Stealing something that doesn't belong to you is bad enough. Stealing from a church is another story altogether. Someone stole the collection from Mass during Holy Communion. A depraved and desperate soul for sure. Unfortunately, the first thought that crossed my mind when this disturbing news was delivered to the congregation was "Oh, no, now I have to call my bank and change all my account information." It was the words of another parishioner that slapped me back to reality. "Send out your guardian angel, as we did, to find that poor soul and bring him back to conversion." A little girl who does not normally attend the TLM saw what happened and was able to give the police a description. I did pray to my guardian angel for the man, but not until after I appealed to St. Anthony to find him and the money and then spent a half hour on the phone with my bank. I wasn't upset about possibly losing the money, but I didn't want the thief to have my account and routing numbers. From now on, I'm going to put an empty envelope in the basket to verify my presence at Mass and drop off my offertory donation to the rectory during business hours.
A few years ago, someone ripped the candle box right out of the floor between the time when the previous Mass ended and the next one began. The result was that the church was no longer left open for prayer between Masses. I often debate whether or not I'm going to bring my handbag with me to the altar for Holy Communion. Usually I leave it in the pew. After today, I will end that practice. I try not to bring anything of value to Mass with me anyway, but it would be a major hassle to have my car keys ripped off.
I never refuse anyone who asks for my help. I know the pastor would have reached into his own pocket to help a person in need. However, none of us is going to knowingly fork over cash to support someone's substance addiction. The person who did this is in bondage. Pray for his freedom from the slavery of addiction.