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« Excommunicate the Nonbeliever! | Main | Saboteurs »

December 03, 2013


I had two people offer me their "thoughts and prayers" last weekend, after discussion of an ailing relative. One I wanted to punch. The other one I wanted to hug. Know what the difference was? The first one was eager to throw the phrase at me and flitter off, having done her job.

That first person is literally doing the least they possibly could on your behalf. And I suspect, deep down, she knows it.

"I told him, 'Eminence, this isn't being an almoner. You might be able to sleep at night, but being an almoner has to cost you. Two euros is nothing for you. Take this poor person, bring him to your big apartment that has three bathrooms, let him take a shower -- and your bathroom will stink for three days -- and while he's showering make him a coffee and serve it to him, and maybe give him your sweater. This is being an almoner."

Man, give the Catholic Church about 20-30 years of talk like this and they may actually earn some of my respect back. Going after the pedophiles and their enablers would hurry that along, but we have to start somewhere...

"I don't know when we started thinking of "prayer" as words instead of actions"

Well at least back to the book of James - something about telling your brother to be of good cheer but not actually helping them / be doers of the word and not hearers only.

Or the Gospels - which is easier to say, "Your sins are forgiven" or "Take up your bed and walk"

For that matter, I can think of similar among the Old Testament prophets. I guess people want to either a) self-delusionally feel good that we've done something or b) sincerely comfort the other person when we don't know what to say or do.

(paraphrased from memory).

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