons--an act symbolical in itself--we see the significant issue of the other. It would be an interesting task to take up one by one the seven sacraments of Catholicism and show how each has, beyond its own special power, a great significance for us at this black and portentous moment of the world, but this would mean not an essay but a volume. Each one of us can, however, make his own application of each sacramental verity--Baptism, Confirmation. Penance, Orders, Matrimony, Unction, and the Holy Eucharist. Poignantly and perfectly each expresses some vital truth, but of them all the last, the crown and consummation of all the sacraments and of all sacramentalism, has the most sublime significance. Think for a moment of this great mystery: the bread and wine of man's natural food transformed in a moment by...
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