Saturday, 4 August 2018

The Perils of Charitable Giving

Almost weekly, but particularly more so during Christmas, we receive letters through the post urging us to donate to this and that charity. So much so that you end up feeling guilty if you do not respond to one appeal or another. They all have a sad tale to tell, with photos of people in difficulties, which you can alleviate with any donation you might give.

Some charities even suggest you sponsor or "adopt" as part of your donation. For example they would say that this or that animal is threatened with extinction and if you were to promise to donate a certain sum each month you would "adopt" such an animal. They would send you a photo of the animal, sometimes a cuddly toy too, and every so often a letter "from" the animal telling you how it is doing and how happy it is in the reserve where it is living.

OK ... I go along with this marketing ploy to get you to put your hand in your pocket and donate; each month, for ever more. They do need money after all and every marketing tactic will help.

I remember when I worked for a large company and we were preparing to launch a new product the Marketing Manager asked me: "And which tactic do you prefer?" I responded: "The orange ones!" I did not last long in that firm.

Anyway, back to "adoptions". They are in fact adoptions by proxy. You send the money, they look after the animal in question for you.

After all, it would be ludicrous if they sent you the animal to look after. Can you imagine opening your front door and finding a rhinoceros out there? What would you do with him? You can hardly walk him to the park or play fetch by throwing a ball and have him run to get it back. Even if he were to chase the ball, the chances are he would pierce it with his horn.

The only thing a rhinoceros is good at is running at your jeep, (or similar car), and hitting it hard with his head. Because that's what he has been taught to do in the wild. I have seen in on TV. The interviewer introduces the animal and explains what it's good at and the animal obliges by head-butting the jeep, (or similar car). He would not do it if it was a different type of car or a bicycle for instance.

Anyway, to continue what I was saying, these adoptions are always by proxy. Or so I thought.

They asked us during Advent in church to help with continuous donations to train new priests. I kindly obliged and filled in a form.

Three days before Christmas we had a new trainee priest standing at our door. He came to live with us.

I could not believe it! I never agreed to have a priest living with us. I read the form I signed, and there, in very very small print, it said so in Santa Clause 365 Chapter 366, sub-paragraph you'll be too tired to read thus far: "The priest will live with you until he qualifies as a fully working priest and has gained at least one A Grade in his exams".

Those Catholics had tricked me once again.

Apparently I have to have this priest living with us for I don't know how long. My lawyer said it is until he finishes his training. I hope he is not a slow learner.

Can you imagine what it's like having a priest living with you? I have to mind what I say and do. For a start, I cannot watch Two and a Half Men and the adventures of Charlie Harper on TV. The priest does not approve of that. And there's a limit to how much EWTN I can take. All this religion is doing my head in.

I have even stopped drinking my favourite whisky or can of Guinness. And yet again, there's a limit to how much coffee I can take. I am so wound up I'm likely to lose control soon. Coffee is making me run to the bathroom more often than I like to.

The trainee priest sits there quietly all day reading his books and praying all the time. Every so often he asks us, ever so politely, to test him by asking him questions from his revision books. Questions like "what does ora pro nobis mean?" And other Latin phrases which he has to learn by heart. Does anyone know how to say "Clear off!" in Latin?

Worse of all, since he has been here I have had to be very nice and very good indeed. I am not myself any more. My family have noticed and liked the transformation in me. They say I am a much nicer person. That's what a lack of a good drink does to you and endless hours of EWTN. Even the cat now likes me and sits on my lap purring. It's really too much. Oh ... to be able to sin again!

I went to confession the other day and I had nothing to tell our regular priest. Ever since we've had this trainee priest living with us I have been turning into a Saint. I did not do one thing wrong or bad for ages. Not one impure thought, not one biscuit or chocolate too many, in fact none at all. Not one greedy piece of cake or my favourite cheese. In fact I am losing weight as well as being saintly - maybe it's all those sins washing away.

Can YOU imagine what it would be like having a priest living with you? Seriously now. Think about it. How would it change your life? Would it change you for the better?

Another thought - Jesus is with you right now and every day. How does this affect the way you behave?

24 comments:

  1. I spent a summer once with a good friend & her father was a minister...I was on my BEST behavior until the father swore at a televised baseball game...I realized then - he was fun AND human.

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    1. I see what you mean, Anni. It's funny how we're on our best behaviour when we're with a man of the cloth.

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. Yes, we are always being asked to give to charity and I'm sure most of us have our more favoured ones.
    It's also good to give time to help local causes too.

    Over the years I have met those ministers I preferred and those that I didn't! A little like life!


    Enjoy your weekend!

    All the best Jan

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    1. Indeed Jan. I have met some good priests in my time. They were/are my inspiration for the Father Ignatius books I write.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  3. Point well taken, Victor. You have made me think...

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    1. Thank you Chris. When my priest read this he told me he did not know what I was getting at until the last paragraph.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  4. Read very carefully before you donate anything!

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  5. It's strange to read this today. We have the bucket patrol out today in the street collecting money for hospice. They have a setup that makes people slow down in their cars and stop to drop their donation in to a bucket. I don't like that because if you don't give, it makes you feel guilty. People like to donate to a charity or cause on their own.

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    Replies
    1. I understand Bill. I feel the same when they come knocking at one's door for a collection.

      God bless.

      Delete
  6. LOL... ALWAYS read the small print, but then shouldn't we all be living like we had a Priest living with us? Jesus, like Santa Claus, knows when we've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!! Loved this!!

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    1. That's precisely the point, Terri. We should live as if we always had a priest, or Jesus with us. In fact, He is with us; always. As I mentioned to Chris Lally, (above), my priest liked this post when he read it.

      God bless.

      Delete
  7. Caught me off guard at the end,Victor. Yes, we do have Jesus with us each day and our behaviors should reflect His presence.
    Blessings!

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    1. Exactly what my priest said when he read this post. Caught him off guard.

      I'm glad you liked this post, Martha.

      God bless you and your family.

      Delete
  8. I'd certainly never considered what it would be like having a priest living with us. But if need be, I think we could manage it. Hoping at the same time he could manage being with us. Certainly something to consider. Thank you for this reflection.

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    1. Thank you for visiting us again Cathy. Glad to see you.

      God bless.

      Delete
  9. What a thought-provoking poser! As long as the priest wasn't like my Uncle - a stern German Lutheran minister - I'd be fine ... and, would probably enjoy learning from him.
    On the other hand? How I'd hope Jesus Christ has a sense of humor!

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    1. That's the point Mevely. We should act as if Jesus is with us everyday. And indeed He has a sense of humour. If He hasn't then I'm in dead trouble!!!

      God bless you.

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  10. The last line was great and it was what I was thinking while reading your post! : )

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    1. Thank you Happyone. I'm so glad you agree with me.

      God bless you always.

      Delete
  11. I would definitely have some problems with a priest living in my home. It would drive me bonkers to watch every little word I said, especially when I lose my temper... I could make a truck driver blush! I need some space between me and our "go between"...Jesus knows the real me. He knows that I am not quite the sweet little old woman who sits in the back of the church...he still loves me. But my priest isn't aware of it just yet. He will when I go to confession...Amen

    I am never sure where you will take us in your writings Victor, but I am happy to tag along :)

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    1. Half the time, Jan, I am not sure myself where my writing takes me and my readers. A number of my posts are written spontaneously. No title ... at first ... just thoughts translated into words ...

      Indeed God loves us all and knows our true heart.

      God bless.

      Delete
  12. Still holding my sides, laughing Victor!

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    1. Thank you David. I often try to use humour to make a point in my Christian writings. My other humourous posts and books serve to attract new readers.

      God bless you always.

      Delete

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