And yet, as I say, there's this sense, this unspoken feeling, that we are not the poor. The poor are out there, needing our help. This is sort of an atmosphere. It's hard to be very clear about why I feel it, and I don't know if others do, as well. But my parish is full of what seem to me to be fairly well-to-do people. I imagine a genuinely impoverished person coming into that parish, seeing the relative riches of the parishioners, and smelling that atmosphere--that sense that the poor are out there--might be quickly driven away.
This is, in a sense, where we need to be heading if we wish to put an end to the atmosphere in our parishes that the poor are out there. We need to stop seeing ourselves as a hand coming from above to aid those poor souls reaching up to us. We need to start seeing ourselves as the poor. Poor sinners, at the very least, even if we're financially well off. And what greater poverty can there be than the poverty of sin? Evil, after all, is mere privation. But I ramble.