For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Feeding The Parishioners

Originally when I created this blog, my intention was to give equal time to the political and religious matters that seem relevant today. Unfortunately the political has grossly outweighed the religious (or spiritual) here due to my recent focus on news rather than scripture.

In an attempt to equal the balance I have included part of a Sunday church service I heard on some radio station while driving on some highway last year. I wish I could give the person who first delivered this the credit he deserves. It isn't transcribed word for word, but instead is put together by me from memory after listening to it while simultaneously driving a big rig. Hope you find it coherent and enlightening.

One day a man walks into a pet store to purchase a bird. He sees a few from which to choose. One is very talkative and another sings a lot, but both are very expensive. Then he finds one on sale who's just sitting there on his perch quietly, doing nothing...

CUSTOMER: (to salesman) What's this one doing? He's just sitting there. I'm looking for a talking bird.

SALESMAN: Oh, he's quite a good talker. He talks all day and night if you let him. Just buy him some toys to play with and he'll keep you entertained.

CUSTOMER: Hmmm. Well, the price is right. Sure, why not?

So the customer takes his new pet bird home and puts him near the window, ties a bell to the top of the cage for him to ring, and waits. The bird rings the bell a few times and then just sits there.

The next day the customer goes back to the pet shop...

CUSTOMER: (to salesman) I bought a bell for the bird to ring and he just sits there.

SALESMAN: Oh, well (handing customer another toy). Try this ladder. They just love running up and down ladders.


So the customer takes the ladder home, puts it in the cage and waits. The bird runs up and down the ladder, rings the bell, and then just sits there.

The customer returns to the pet store again and again buying several toys to get his bird to talk. Finally the bird rings the bell, runs up and down the ladder, looks in his little mirror, spars with the little punching bag, runs on the hamster wheel for a while, dashes through his little tube maze, and then falls over on his back. And in his last dying breath says:

BIRD: Doesn't that pet store sell any birdseed?

The moral of the story is this:

Too many churches today rely too much on activities and entertainment rather than feeding God's Word to its people.


Paul said...

Matt, that was so good!

A church is not a movie theatre, or a tv station, that has to gauge its effectiveness by its attendance.

Post Vatican II, the
Catholic church in America has suffered greatly in its priestly vocations (see "Good Bye, Good Men") and the main-stream protestant denominations are losing parishioners left and right. All because of an abandonmnt of orthodoxy, and an attachment to the currently popular PC culture.


K T Cat said...

I think the political outweighs the rest because it's so easy. On my own blog, I find myself swearing off political posts from time to time, but going right back to them a little while later. They're like popcorn or potato chips. They're easy to write because the topics are emotional and require very little intellectual effort.

St. Blogustine said...

I don't know if I agree with that. My own belief is that politics is like comedy. You can do slap-stick and poo-poo jokes 'til the cows come home,...or you can put forth some intellectual effort and come up with some very witty satire.

Or politically speaking, you can be one of Stalin's useful idiots and maybe even a conspiracy theorist,...or you can base your political beliefs on a Federalist approach or Locke and Hobbes...or just plain Bill Buckley Jr.!

Life itself requires very little intellectual effort...but it's always sweeter if you add a bit.