SIR' In every parish there are good people, well-bred in noblesse oblige, who will support the priest whether they like him personally or not in all his works and projects, who can he relied on and who respond with a generosity that is most gratifying.
Surely the temptation for every parish priest must be to cater for these co-operative people and to ignore the difficult ones, niggardly in their response ? And yet these good people, if left by some stroke of Providence without a priest, would stick to their Faith regardless of any cost.
In almost every parish there are some of us who can at best only be called "mediocre Catholics.' We arc slow to contribute to the support of the Church. Quick to find fault, we are slow to offer anything constructive.
If the priest had to depend on us, he would have a difficult time to keep our parish going. At times, we are almost proud of our antagonism to the parish priest.
But we too have to be saved ! By ourselves, we shall have a very hard time achieving it. We are precisely the ones who need the priest's attention, his prayers and his penances as well as his charity and his constant hard work.
And yet sometimes we glimpse an opinion that we are seen as "no good not worth bothering about." The Good Shepherd had to leave his ninety-nine faithful and concentrate on His wayward sheep. Why reject the self-rejecting ?
Spiritual things come difficult to human beings like us bogged down in the material. Help us to save our souls We don't need learned or highly talented priests.
But we do need priests who love us and have kindness in their hearts for us. We will find it hard to refuse priests, who are really charitable, because love does really conquer all things even us 1 May we suggest then, this Lent, that every priest sets out to conquer some of us hard cases by showing us the love we ache deep in our hearts to see ? Persuade and cajole us back to a more ardent love of God P. Hall
Some of the "hard cases" are also rather apt to take cover when a priest threatens to come near,EDITOR C.H.