Friday, February 03, 2006

B16 to Ecumenists: "Let us not be discouraged!"

Credibility (sadly closing his blog on the Feast of St Joseph) put this story up recently:

Once it was announced that the devil was going out of Business, and would sell all his tools to whoever would pay his price. On the night of the sale he had his tools attractively displayed. They were a bad looking lot; hatred, envy, jealousy, sensuality, deceit and all his other tools.

They were all spread out, each marked with its price. Apart from the rest lay a harmless-looking, wegde-shaped tool, much worn and priced higher than all the other tools. Someone asked the devil what the tool was.

"Thats discouragement", the devil replied.

"Why is it so high priced?"

"Because," the devil replied, "It is more useful to me than any of the others. I can pry open and get into a mans conscience with that when I couldn't get near him with any of the others; and when once inside I can use him in whatever way suits me best. It is so much worn because I use i with nearly everybody. Very few people know it belongs to me."

The Devil’s price for discouragement was so high that it never sold. He still owns and uses it.

It’s a good story, that can help us in the area of Ecumenism too. Pope Benedict recently told the meeting of European ecumenists in Rome:

"We have such a long way to go! But let us not be discouraged; rather, let us start out again together with greater vigour. We can count on Christ's unfailing presence; humbly and tirelessly, we beg him for the precious gift of unity and peace."

As the theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity states: “If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven (Mt 18: 19)”. Let’s agree on this, and not fall prey to the prowling lion of discouragement!

(P.S. The other thing to do, when feeling a bit discouraged, is to have a good laugh. Humour is not one of the Devil’s tools. For further discussion, see Umberto Eco’s “Name of the Rose” etc.)

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