The Gifts of God

On Thursday morning at St. Dominic’s in San Francisco (I was moving around a bit this week), the priest celebrating the 8 a.m. Mass said, “This is a safe place, where you can commune with God.” Days after the massacre in Texas, to anyone who just happened to be walking in without context, it may have sounded like an act of defiance or a tempting of fate.
The late, great Lewis Grizzard used to tell a story about a flood and a preacher. The preacher was sitting on his roof, the floodwaters rising, and a rowboat came by to save him. "Don't worry about me, pass on!" the preacher shouted. "I'm a man of faith. God will provide for me."

In a while, the waters were higher and another boat came by. The preacher's answer was the same. Later, with the waters lapping the roof where he was sitting, a Coast Guard helicopter came by. He said the same thing to them.

Next thing you know, he found himself before the Pearly Gates. St. Peter was there, and asked the preacher what he was doing in Heaven so early. "I don't know," the preacher said. "There was a flood, but I kept telling everyone that I was a man of faith and that God would provide."

St. Peter looked at him and said, "We sent two boats and a helicopter, what did you want?"

I'm reminded of the story as we face this business, which is not otherwise a laughing matter. The Church, though, is in the same position. They were a safe place, where you could go to commune with God. They could be again. But they should reconsider the work of Geoffroi de Charny, of Raymond Lull, of the anonymous author of L'ordene De Chevalerie. The Church used to make knights, in other words, not for ceremony nor for charity but to stand as swords against evil.

These are the gifts God sent to make you safe. Denying them is denying the gift, while refusing them their chance to serve in the manner for which they were made.


douglas said...

That's the joke that I remember from the longest ago, it stuck with me for some reason.

I don't think you're going to get much satisfaction on this point from the present Pope, Grim.

Grim said...

Likely not, but the Pope is not the only man with some authority on the point.

Tom said...

I had never looked at the issue in this light, but it makes sense. Also, thanks for bringing the Warrior Cardinal to my attention.

Ymar Sakar said...

The Vatican determines what happens, not the Churches or the believers.

The Cardinal is a potential future Patriarch of Rome, thus they have pull. They can even get rid of what is termed the "Vicar of Christ" via an assassination.

Roman catholic Civil War.