certain devout man sacrificed his time and energy going from house to house, campaigning for the post of the financial secretary of his church. His wife who was also prominent in the church was moving around asking to be voted the treasurer of that church. Every night the couple spent hours in midnight prayers to win the two offices. After all Jesus Christ himself tells us, "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you" (Mtt. 7:7). If you were God, would you answer their prayer? The man has been tested as a faithful Christian for over a decade. The wife has been trusted with responsibilities in the church for some years. In other words they have been tested and trusted. The irony was that the couple had no good house. They were eating from hand to mouth. Two of their children have got admission into higher institution but sponsorship is not guaranteed. If God grants the couple's prayer in the forthcoming church election things will surely change for better in the family, because manner will fall from heaven as a result of the services of the couple as financial secretary and treasurer to the people of God.
Few years ago, a certain pious man with the Rosary hung round his neck came into my office. He bowed reverently to me and prostrated on the floor. I told him to get up and seat down because I am not God but a sinful man. He got up and was smiling like a holy angel. He asked me to pray for him before he tells me his intention of coming to see me. I obliged. After the prayer, he made the Sign of the Cross three times. He sat down and cleared his throat. He said to me, "Father I had a vision last night after my midnight prayer. God told me in that vision to ask you to include me as one of those who count Sunday collections." He further assured me that initially he turned down the divine assignment but God insisted that he must do the job for the good of the church since he is trustworthy. I was uneasy with the purported divine message. I blessed him and told him to go, that I will reach him on phone later. He walked out like a holy man. I went into the chapel before the Holy of Holies to confirm from God about the man's vision. God revealed to me that the pious man is a wolf in sheep's clothing and that he came back to his village after squandering his master's money. The next day I invited him to my office. I thanked him for volunteering to assist in counting of church collections. I told him not to worry because we still have experts handling the church collections. Nevertheless, I asked him to help in closing the church doors and windows after morning Mass daily. On hearing this, the contour of his face changed. He nodded affirmatively in accepting the assignment. From that day till today, I have never set my two eyes on him again.
Many people have no more fear of the Sacred. Last weekend, specifically on Saturday, as worshippers were in the church praying and singing at about 5.30a.m, a male thief of 15 years broke into the Chapel of Adoration at Awka where the Holy of Holies was exposed. He wangled his way into the collection box through a protector. He forced it open with tools concealed in his side pockets and filled his pockets with higher denominations and passed through the protector to escape. Unfortunately, one day is for the thief while the other day is for the owner of the house. The eyes of a passer-by caught him red handed. He ran out and attempted to scale over a wall but missed his step. Consequently the hands of the security men caught him like a stubborn rat. Instantly he was given the beating of his life and was also handcuffed. He confessed for having indulged in the act four times. He came into Awka from a nearby town with four letters. As he was leaving home early that morning, he told his grandmother that he was going to morning Mass. In Jesus' temptation at the temple pinnacle, the devil lied by assuring Jesus that God has given the Angels command to catch him (Jesus) so that he might not stumble as he jumps down. As a child my mother knew whenever I was lying. She normally remarked, "Before Abraham I am." Imagine a thief going to early morning Mass.
A young Altar servant in cassock was once caught with Holy Communion still in his mouth emptying money in the collection box into his private bag. He was there and then caught in the unholy act. He broke into crocodile tears and pleaded, "Please forgive me for I do not know what I was doing. I thought I was doing that in a dream. The devil is responsible." He was then asked to point at the devil so that he can be arrested. He pointed at a goat offered at the Mass which was tittered on a rope nearby. The goat shouted, "Mee! Mee! Not me. I am an animal and not a devil." The thief said to the goat, "Can you swear?" Finally the dishonest holy thief was handed over to appropriate authority for discipline.
Some men of God are thieves personified. They steal in the name of ministering to the people. Often they request for the sowing of fake seeds or receive unjustifiable tithes from their unsuspecting flock. Those who sowed the seeds or gave the tithes receive nothing in return. Instead they are impoverished and go home as worse as they came. There was a certain man who was doing business at Jos without success for some years. After a period of time, he started prophesying that God has ordained him to spread the good news to the rich, the poor and the down trodden. He faked miracles to deceive the people into believing. The said miracles were stage managed. One day he boasted of curing mad people. Five such mad people who earlier practiced with him came up to the gospel stage for deliverance. They were behaving madly. The man of God started practicing his art. The congregation was singing praises. Suddenly a real mad man carrying a big knife came from nowhere and jumped into the healing stage. The five "mad men" displayed for healing and the man of God himself screamed and ran for their dear lives. There was a great stampede whereby twelve persons were trampled to death including the pastor's wife. The healing ministry ended abruptly. The man of God himself ran mad. Today he is roaming the streets talking with unseen forces. The evil that men do lives with them. What of the evil that women do?
Those practicing healing ministry with the intention of enriching themselves at the detriment of the poor masses should know that you can deceive people some of the times but not all the times. Often, when tortoise and tortoise engage in business, none of them gains anything. It has been discovered that the easiest way to make money is to fake miracles in the name of God. A certain woman pretended to be possessed by the devil. She went to a popular healing pastor for healing. The pastor after practicing his holy divination told her that her husband was responsible for her possession. He proffered that the solution to the acute satanic possession is that the possessed woman must sleep in the pastor's house. At midnight the pastor started his healing ministry over the woman by removing her clothes and anointing her with holy oil. As he attempted to have sex with the possessed woman, she shouted on top of her voices, "Santanic pastor, you are the one possessed by the devil! I have discovered your tricks." The pastor's wife and children came out and saw the pastor standing naked before the naked possessed woman. Who need's deliverance, the woman or the pastor? Do you know the pastor in question? Point at him now!
Do you know that thieves come to church bazaars to price things? When the auctioneer says, "Going, going, gone!" they smile and cart away the things offered by the people for the good of the church and for the glory of God on credit without qualms of conscience. A certain thief debtor was approached after a number of years to pay for all he bought on credit at past church bazaars. He frowned at those sent to him and said, "I do not owe anybody but God. When God himself comes I shall pay him. Please get out of my house at the count of three!" He went into his room and came out with a gun. The debt collectors ran without looking back. After three days, the bazaar thief was killed by thunder as he was eating the meat of one of the goats he bought on credit in the church. Has God not come by himself? This is a delicious food for thought. The problem of man is that he fails to learn from history. That is why ugly history continues to repeat itself. It is better to steal in the devil's house than to steal in God's house.