Monday Musings - Some Soul Searching

Leave it to a friend to put you on the spot. 

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

What would you do, she asked me, if a homeless man repeatedly came into the Church to sleep, snoring and with foul body odor and refused offers to shower in the rectory? He is not otherwise disruptive or violent. He simply sleeps and stinks. Many Adorers in my friend’s parish refuse to do their Holy Hour if this man is present. 

This is no hypothetical question. This is reality in this one parish. 

The simplest and easiest solution to this difficult situation would to bar him from being with God.  Such a response may make some Adorers more comfortable, but how would the Lord they come to adore feel? What would He expect of us?

Coward that I am, I responded with a series of questions – a lot easier to do than to answer the specific one she posed.

Does He not say: “Come to me all who are weary and find rest?”

What right do we have to tell God who can come into His Presence?

Did our Lord not create this homeless man in His own image and likeness?

Have we ignored this man and others like him when we have seen them on our streets?

Has God placed this gentleman where he is now so that we can no longer ignore him and the countless others like him?

Did not Mother Theresa challenge us to see Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor?

What right do we have to tell God under what conditions we will visit Him?

Can we simply trust God and ignore the snoring and stench and instead focus all our attention on Him Who loves all of us?

Should not all who come there to adore God storm heaven on this poor soul’s behalf that He will respond to the offers of help and assistance?

Can we leave him notes of encouragement, prayer and some clean clothes?

Has God chosen this unfortunate man to be a human   monstrance in order to stir our souls?

While this man’s bodily odor is understandably offensive to us, is not the stench from our own hidden sins just as offensive to God? 

Does He seek to rid Himself of our presence because of our sins?

There are a hundred other poignant questions one could ask – all of which we would no doubt find challenging.  

Have I made you uncomfortable? Thank my friend. 

Oh, how difficult living out our Catholic Faith can be!