First of all, I want to make sure you, my reader, doesn’t think I’m trying to tell you to do what I do. I think everyone has different gifts of the Holy Spirit, and each person must live his faith the way he feels called to live it. For some, it’s committed Eucharistic Adoration, to some it’s daily Rosary or daily Mass. So I am not saying that you should worship God, or study God, or anything else, the way I do.
But consider this: Last Monday night, the Giants won the NL Championship, and knew they would host the first two games of the World Series. Wednesday, there were 45,000 + screaming fans there to support their Giants. Same thing with concerts. Many popular concerts sell out months before the date. Yet when a parish hosts a nationally known speaker, they have to move heaven and earth to get butts in seats. I just don’t know why people are not willing to do a little extra for their faith, and their Deity.
Personal case in point, we made some friends at another conference that I sponsored, and they moved away. But sporadically, they stay in touch, and when we found out there was going to be a conference of speakers we pay a lot of attention to (and they do, as well, on television), we called our friends, told them the details of it, and made plans to have a few hours of fellowship after the conference before driving home, three hours driving. We were very excited about the conference, and even woke up early Saturday, couldn’t sleep, so got up there early. Our friends decided they couldn’t make it, didn’t register, and didn’t tell us that they wouldn’t be there. We even went bearing a gift, something my wife went out of her way to procure. We ended up disappointed that they didn’t call or come, and then when we got home, there was a message on our voicemail while we were in their town…go figure.
And then, the parish which hosted the conference, I was amazed that about 800-1000 people were there for Saturday Vigil Mass, meaning that the parish has population, yet there were 200 people or less, at least several 30 or so, from out of town.
Here’s the thing. I know that the event did not break even monetarily. I know how much it costs to bring in a speaker, and there were 7. Yes, the four nuns were free, but you have to pay air and lodging. At any rate, try to make an effort to go hear what speakers have to say, when they come to your area. The speakers always appreciate having more people, and more people help defray the costs. The speakers are, by and large, living on what they make in speaking fees (which are tiny by comparison to what someone like Al Gore charges).