|FATHER "NICK"PUNCH O.P. AND THE SMILE|
Not a bit of it!! Rather he turned them upside down! Black was white and white was black! How was it done? Let us follow step by devious step. The smile that is wired into Father "Nick's"face never slipped. He started with a little witticism that ended with "You can't fool God!".
And so dear friends, how many of us in our lives are really trying to fool God?
Do we think that knowing the teachings of the Church is following Him ?
Do we think that attending Mass and devotions is following Him?
Or do we think that being devout and pious, genuflecting properly and knowing all the Rubrics is following Him?
Do we think that regular prayer, the Rosary ,is following Him?
We can't fool God!
What did Jesus mean when He said by their fruit you shall know them?
Following Him is not all that ! No rather, it is
a kind smile
a helping hand
a thoughtful word
a visit to the sick
a gentle offer of help
We remember Jesus had said that the way to salvation is a narrow road and hard - He is the narrow road and we have to follow Him!
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You have to hand it to him, the Artful Dodger could not have done better !
Remember , we began with Jesus warning against false prophets who really intend to devour the flock.
But with sleight of hand we are led to consider every truth and act of religion is unworthy, irrelevant and deceitful and left with only the mildest reflections of Charity - niceness in effect - easy for the little old ladies and gents to lap up. Of course they have to leave behind any thoughts of the teachings of the Church, of Rubrics and Devotion , in short anything that might trammel the Team in spreading "Our Teachings"( CDs available for purchase at the door).
We have to make room for Father "Mike"to condemn the Scripture Reading as "Rubbish", for the good Sister to day after day carry on shaking Kiss of Peace hands with her back to the Altar whilst the Agnus Dei is being prayed in the Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ on the Altar.
It was a virtuoso performance - all delivered with that hard-wired smile , so persistent that it betokened either weak-mindedness or deceit - I was reminded of the nickname given a criminal in Bali "the smiling assassin".
No, I did not stay for a cup of tea or for the Session that followed it! I had had more than enough!