JOHN AND SUSAN often quarrel, as you might expect with 18-year-old brother and 16-yearold sister, but when it comes to things about their religion, they are always ready to listen to each other — more than to me or their Dad.
John was telling us of his experience in the Cathedral and Susan was with him every inch of the way.
"Can you imagine it," he said, "just after Mass at the High Altar and this woman went to do her devotions in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, and what did she find there but two hippy kind of girls fast asleep.
"They'd been out all night, and she gave them what for for their disgraceful behaviour in using the Cathedral as their dosshouse and she made them get up and clear out. She went all the way down to the main door tel ing them what kind of girls they were.
"There was an old woman there who sad to her: 'Why shouldn't they go to sleep in the bit of warm here? It's their Father's house, isn't it?' But it didn't make any difference."
Susan said: "Yeah — and if you go any time into St Martin's in the Fields, I bet you'll find all sorts of strange types fast asleep in the pews or stalls. Nobody minds there."
John laughed. "I wonder how many fleas they leave behind? What price St Francis kissing a leper? It's a pretty story so long as it's just kept in a book. Now take Centre-point. There's something real about that."
Susan said: "Oh yeah — there are lots of good men and women doing soup-runs and things — atheists and agnostics a lot of them. I'm talking about the way so many good Catholics think — all nice and comfortable. Jesus wasn't nice and comfortable."
So what is the answer to that? Do I stop cooking a good dinner for them? I don't know. But I do know that they won't listen to what I say about the Church until they see that I really care for the unfortunates of our society. Really is the operative word. Authenticity. Attitude and action.