Sample Pages from American Cardinal Readers: Book Four

CONTENTS

1. THE RAISING OF THE FLAG (Conde B. Pallen).............. 1
2. THE ANGEL OF THE RESURRECTION (St. Teresa of the Child Jesus)...................... 3
3. THE STORY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (Elizabeth Harrison) ...........................4
4. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (Father Tabb).............. 19
5. THREE OF OUR LORD'S MIRACLES: I. THE LOAVES AND FISHES (Sister Mary Gertrude, Sisters of Charity, Convent, N. J.)................. 20
6. THREE OF OUR LORD'S MIRACLES: II. THE MARRIAGE FEAST (Sister Mary Gertrude).................. 23
7. THREE OF OUR LORD'S MIRACLES: III. THE TEMPEST (Katherine Tynan)....................... 26
8. APPLE BLOSSOMS (William Martin).............. 29
9. SONG OF SUMMER (Mary Mapes Dodge)................... 30
10. AUTUMN FIRES (Robert Louis Stevenson)..................... 31
11. THE WONDERFUL TAR BABY (Joel Chandler Harris)....................... 32
12. A TRAGIC STORY (William Makepeace Thackeray)..................... 38
13. A MAD TEA-PARTY (Lewis Carroll).................. 40
14. THE LITTLE POOR MAN (Si,ster Mary Ambrose, Sisters of St. Dominic., Adrian, Michigan) ....................53
15. THE SERMON OF ST. FRANCIS (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) ...................... 57
16. FRIENDSHIP (Mother M. Salfmte)....................... 60
17. THE STORY OF DANIEL (Rev. C. C. Martindale, S. J.- adapted)................. 64
18. LITTLE JESUS (Francis Thompson)................... 69
19. THE MAN OF THE HOUSE (Katherine Tynan).................. 72
20. THE PINE-TREE SHILLINGS (Nathaniel Hawthorne) ....................75
21 THE BASQUE SONG............. 84
22. WHAT I USED TO LOVE (St. Teresa of the Child Jesus) ..................86
23. THE MINSTREL'S SONG (Maude Lindsay).................. 92
24. THE LEGEND OF ST. CHRISTOPHER (Helen Hunt Jackson)................... 101
25. CANOE TRIP DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI (Eva March Tappan) ................106
26. THE MASS (Sister Mary Gertrude) .................112
27. THE LAMB (William Blake).............. 118
28. CHILD'S EVENING HYMN (S. Baring-Gould) .................119
29. THE STONE IN THE ROAD.................... 121
30. MONI AND THE GOATS (Johanna Spyri-adapted)...................... 123
31. To My LITTLE BROTHERS IN HEAVEN, THE HOLY INNOCENTS (St. Teresa of the Child Jesus ) .................132
32. No (Chauncey Giles)..................... 134
33. THE SUGAR-PLUM TREE (Eugene Field).......................... 140
34. HIAWATHA 's CHILDHOOD (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)......................... 142
35. THE RACE (Mary Mapes Dodge) .....................145
36. NO Boy KNOWS (James Whitcomb Riley)...................... 169
37. FIRST RAIN (Zoe Akins)...................... 171
38. NAHUM PRINCE (Edward Everett Hale).......................... 172
39. BIRD HABITS (Olive Thorne Miller) .........................175
40. GAY ROBIN (Robert Bridges) .......................178
41. A CHILD'S EVENSONG (Richard le Gallienne)......................... 180
42. THE CHILDREN'S HOUR (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).......................... 181
43. LITTLE SAN PETER (Howard H. Driggs)...............................183
44. LITTLE WOLFF'S WOODEN SHOES...........................187
45. TWO BOYS AVERT A WRECK (Howard R. Driggs) ..........................194
46. A BOY's SONG (James Hogg) ........................197
47. THE WIND AND THE MOON (George MacDonald)............................ 198
48. THE CLOCKS OF RONDAINE (Frank R. Stockton)........................... 201
49. THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL (Lawton B. Evans)....................... 231
50. THE 100% GOOD TURN (Rev. Neil Boyton, S.J.)......................... 237
51. .A. CHURCH UNDERGROUND (Sister Marie St. S. Ellerker, O.S.D.)............................ 248
52. HOW THE TOWER WAS SAVED.............................. 254
53. A WHALE CHASE.................................. 258

THREE OF OUR LORD'S MIRACLES

In order to convince the people that He was the Son of God, our Lord during His public life performed many miracles. Sometimes He raised the dead to life; at other times He cured the sick. He restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb. In many other ways He used His almighty power to show that He was indeed the promised Redeemer of the world.

I. THE LOAVES AND FISHES

One day, when He had retired with His disciples to a mountain, He was followed by a vast crowd of five thousand people. This was no accidental occurrence. In the designs of Providence it was brought about to furnish the occasion for His first lesson on the hard subject of the Holy Eucharist. It was a subject very dear to His Heart, and He was anxious to make it known. Here was a golden opportunity! The multitude, assembled from all parts of Judea for the Jewish Pasch, which was "near at hand," would as He knew, spread the news far and wide when they returned to their homes. Some of His miracles He wanted to be kept secret; but this one was to be published to the whole world.

Our Lord had it all planned, but He had not told anyone about it, not even His Apostles. This may be gathered from the opening words of the Gospel which describe the memorable event. Calling Philip, who was one of the twelve, He asked, " 'Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat? ' And this He said to try him, for He Himself knew what He would do." , Our Lord may have hoped by this question to call forth from the Apostle some expression of faith regarding His power to feed the multitude miraculously. Philip, however, instead of exclaiming, Lord, Thou canst do all things!" , tried to figure it out mathematically, and answered helplessly, "Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone may take a little. " How little can we do, when we trust only to human means, rather than to the power of God!

Then Andrew, another Apostle, the brother of Simon Peter, hoping to help matters along, remarked, "There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes"; but added, "what are these among so many?" How cheerless they were! And all the while, our Lord, who was looking in vain for some expression of trust in Himself, was preparing for them a most unheard-of repast ! His only answer to their hopeless replies was, ' , Make the men sit down." This done, He took the loaves from the fortunate little boy, "and when He had given thanks, He distributed to them that were sat down. In like manner, also of the fishes, as much as they would." When the people had eaten of the miraculous meal, He directed the Apostles to gather up, what was left ; and lo ! so bountifully had He provided for them, that twelve baskets were filled with the fragments that remained! On seeing the marvel, the people with one accord exclaimed, "This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world!" They had seen the miracles, and they believed! But, "blessed are they that have not seen and have believed."

II. THE MARRIAGE FEAST

On another occasion He changed Water into wine in answer to His Mother's wish. It. was at a wedding feast, to which Jesus and Mary and some of the disciples were invited. The bride and bridegroom. who lived in a small town called Calla, were poor, so poor in fact that the wine they had provided was not sufficient for their guests. Before the end of the meal it gave out, a fact which Mary, because of her consideration for others, was quick to notice. Our Lord, who knew all things, must have been aware of it too; but for some reason He did not appear to know it, until His Mother, anxious to save the young couple from embarrassment, whispered to Him, " They have no wine." It was the work of a moment, a brief prayer, like the short aspirations indulgenced by the Church: but it touched the Heart of her Son and caused Him to work His first miracle. She made no request; she merely stated a fact. But no more was necessary when it was His Mother who prayed.

Now consider what followed this brief prayer. Jesus granted her request by changing water into wine! But His answer to her gentle appeal seemed at first like a refusal. It may even sound harsh to our ears, because we do not understand its spirit as she did. "Woman, what is it to Me and to thee If My hour is not yet come!" How should we have acted in Mary's place If How do we act when God seems to refuse what we ask?

Instead of taking this as a denial, Mary turned immediately to the waiters, and said quietly, "Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye." She never for a moment doubted that He would do her will, even though His time for performing public miracles had not arrived. She understood too well the love and goodness of His Sacred Heart, and her own power over Him. How magnificently were her faith and trust rewarded! She had made no mistake, as none do who trust Him.

To the amazement of the waiters, He commanded that the water-pots be filled with water. What a strange order it must have seemed! But Mary had told them to do whatsoever He should say; and lo ! When it was drawn out and brought to the chief steward, it was no longer water, but sparkling wine ! In obedience to a mere suggestion from Mary, He had performed a pubic miracle before His appointed time. Fortunate indeed were the bride and bridegroom to have as their friend the Mother of Jesus!

Now that she is in Heaven, her prayers are no less powerful. From her place beside her Divine Son, her slightest wish can still reach and move His loving Heart. Moreover, her anxiety for our welfare is as great as was her care for the young couple at the marriage feast. She is even more to us than she was to them; for she is our mother, given to us as such by our Lord as He hung upon the cross. Like a true mother, she is interested in all that concerns us, particularly in our eternal salvation. She who stood on Calvary, and saw the awful price of sin, knows the value of an immortal soul. She is tender and merciful to all who seek her protection. She will never fail those who invoke her with confidence. No sin is too great, no misery too deep, to win her help and compassion. Mary "conceived without sin " has been invoked by tempted souls, and they have triumphed over their temptations. She has been appealed to by souls steeped in the depths of shame and degradation, and they have had strength to leave their evil ways and rise to a new life of grace and virtue.

III. THE TEMPEST

As might have been expected, those who saw our Lord's miracles were astonished, and at times terrified, at the power which could work such wonders. This was the case when He walked upon the waters.

After this, He preached in parables, the Parable of the Sower, of the Tares and the Wheat, of the Mustard-Seed and many another, wrapping up His teaching in a story which would bring the point home to His listeners. He spoke to the people in parables but, alone with His disciples, He explained all things to them.

Jesus had charged His disciples, while He preached by the waters of the great Galilean lake, that they should always have a boat in readiness for Him so that He could escape from the crowds when His preaching was done. Once they crossed the lake in a storm, and our Lord, tired out with preaching, fell asleep in the stern with His head upon a pillow. The wind blew and the water came into the ship so that it was sinking. Then they awoke Him, crying out: "Lord, save us: we perish." And He said to them: "Why are ye fearful - O ye of little faith!" He rebuked the waves and commanded them, saying : "Be still!" And the waves of the sea were still, knowing their King and Lord, and fawned on His boat in gentleness. And the storm died away. He stood there and the light flowed upon Him, and His face was like a light so that the disciples, in awe, dared not look at Him. Bending low in the boat, they whispered to each other: "Who is this, thinkest thou, that both the wind and the sea obey Him?"

Excerpted from American Cardinal Readers: Book Four
1929, Neumann Press, Used with permission.