St. Agatha 5th February

Today is the feast of St. Agatha, a big saint in Sicily, who was martyred as a very young girl in the days of the Roman Empire. Her name holds her message for us, it simply means ‘good’ in Greek. In certain situations how do we decide what the good answer or course of action is? We have a man who comes to the door who is not able to organise his life. He is not drunk or high but just generally a mess. He has responsibilities which he worries about but is rarely able to sort out. Usually he comes for money. He arrived yesterday just in track suit top and bottoms and nothing else, why I know this comes later. He could not stop talking and the jist of it was that he had shingles and needed money for shopping. Even before I had asked he decided that he had to prove he had them and showed me his hands, face, and then all too graphically his bottom as well. The question is what is the best course? Should we never give out money or should we? Would it be wiser to try to get him to stand on his own two feet? He already knows of Manna House yet is still struggling. Would not giving him anything help him get a grip on life? Be shrewd as a serpent or innocent as a dove? Where is the wisdom here? Where is the good, the good answer? It is a question both of the good and of love.

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