Monday, December 23, 2013

Bah, Christmas spirit!


We have just been putting up the crib, the weather is ghastly outside, I have just been reading the Gospels -dangerous, don't do it! Someone has just rung the doorbell and told me he arrived a few days ago from abroad for an operation and was told to come back in the New Year. The ATM has just swallowed his card, in Worthing.
I'm not sure I swallow the story but I wouldn't put a dog out on a night like this, so he is staying the night. Pray my suspicious, often disappointed parish priest side is wrong and the guardian angel is right and when I get up in the morning the family silver is still here and there is still a chalice to offer the Christmas mysteries with.
The trouble is the Gospels and the Tradition demands reckless charity... the insurance company probably has different ideas.
Imperfect charity is better than none at all.

Say a prayer ...

22 comments:

Pelerin said...

Father - I am sure that with your pastoral experience over the years you are a good judge of character. I sincerely trust that your visitor will not abuse your generous hospitality.

Just one question comes to mind - if the chap's card was swallowed up in Worthing why did he knock on your door in Brighton?

nickbris said...

They have night shelter in the Sacred Heart and the parishioners stay with them

EFpastor emeritus said...

I can understand your suspicions/ The late Fr. Hugh Thwaites RIP once returned home from giving a retreat to Sisters of Mercy where he had read something their Foundress Catherine McAuley had said:" Better to be risk being deceived by one unscrupulous beggar than to risk refusing one genuine person". He gave a bed that evening to a beggar, Next morning the beggar was gone and so was the two hundred pounds in the safe!

Best wishes for a very Happy Christmas. Your work for the poor is edifying.

Liam Ronan said...

Happy Christmas Father! I will keep you and your intentions in my prayers.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Nick, they have a night shelter that takes a limited number of 'referred' people, this guy wouldn't get in.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Pelerin,
I am hopeless judge of character, like most priests.

P├ętrus said...

Well, sometimes the peripheries come to you.

At least it will save on petrol.

I will pray for you both tonight.

Lucy said...

Well God bless you and your guest, Father, even if his story sounds dubious - God can be glorified through birth in a stable and death on a cross, so I'm sure he can be glorified through this circumstance also. I wonder if a certain journalist of your acquaintance (you know, the champion of the poor against cruel priests...) would have as much charity? Hmm....

Genty said...

Father, if he arrived from abroad for an operation he would be expected to pay. Assuming he had a card, did he ask inside the bank why his card had been swallowed?
Prayers for you that the man is of goodwill as you are. But count the spoons.

Sarah Soto said...

"lio"

With our prayers for you , your parish, and your blog.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

viterbo said...

Happy Christmas, Father.

Many thanks for letting people 'in the door' on the net as well.

God bless.

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

Was his name, by any chance, Jean Valjean?

Seaneinn said...

God bless you Father. Merry Christmas.

Independent said...

Pure religion and undefiled is this, to visit the widow and fatherless in their affliction and to keep one's self unspotted from the world.

May God bless you Fr Blake. Happy and holy Christmas.

gemoftheocean said...

Merry Christmas, Fr. Blake. You are one of the true princes of the church

The Way of Dodo said...

Always best to be a "fool for Christ", Father.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Perhaps you should have followed the example of the Holy Father and just had him in for breakfast?

MartinT said...

I am checking this site regularly to find out what happened? Will pray in the meantime that this has worked out well and will lead to an interesting post.

And thank you, Father, for sharing your home with many more strangers across the internet!

Fr Ray Blake said...

He stayed the night and left without the family silver and every chalice was in place.

Supertradmum said...

Father....sorry this comment is late, but I think you are a fantastic example of the Christmas spirit given all year round...Happy Christmas.

MaryP said...

Father, you are a mark. So many holes in that guy's story. If you had a family, you would have been wrong to risk them. Even if it is just you, wrong to risk your life. Best to call a cab and pay for a night in a hotel. And I think perhaps Sr. Catherine was wrong, too. The problem is not in being deceived, but in enabling addiction. Recovered homeless addicts say giving them money them is the worst thing you can do for them.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Mary,
No the problem is that if I do not recognise Christ in this life, he might tell me to depart from him in the life to come.

It is a matter of avoiding damnation.