Several weeks ago, I saw a parishioner whom I had not seen in a very long time. After exchanging the pleasantries with him, I told him how sorry I was to learn of his decision to leave the church along with his family. "But Father, " he protested, "I haven't left the church." I explained to him, however, that I had not seen him or his family in church for a very long time. His children no longer sang in the Jr. Choir or participated in youth activities. Neither he nor his wife had worked in the festival or attended a meeting of a parish organization. They had not even made a contribution to the church in recent years. Is it any wonder that I thought they had left? What is it that he would do, if he quit, that he had not already done?
That is why many of you who read this bulletion do not belong to the church. You are not a part of it at all. You have decided to become nothing more than a simple entry on our large mailing list.
Someone once calculated that if we lived for for 70 years, we would spend 3 years in the classroom, 8 years in amusements, 6 years eating, 5 years in an automobile, 4 years in idle conversation and 3 years ill or convalescing. But in an average life of 70 years, we would spend much less than 1 year for God, even if we spend 90 minutes a week in church and 10 minutes a day in prayer.
Most of us, however, spend far less time than that in prayer and worship. Looking at life from this point of view gives us an opportunity to ask ourselves two pointed questions--Am I truly a Christian? Do I really belong to the Church?