Fr. Richard’s Letter

It is strange how some things we have previously regarded as inconsequential can suddenly become a matter of extreme importance. For instance, the act of washing one’s hands, an action which we previously did by unconscious habit has become a matter of extreme importance in the battle against the corona virus.

If we tie together a bundle of sticks, or a number of books, the strength of the cord would not enter our minds, yet if we were hanging onto that cord over the side of a cliff, its strength would be of vital importance.

One of the things I have noticed about myself and other people during this pandemic, is how we have started to re-evaluate all the things that are part of the furniture of our lives. We reconsider the important things which have been left unexamined for so long.

Every human being ‘worships / gives worship to something, be it God, atheism, a particular relationship, self-regard, the list is as long as there are people.

To fail to examine our ‘worshipped things’ is a very common, and indeed, dangerous thing. A very common worship these days is the worship of money – a habit more common among the rich than the poor. The saying, ‘the love of money is the root of all evil,’ has a great deal of truth in it. It is not money that is evil, but the ‘love’, the worship of it.

I have been a priest for almost 40 years, and I have lost count of the time where a ‘mammon-money worshipper’ has broken up family relationships through greed. This has happened, I’m sad to say, in my own family too. Sadly, worshippers of this false God are remarkably good at self-justification.

We have a solemn duty to examine our worth-giving habits, or they can easily become idols, and the results of false worship are invariably ugly.

There is a hymn which I have always loved by William Cowper (1731-1800). One of the verses of the hymn sums up, succinctly, what I have tried to say.

‘The dearest idol I have known,

Whate’er that idol be,

Help me to tear it from thy throne,

And worship only thee.’


                                                                                       God bless you all and keep you safe.

Father Richard