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The Church...which church?

Unpleasant though the thought may be, life is a constant struggle between good and evil. The Devil is a pleasant, deceptive fellow. He calls a baseball team the Angels and another team the Saints. The world needs more cooperation, less competition. Sports are by their nature competitive. This week in California a high school football match ended with the parents (just the men) of the two sides slugging it out on the field, where those who were knocked out lay unconscious. Angels? Saints? Today is Sunday. The San Francisco Chronicle has a feature article titled "Line dancing in the Church of Baseball". I suppose that is the Church Triumphant. What a welcome change to watch mass at the Cathedral of San Fernando in San Antonio, Texas. Sports can bring out the worst in people, the Church can bring out the best. The congregation of respectful ordinary Mexican Americans listened with devout attention as Archbishop Patrick Flores spoke of missionary Sunday as a time to fight the delinquency, crime and other problems of San Antonio. To a non-Catholic like me, it seemed quaint that two priests from the Mexican state of Jalisco had brought the doll-like image of the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos to be on display at another church in San Antonio. Many would condemn this as idolatry, but if it heals the spirits of these Mexican Americans, it does more good than evil. Which Church will win? I am afraid that the latter is losing and that our civilization may collapse like the World Trade Center. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse of Blasco Ibaņez opens with a pre-World War I scene in which a man peels a beautiful red apple only to find that it is rotten inside. What about our Big Apple? History will tell.

Ronald Hilton - 10/20/02