Like a lot of religious and priests, I'm not one for conflict and confrontation. When I have to challenge or confront someone, I get this urgent and frightened queasiness in my guts. Over the course of my work as parish priest, however, I've gotten better at it and now I can even confess that sometimes I almost like that feeling.
After Masses this morning, when I went into church to light some candles and make some new holy water, I had a chance to confront our local would-be poor box thief, who often hangs out in the back at that time of day. I love what I said:
[walking up to him and pointing]
"You got caught! Saturday after the funeral, you were seen trying to steal from poor St. Anthony! Now get out of here before I call the cops!
[He skulks out, and I yell after him]
And say a prayer for me!