I have just been insulted this afternoon. At least, I think it was an insult - but was it to me, or to the Church?
I celebrated a Requiem Mass for a deceased parishioner at midday today, and then we drove down to the nearest crematorium for the repose of the body. We were joined there by quite a number of people who refused to come to the church for the Requiem.
After the cremation prayers, as the mourners were filing out, one lady came up to me, and declared that 'if that's the Catholic Faith, then I'm glad I belong to the Church of England.'
Was it something I said? Could it have been that, since I did not spend any time lauding the deceased and her wonderful life but instead encouraged those present to pray for her eternal soul to speed her way into heaven, that I had mistaken the whole purpose of dying, which is to get straight into heaven from one's death-bed? I will never know - well, not just yet anyway. As she walked off, I just grinned. The undertaker had been the target of the neighbours as well. So we both commiserated with each other!