Spiritual Advisor (Each month, a Spiritual Advisor will write an article)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Lord,
“A Parable of the Church” by Ross Paterson
On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a crude little lifesaving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat. But the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea. With no thought for themselves, they went out day and night, tirelessly searching for the lost. Many lives were saved by the wonderful little station so that it soon became famous.
Now some of those who were saved and various others in the surrounding area wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time, money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews trained. The little lifesaving station grew.
Now some of the members of the lifesaving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and so poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge for those that were saved from the sea, so they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. Now the lifesaving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely. Now they sort of used it as a "club”.
Fewer members were interested in going to sea or lifesaving missions, so they hired lifeboat crews to do the work. The lifesaving motif still prevailed in the club’s decorations and there was still a liturgical initiation held.
About this time, a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the hired crew brought in boats full of cold, wet, and half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick, and some had black skin and some yellow. The beautiful new club was in chaos. So, the property committee immediately built a shower house outside the club where victims of shipwrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside.
At the next meeting, there was a split in the club’s membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. Some members insisted on lifesaving as their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a lifesaving station. But they were finally voted down and told if they wanted to save the lives of all the various people that were shipwrecked, they could begin their own lifesaving station down the coast. And so, they did.
And as the years went by, the new station experienced the same kind of changes that occurred in the old. It evolved into a club and yet another lifesaving station was founded. History continued to repeat itself, and if you visited that seacoast today, you would find a number of exclusive clubs along the shore.
Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown.
From Father Jim Brown:
So, we are needed not to be a club, but to be ministers of evangelization as Cursillistas!