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The Pope's Leftovers

September 26, 1987

Regarding the letter proposing that the Pope's meals be sent to the poor, I am reminded of G.K. Chesterton's observation that only Catholicism has been able to maintain that delicate balance of feasting and fasting that human nature needs.

Certainly no other single institution has done more for the poor than the Catholic Church. And yet we are begrudged a little party, a little feasting when a once-in-a-lifetime visit from our beloved Holy Father takes place?

It reminds me of the passage in St. Matthew's Gospel where Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anoints Jesus with an expensive ointment:

"When they saw this the disciples were indignant. 'Why this waste?' they said. 'This could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.' . . . (Jesus replied:) 'You have the poor with you always but you will not always have me.'. . ." (Matt. 26: 6-13).

And so it is for he who "comes in the name of Jesus Christ," our Holy Father. When he came, we feasted, we rejoiced: He has left us with renewed strength to continue our apostolates to the poor and the helpless.

Viva la Papa!

MRS. DEBORAH GRUMBINE

Whittier

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