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“Salus animarum supremus lex esto” — “The salvation of souls must be the supreme law in the Church.” (Canon Law 1752)

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From Archbishop D. Mackintosh of

 Glasgow, Scotland.

In the year 1927

Margaret Anne Sinclair, who was born, grew up and lived in circumstances practically identical with those in which the vast majority of girls and boys are born, grow up and live today.

We are all familiar with those circumstances and surroundings, and whether we look at them from within or from without, we are aware that in many ways they are not such as human beings would choose, had they unrestricted freedom in the matter.

Too often there is in our homes - when there is a home – the constant uncertainty of even limited material provision for the present and the future, an uncertainty branching off into countless crops of worries and anxieties.

Too often, outside the home there is much that is coarsening, deadening or worse, in full play on the unshielded avenues to the heart and soul of plastic childhood and ardent youth.

Can boys and girls, can young men and women in such an environment keep clear and bright the remembrance of their high destiny? Can they break the iron tyranny of circumstances, weather in triumph their stormy buffetings and shape their lives faithfully to God's plans?

Or must the beauty of life, the perfection of virtue, become with each day that passes something more and more remote, an intangible dream at best, an impossibility?

I find in the life of Margaret Sinclair a most decided answer to those questions. The answer is, with God's help, beauty of life and perfection of virtue are within the reach of all. Further, the life of Margaret Sinclair is a proof that in the essential business of life and in the matter of true happiness circumstances and surroundings are not the decisive factor.

In her life there is forcibly brought out once more, and on the familiar stage of present day Scotland, the truth that what really counts is to face with simplicity the issues before one, whatever be one's condition, to place one's joy in doing to the best of one's power the task each day brings, to remember constantly that in the journey through life we are in the keeping of wiser counsels than human intelligence can devise.

I find a singular beauty in the life of Margaret Sinclair, this frail modern Scottish girl, in all its settings. I notice that she was far from being naturally dead to the ordinary attractions of life; that she was sensitive and affectionate; liked nice things and felt being often without them.

I also see with what winsomeness she set herself to rule herself, to avoid impatience, sourness, gloom, to practise the real courtesies of life in the thousand details of her daily routine.

Above all, I observe how she made Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament the centre and the inspiration of her life.

What wonder, then, if she learnt from Him in most ample measure that delicacy and refinement which gave fragrance to virtue, that thoughtfulness and considerateness which she was perceived by all to possess?

What wonder if her life is singularly beautiful? For beauty, on every plane, in all its embodiments, is God mirrored in His Creation.

May the example of her life be an inspiration to all, but especially to the thousands of young men and women who, whatever be their position in life, find themselves harassed, perplexed, unhappy.

Archbishop D. Mackintosh
Of Glasgow. Scotland 1927


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