Peace on Earth, iPods to all

The following was an email in response to this:

Some years ago i was going weekly to Merced California with a priest to start an orthodox parish there (i was supposed to start the choir). We always stayed at the house of a nice couple who were approaching retirement from their reasonably successful drapery business. They had a sprawling ranch-style house with a living-room,
dining room, den, 4 bedrooms, etc etc, and a tv in every room. Also a swimming pool and a 2 car garage, with two cars and another parked in front. Their children had all grown up and were off to college or beyond. They had 4 sofas, 8 tvs, two dining room tables (dining room and den), lawn furniture, 5 large beds, assorted desks, chairs, end tables, hassocks, etc etc.

So as i sat in their ample den with a martini in my hand chatting
with our hosts i began to see the real dimensions of their
involvement: the swimming pool had to be cleaned, the lawn mowed, the
trash picked up, the cars serviced, the carpets vacuumed, stuff
dusted, laundry washed, dried and folded (well, they did have a
housecleaner come in weekly, so that helped)... and on & on. And
then: bills paid, shopping done, accounting, more maintenance. Now,
they were very nice people and the wife was even sorta pious in her

simple but earnest way, but they did not have one minute to spend on
their spiritual lives-- and this, without children around any more!
And then i sorta zoomed back and looked at the whole suburb and saw
all these identical houses along the streets, and then i zoomed back
even farther and saw all of merced, and then all of california. I
began to be very terrified. Where was God? how could he find a place
in all these houses? And i realized that only poor people really had
any time for prayer. Not of course that most poor people in america
do pray a lot more-- oh, many do, but they too are caught up in the
effort to make ends meet or even just to survive. And of course,
there's tv. But still.

Had to watch my mouth, too. lotta military people in that area too,
very invested in protecting and defending our 'way of life'.

Nevertheless, i saw there was a reason why Jesus said, 'blessed are
you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God'.

Regards from abjectly poor kampala,

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