Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

The (spiritually) rich get richer...

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 04, 2017

Good friends of ours lost a brother to cancer recently. Since they’re from a very big and very Catholic family, the internet has been buzzing with requests for, and promises of, prayers for the dying man and the grieving family.

I never met the brother, but from all I’ve heard he was a wonderful Christian gentleman, who lived an exemplary life and died with all the sacramental and prayerful support one could want. It might be presumptuous, but it would not be crazy, to speculate that he’s already in heaven. But I haven’t seen any such speculation; his family and friends keep asking for prayers.

Now contrast this with the typical funeral in an ordinary parish. Even when there’s no evidence of sanctity on the part of the deceased— in fact even when there’s considerable contrary evidence— the homily will at least hint that he’s in heaven, and the eulogy will say it outright. Nobody will ask for prayers.

So the guy who seems least in need of prayers gets plenty, while the guy who might need them most gets none. The rich get richer…

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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