I was sitting at Mass this morning casually minding my own business and generally using the time to reflect on things. This hour or so a week is therapeutic. Away from mobile phones and the internet, it’s a peaceful period and an opportunity to re charge the old emotional batteries.
Generally the contributions from the pulpit are eloquent, well thought out and pragmatic, taking into account the basic decent teachings of the Church and avoiding comment on the more controversial issues which reflect the mood of the Catholic community in this area.
But today I felt there was a major misjudgement in the content of what was said.
The subject under discussion was the purpose of prayer, and whilst I got the gist of what was meant, the example was crass and insensitive.
“Praying to win the Lottery is stupid and pathetic. I once found a ticket under a statue in Church”.
Did it not occur to the speaker how utterly desperate bereft the supplicant must have been to be reduced to such an act? Did it not occur to him that the more impoverished and acute people’s circumstances are the more that they may hope beyond hope that the numbers will fall their way to enable them to have some control over the desperate straits they may be experiencing?
The Catholic Church is in the vanguard of fighting poverty all over the globe and I was deflated to hear such contempt for the poor coming from the pulpit. But then as I walked through the car park bursting with 4X4’s and the such like, it became obvious.
The Catholic Church, like the Labour Party must never, ever forget who they are “for”, otherwise they will both rapidly become irrelevant in this century which may prove to be the most challenging we have ever faced.