"It is not good for man to be alone; let us make him a help like unto himself." Genesis ii. 18.
[continued from yesterday]
...I know I am speaking to deaf ears; that is the agony of the priest.
One curls her lip in contempt, and says that of course a priest should speak like this; but he does not know life and its delights.
Another is indignant and will have no interference; her soul, she says, and its salvation are her own affair.
Yet a third cries out that so-and-so does this and is no worse for it, that thousands of others do the same; and why should not she be allowed to do likewise?
A fourth, with a little tenderness left in her heart, listens to his words, and fears there may be something in them, but she fears no less to lose that intoxication of which she has begun to taste.
And meanwhile to each and all the serpent whispers on, and the echo is repeated from countless mouths all around: "No, you shall not die the death. For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened; and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Yes, all this is spoken to deaf ears; once the path has been deliberately chosen it is hard to take a step back. The consent becomes a fascination, the fascination becomes a slavery; honour goes, dignity is lost; and the laughter of flattery that led the way, now that the poor victim lies in. the mire robbed of both, turns into the laughter of contempt.
She was our queen, now she is our slave; before she commanded, now she is wholly at our mercy; at one time she had power to lead us to good, she has used her power to do harm, and let her take the consequences.
And those who know only too well where all this wildness leads, can do no more than look on, and utter their vain appeal, and pray God to have mercy at least in the end...
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918