The high places of the breviary 2 are, naturally, those of the Christian year. The marvellous dramatic sweep of the liturgical year has two climaxes, Christmas and Easter, peaks which tower above the rest, though there are many of lesser altitude, raised above the plain. These elevations are approached through valleys, —the broad, deep one of Lent, with its more and more intensified sorrow of Passion and Holy Weeks, ending in the tragic humiliation of Good Friday; and the lesser vale of penitential approach, Advent, ushering in the coming of Christ in the flesh. The early and mediaeval Church approached these two great festivals, these mountain peaks of devotion, as a matter of course through vales. The modern world craves the joys but rejects the sorrows. "The World" would have Christmas and Easter but will none of Advent and Lent. It is for Catholics to companion their Lord on the journey to Bethlehem and the Way of the Cross. The way is long and the flesh is weak, and devotion often flags. We need all the help we can have. Without the breviary and missal I wonder that it holds out. And even joy needs sustaining. An irrational joy—a spiritually inorganic joy, if one may so express it—how fleeting and unsatisfying it is. What is the world's Christmas? Gifts, rich food, smart apparel, gaiety, kindliness let us hope, but a kindliness and a joy with no supernatural basis. And of Easter in the world there is even less. Before the Catholic Easter was mine I dreaded it. I used to go through Holy Week with expectation (for I was long a Catholic at heart), and then experienced a painful drop—a sense of unreality. What had it all been and meant? Many years before I entered the harbor of the Visible Church, the office of the breviary was a regular part of my Christmas observance. The beginning of my attachment to the breviary office was largely due to a non-Catholic scholar. 3 In my High Anglican period, when I was fain to believe and call myself a Catholic, Dr. [Albert S.] Cook used to say to me, playfully, but how truthfully: "You will never be a very good Catholic until you know your breviary better." An authority in Old English, he had edited Cynewulf's Christ, with profuse notes, 202and an introduction interesting even to one who cannot read the text of the poem. The Christ of Cynewulf [Cook 1900] is divided into three parts: I. The Advent; II. The Ascension; [and] III. Doomsday. In his Introduction Dr. Cook, who "knew his breviary" thoroughly, makes copious reference to the office for Advent, with many excerpts from it, especially of the responsories and antiphons. He also refers frequently to [Pierre] Batiffol's History of the Breviary [1912] and Dom [Prosper] Gueranger's Liturgical Year [1868-1863], with quotations from them.