Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Back to the "Diary"

Have resumed reading "Diary of a Country Priest". (After my brief interlude with Beau Ideal, I also took a gander at How to live in the woods on pennies a day. I think I scared some people around the house. I have no intention of moving to the backwoods-although I do yearn for a multiple-day hiking/camping trip into the mountains. Maybe if I get my work done....)

Interesting little discussion is recorded early on "Diary" between two priests: it is noted that Christ told Judas "the poor you have always with you, but me you have not always with you." in response to Judas' objection to Mary Magdalen "wasting" expensive perfume. Of course we assume Judas just wanted to steal any excess money in the purse-but this money wouldn't have come through him anyway. So what is Judas' concern for the poor? The speaker in "Diary" says it amounts to this (and for all other dishonest like money-holders like Judas):

don't let the hour of mercy strike in vain. You'd be far better to cough up the money you stole, at once, instead of trying to get My apostles worked up over your imaginary financial deals and your charitable enterprises.

While we could easily say, "Oh this applies to the very rich"-don't fool yourself. We are stealing moments from Christ's mission for us daily, and we think we will make it up in the future. "Don't let the hour of mercy strike in vain". Fr. John Hardon SJ (may he rest in peace) was known to say that he strove to make sure he didn't waste one moment of time-to give every moment to God.

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