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The Church must challenge the idea that life on earth always ends with heaven

The drama of salvation is one in which we all play a part, whether we like it or not

By on Thursday, 6 September 2012

Michelangelo's Last Judgment (CNS photo)

Michelangelo's Last Judgment (CNS photo)

In the August 24 edition of the print version of The Catholic Herald I wrote an article which dealt with the necessity of evangelisation in the face of declining Catholic practice in the United Kingdom. This attracted two replies in the letters column of the paper the next week, one of which came from Fr Andrew Pinsent, of Oxford University. What he says is so interesting, I thought I would reproduce it here.

Fr Pinsent identifies two problems which have led to our current state of affairs:

First, there has been an almost complete loss of any sense of the “drama of salvation”, namely that the eternal outcome of our lives is an open question. If you ask churchgoers today what they think happens to them when we die, many of them will say that we go to heaven, not judgment (cf Hebrews 9:27).

He is completely correct in this and puts his finger on something important. I remember once being in the Cathedral of Torcello, which boasts a huge mosaic of the Last Judgment. I was resting my weary feet while a guide explained the significance of the mosaic to some tourists. The person next to me said: “He is explaining it from the outside.” In other words, modern people look at the Last Judgement as a picture in which they themselves are not present.

But in every picture of the Last Judgement, if we look carefully, we will see ourselves depicted. This is a drama in which we will play a part, whether we like it or not. To imagine that heaven follows life on earth almost as a matter of course is to delude oneself.

Here one might add that the Church needs to tread carefully: we need to challenge people’s idea that salvation is automatic, without driving them away. We must of course stress God is Love and Mercy; but we must also stress that he is perfect Justice as well, and that in Him charity and justice coincide without any contradiction.

Fr Pinsent goes on:

Second, there has been a loss of any distinction between the life of nature and the life of grace. Much teaching and pastoral example today implies that being a Catholic is simply one way to cultivate civic virtue and good manners. What has largely been forgotten is the meaning and importance of sanctifying grace, by which we become adopted children of God, enjoying the gift of second-person relatedness to God, the ultimate fruit of which is to enter the communion of saints in heaven.

Again, I find myself in complete agreement. While it is true that religion is socially useful, we must resist all attempts to understand religion as purely a socially useful phenomenon. You become a Catholic to experience God’s grace at first hand in the sacraments, not because Catholics are a nice bunch of people, or because they have good schools. All the social and secular activities of our parishes must be subordinate to this one end – the reception of divine grace; indeed that is the only reason behind the social structures, to make the sacraments more accessible to people.

Fr Pinsent concludes:

This combination of lethargic universalism and loss of grace, aided and abetted by certain perverted theological writings of the last century, drains much of the urgency out of Catholic life and mission and cuts us off from most Christians of previous ages. Unless we recover an appreciation of such principles, I fear that even serving better coffee after Mass will not arrest the decline.

I wonder which theologians he has in mind? But of our contemporaries, let me point the finger at whoever invented the phrase “faith-based initiatives”. This implies that people have faith and so go on to found schools or hospitals. But it is the faith that matters more than the initiative. The phrase subordinates faith to socially useful works, which is dangerous. Faith matters.

This danger crops up in certain missionary ambiences, where the Church can be hugely successful in building schools, hospitals, and model farms, all great faith-based initiatives. But in the midst of this success, the missionaries can lose sight of what it was they came for: not any physical structure, but the proclamation of what Fr Pinsent so rightly terms “the drama of salvation”.

  • Parasum

    “If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves.”

    ## That’s half-true, though not wholly true. Fear of punishment is a good thing, if it dissuades us from doing evil that might damn us; it is a good motive *as far as it goes* for resisting temptation, repenting, or withdrawing from occasions of evil that it would be culpable for us not to withdraw from. If someone is dissuaded from committing  (say) murder by fear of punishment, disgrace, & other inconveniences, that is definitely a good thing. To prevent a sin, or to stop sinning, is always good. And even the least sin is an incalculably great evil.

    Fear arising from punishment falls short of the best motive for avoiding sin – the love of God planted in our hearts by the Holy Spirit -  because we should love God as Our Father, and hold Him in all reverence, “fearing” Him in *that* sense; we are not meant to be content with *being afraid of God* as the One Who has power to punish us as our sins deserve. Fear of punishment can by God’s grace be the beginning of our conversion – it can never be the end of it. We should not be content to be related to God as His slaves, when He has revealed to us that He wishes us to be His beloved children in His Son.

  • Parasum

     He’s very thought-provoking.

  • Parasum

     As a rule of thumb (not very theological !), the greater our knowledge, the greater our culpability, and the heavier our judgement. All things being equal, of course. But there are so many imponderables that it’s impossible for us to read off our spiritual “temperature” & know that our conclusions about our spiritual state are accurate.  It is after all God Who will judge us – not us. And we will not be judged more harshly than we deserve, for “He remembers that we are dust.”

    We can’t know stand our standing before God; we can estimate it. And we can ask for God’s grace, to love Him better. 

  • Common-sense-man

    That’s what happens when – in the name of “relevance” – religion is taken out of a religion. Sheer nonsense. In order to “cultivate civic virtue” one doesn’t have to belong to the Church, donating to, say, the Red Cross is completely sufficient. But without Christ and the salvation He offers there is no Christianity.

  • Parasum

     Why have you failed to mention so many other Saints who say the same :) ?

  • Parasum

     “Mary is way over-rated as a mediator.”

    ## She most definitely is not. Far from being  “over-rated as a mediator”, she:

    1. Is not honoured & loved enough.

    2. mediates in and through & from Christ The One Mediator. Her mediation, is a “function” of His, and all the grace and power & efficacy  & scope of hers, is a function of His.

    “Her repentence eventually, at the foot of the cross”

    ## Better: her grief at the foot of the Cross was her share in His Passion. Her sorrows were not private – they were part of His sufferings.

    “In fact she tried, like Peter, to thwart Christ’s mission.” 

    ## In the context of the gospels, there are several possible reasons for mentioning this:

    1. She needed to realise that His mission was universal, not able to confined to family ties.

    2. She did not appreciate that His Father’s Will had to take precedence even over ties of blood, no matter what.

    3. The evangelists, having shown Jesus being tempted by the tempter directly, show Him being tempted by the tempter through human beings as well, from a variety of motives. St. Peter is addressed as “Satan” because satan is ultimately responsible for the temptation (to abandon the way of the Cross that Jesus had to walk) which Peter voiced. The maternal love of Mary could have been very dangerous, not because it was sinful, but because love can take a form that stops the person loved doing God’s Will. Her love was not wrong – her understanding of her Son was deficient, allowing her to make inaccurate judgements as to how He should behave.

    4. She too was a disciple, IOW a learner – so she had to learn what God’s Will was. Lack of depth of understanding is not sin. We aren’t entitled to discount inconvenient passages, but neither do we have to interpret them in a way that is more unfavourable than the meaning of the text requires. None of the texts relevant to these passages requires us to think Our Lady sinned. 

    She opposed him, but out of love for Him. The attitude of St.Peter is presented as less innocent; and that of the religious authorities as even less innocent. There is a recurring theme in St. Luke’s books of opposition to the Gospel. All these gradations and forms of oppositions are for us to notice as well; we are no different from the people in the Gospel. 

  • Parasum

     10 “like”s to that.

  • Parasum

    STM you & the OP both correct.

  • Johannes

    Christ obviously felt she had a role to play in the future Church:

    “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” John 19: 26-27

    If Mary was to minister to the Evangelist ‘whom he loved’, and the Evangelist to her, then she’s good enough to minister to us, too. Don’t you think?

  • Parasum

    “Many good people have no religious belief.”

    ## That is extremely ancient news LOL The OP is bang on, however, because God’s action to help us do good does not imply that we know God is active, or even that God exists. He is always doing good – whether or not we even exist. People are living instruments of His goodness, through whom He acts, whatever they may believe. 

    What good anyome does, is God’s goodness working through them. Not because they are good – “God Alone is Good” – but because He is. God, Alone, is Great – we are His creatures, & are responsible to Him.

  • Parasum

     ## Faith in Christ – forget  “religion” in the abstract – brings life, the True Life – it’s not theory. First comes the living, then the theorising & the articulation of doctrine. The disciples had to be friends of God, before they could talk about Him. Catholicism is ultimately not a bunch of ideas, or even of doctrines known to be true; it is a foretaste of eternal participation in the Life of the One God. Our knowledge is very incomplete, & full of obscurities, but it is non-existent. It is a throughly practical knowledge, not an empty speculation for those with nothing better to do. Nothing could be more practical

    Original sin is a fact of life – the only thing not empirically verifiable about it, is the causation of it. Even “good (!)” people do wrong, because they are radically damaged by it, just like the rest of us.

  • Parasum

     No :)

    Prayer is one of God’s ways of giving us a part in His work – of doing through us what in principle He could do far more effectively without involving us.

    It’s an example of God’s Humility. as it were. God does not need us, at all. He needs nothing, for He is Infinite in Goodness, Power & Love. He allows us a part in His work, not for His sake, but for ours. He makes use of us, to bring about the realjsation of His Will in the world, not by our power, but through His. 

    We have no power over God, to prompt or force Him to do anything; the initiative, and the whole of His action through us, is entirely His work. We pray, not because we think of doing so, but because His Spirit acts in us to make us think of praying, want to pray. This action is not perceptible to us.

    It’s v. difficult to make sense of why Christians say prayer is so important, unless a lot more things are made clear too. A lot is going on when people pray – a lot of doctrines and beliefs are put into action.

    Hope that helps. 

  • Parasum

    There are no coincidences. What seems to A  to be a concidence:

    1. May be intended for person A

    2. May be intended for somebody else

    All things are subject to the Will of God – not just the big things, but even tiny ones too. There is atheism only because God in His Wisdom  has “allowed for” it to exist; He can work for our good & His Glory even through our unbelief. What one person experiences as “luck” or “coincidence”,or as unimportant, may be hugely important for the happiness or unhappiness of someone else.

    Nothing in the world about us is outside the Wisdom of God. Not even in this world of technology and countless disasters. Even our inmost thoughts are not outside His Power – so they, and we, are not outside His Mercy either.  

  • Parasum

    God’s action is not related to ours; we are not His puppets. He does not (horrible word) “zap” people to get them to do His Will.

    In an Agatha Christie story, who is the murderer ? The murderer ? Agatha Christie ? Without AC, there would be no murder. They characters would not be in the right places to be suspected. They would not even exist. The real murderer of Roger Ackroyd, is not the person collared for the crime (who may for all the reader knows be innocent anyway – Poirot is not infallible or inerrant; he could be wrong); but Agatha Christie.

    Agatha Christie is active in the book “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” – but she is not a character in it; Poirot is, & so is the murderer, so is the victim, & so are the rest of the characters. AC is *related to* the world the book, – but *in a different way* from the characters in it. It is *their* continuum or environment  – not hers. She is in it, certainly, but by her activity as author & (sub-)creator; not as a character. They depend on her for their very being. She has not committed the murder – the murderer in her story has. And he does so because the interrnal logic of the story within which he & every thing else exists makes the murder possible, but not required.

    This is where the comparison limps a bit – a human author cannot give self-consciousness to a character, to free from the limitations of the author. God has no limitations, so He can create characters – IOW, angels & men – who are able to be self-conscious & to act in the (limited but great) freedom this gives. We have spiritual souls, with qualities that reflect God’s character, dimly, but truly. Poirot OTOH does not. He is subcreated by Agatha Christie, not created by God. We are more real, & so, more free, than characters in a story by a human author – we have a Divine Author, in Whose Freedom we have a part; so we are more responsible for our choices than any human fiction could be. 

    Even so, a character in a story can reflect realities such as human moral responsibility – and the comparison allows that to happen: there is after all a murderer to arrest. So the difference between the murderer in the book, the & author of the book, shows that there can be activity by a character not in the story, without the character not in the story being blameworthy for the actions of the characters in it

    A silly example maybe, but it may help (If it doesn’t – forget it ASAP).

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Funny! :-)

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Johannes, thank you very much. 

    I am learning a lot here too: from those who are more learned than myself and also learning (in a different way) the appalling levels of ignorance about the Catholic Faith on the part of those who should know better (that’s of course not aimed at you). 

  • Parasum

    Sin. Eternal frustration – since God has created all men to be fully happy only in Him.

    Hell is terrible, because we all have such a mind-blowing vocation. The joy of knowing God as fully & super-abundantly as He wishes us to know & love Him, is the measure of Hell. We do not have to be damned – our wills & choices take there. But neither do we have to be saved – we can, if we insist, refuse the eternal joy, peace & happiness which alone can satisfy us. The alternative is the loss of God & all the pain that causes, not unconsciousness.

    If we really insist on having nothing but eternal misery, all freely self-inflicted, irreversible, and affecting everything in us, then we will have it. By far the worst misery of Hell will be the loss of God. It is impossible for anything to be worse than the loss of God for eternity. To lose God, is to lose all happiness. None of this need happen – it is entirely our own fault if it does.

  • JabbaPapa

    Priests have unrivalled opportunities, countless opportunities, to drive home this point. Do they avail themselves of them ?

    The Church is obviously wary about promoting those teachings that might appear to support Protestant doctrines, but you make a fair point.

    In my experience, priests who tend to organise frequent, and some regular, parish gatherings will tend to promote the doctrine on good works, whilst those who are more wary of such gatherings tend not to.

    I think it might vary according to their attitudes towards the involvement of laity in the work of the Church, and towards the more or less unnecessary arguments that the teachings of Vatican II on this question have occasioned.

  • JabbaPapa

    Yes, you’re right — there’s an over-abundance of psychology in contemporary Church attitudes, often at the clear expense of the teleological and other forms of our Mysticism.

    Psychology helps understand our minds, but not always our souls, nor their relationship with the Eternal.

  • JabbaPapa

    Has the Church never pronounced on the eternal fate of Judas Iscariot?

    In fact — no.

    The final destination of Judas Iscariot, as that of any individual except for those among the Saints who have manifested their Graces to us from their place near to God, is an unknowable.

    Apart from Judas’ betrayal, Judas was also a full recipient of the Graces given to the Apostles before the Pentecost, as described in Matthew 10 for example : he gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out and to cure every sickness and every infirmity … go to the sheep who have fallen away from the house of Israel.
    {10:7} And going forth, preach, saying: ‘For the kingdom of heaven has drawn near.’
    {10:8} Cure the infirm, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You have received freely, so give freely.

    Judas Iscariot does these things too : Mark {6:12} And going out, they were preaching, so that people would repent.
    {6:13} And they cast out many demons, and they anointed many of the sick with oil and healed them.

    We do not know Judas Iscariot’s eternal fate, and it is not for us to judge one who has received so much Grace, and yet committed such a sin.The measure of God’s Mercy and Judgment towards his soul is unknowable.

  • JabbaPapa

    Mary is way over-rated as a mediator !!!!!!!!!????!!!!!?

    Wrong, wrong, wrong !!!!

  • JabbaPapa

    Well said !!!

    Most of prayer is in fact thanks giving, and worship — not shopping lists of personal requests for our own betterment.

  • JabbaPapa

    You could not be more wrong.

    Stop trying to pretend that you “understand” religious Faith — it’s just more and more embarrassing to see you doing so.

  • JabbaPapa

    A brain disorder can, also cause people like you to post rubbish in internet forums.

  • karlf

    But the problem is that most people don’t fully recognise when they are acting on instinctive influence and religion does not show them where they are going wrong. Talk of evil and sin etc. only clouds the real issues.

  • karlf

    Why do it then? Surely God has better things to do than listen to you harping on?

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Here’s an example of a mortal sin.

    Nasty incident during the night last night: four guys with machetes and
    a pistol broke through a wall into my compound (Nairobi, Kenya), got into the house, smashed
    down three locked doors to get to me, put me on my knees with a blow or two to
    the head (slaps rather than machete bows thanks goodness), and made me go
    through the place with them as they filled their Swag Bag. Luckily I had my
    Panic Button (contract with a security company) with me and the five minutes it took the thieves to get to me (I’d
    barricaded myself in a bathroom) was enough for the security emergency response
    team to reach the house gates, though they couldn’t get in as the gates are padlocked during
    the night. Of course the Night Security Guard had been dealt with by the
    thieves, so he wasn’t around to open it. But, hearing them outside, the robbers
    did a Usain Bolt through their hole in the wall and ran for it, firing a shot
    as they went, whether at me or into the air I don’t know. I found Geoffrey the guard badly beaten and trussed up like a
    chicken with wire and rope: poor lad had been beaten. I got him free and opened
    up for the Alarm Team. Geoffrey is now in hospital; I got away with a scratch
    or two but nothing worse, thank the Good Lord. Please say a prayer for the recovery of a Kenyan called Geoffrey; and for the conversion of the thieves, who I have already forgiven (easy to do so when you’re still alive, I know). 

  • karlf

    I think it is horrible of him to watch over children experiencing such terrible, prolonged suffering when he could stop it there and then.

  • karlf

    “Original sin is a fact of life” No it isn’t. It is a term or a theory which is based on the observed workings of the human mind.

  • Peter

    In Matthew 25, what is the reason for the sheep not knowing why they are saved, and the goats not knowing why they are damned?

    Surely the sheep think they are unworthy to be saved because of their less than virtuous lifestyle, and yet they are saved because they love the poor.

    Surely the goats think they are worthy to be saved because of their virtuous lifestyle, and yet they are damned because they do not love the poor.

    Loving the poor is tantamount to loving Jesus, and unless we love Jesus we will not be saved.

    Loving someone does not mean words, it means actions, and we can only truly love Jesus with actions.

    We express our love for the poor by performing actions on thir behalf, relative to our abilities, and in doing so, in loving the poor in this way, we express our love for Jesus.

    Only love for Jesus will get us into heaven.

  • Herman U. Ticke

    Well done you for forgiving.
    Me, on the other hand, I fall into an uncharitable  rage
    if I get bounced around by the call centre staff
    when I try to query my gas bill.

  • Peter

     Of course, it is grace from the sacraments which allows you to see the face of Jesus in the poor.

  • JabbaPapa

    OUCH !!! :-( :-( :-(

    I’m so glad to hear you are unharmed !!!

  • JabbaPapa

    You haven’t the FOGGIEST CLUE of what you’re talking about.

  • JabbaPapa

    How do you know ?

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Cheers Jabba! Yes, it wasn’t pleasant and it hasn’t caught up with me yet. 

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Me too! But a machete does concentrate the mind a bit. I was in that bathroom waiting for them to break in, madly pressing the Alarm Button and saying Hail Marys.

  • Peter

    God is just and has provided the rich nations of the earth with abundant resources to help the poor nations, so that the whole human family is taken care of.

    However, the rich nations are greedy and prefer to hoard those abundant resources for themselves rather than share them with the poor nations.  They defend those resources with vast military and financial structures  The consequence of this is poverty on a vast scale in the world, which leads to disease, conflict, oppression and war.

    The Church in England and Wales has a special duty towards the world’s poor because of its location within a rich nation.

    This special duty resonates perfectly with the Church’s primary role which is the salvation of souls.

    Jesus made it easy. 

    He separated the sheep from the goats and told them that whatever they give to the least of the poor they give to him, and that, by doing, so they attain salvation and by failing to do so they are damned.

    The Church’s role in a rich nation like ours to to lead souls to salvation through the giving to the least of the poor.

    Lamentably, although there are many worthy parishes that prioritise the needs of the poorest, there are parishes that do not.

    There are parishes which ignore charity to the poor and concentrate charity for themselves, such as funds for internal use of the parish, and they justify this by saying that they are in financial difficulites.

    The grave danger here is that they trick the faithful into believing that they will be saved by charitable giving to parish funds and ignoring the poor.

    But Jesus tells us that if we ignore the poorest, the least of his brothers and sisters, we ignore him and we will go to hell.

    The tragedy is that, far from leading the faithful to salvation, there are parishes in a rich country such as ours which are leading the faithful in the opposite direction.

    The Church is not saving souls but damning them!

  • karlf

    It’s the natural assumption to make. Why would he be interested in you?

  • JabbaPapa

    Fact of Life : Evil exists, Sin exists, Suffering exists.

    Do you think enslavement by God is the solution ?

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Your analysis is so facile and laughably wrong that one has to ask which cornflake packet you picked up this nonsense from.

    A very large percentage of all the “abundant resources” of the world are in undeveloped or partially-developed countries. Africa, where I live, is a vast storehouse of mineral and other resources, as is Russia and Latin America. 

    To suggest that poverty is the result of the Western (who are mostly the rich countries you refer to) nations’ military might is just the kind of kindergarten analysis that might sound good with other Fairtrade enthusiasts and your local Lib Dumb group, but makes everybody else just snigger.

    The cause of poverty in Africa for instance is primarily the boundless greed and unlimited incompetence of virtually every African countries’ political elite. As that great evil, Western Aid, is withdrawn or winds down, Africa is slowly beginning to pull itself out of the mire.

    This kind of rubbish serves only to undermine the rest of what you say. 

  • karlf

    “Do you think enslavement by God is the solution ?” What’s the relevence of that comment to
    “how long does a child need to be locked in a cellar and repeatedly raped before God helps??” ? God doesn’t help – that loving God you believe in. Enslavement by him is hardly going to worry anyone is it?

  • Peter

    Yes, many natural resources are in the developing world, but the rich nations have the means, i.e. resources, to exploit those natural resouces and, through complex logistical, military and financial structures, to hoard the wealth deriving from those resources for themselves, instead of using it for the development of the nations where they are found.

    As for western aid, I agree much secular aid conditional, but aid through the Church such as Cafod, the ACN and the APF, as well as the missionary orders, goes directly to where it is needed to build local Christian communitites.

    Among the best form of aid is to pay for African and Asian semanarians, many of whom are turned away from their local seminary for lack of funds.  As priests these young men will make enormous long term differences to their communities. 

    This is an area where the Church of England and Wales, as well as Churches in other rich nations, ought to focus, especially since they have next to no vocations of their own.


  • karlf

    It’s quite straightforward Jabs: original sin is an archaic and erroneous attempt to explain aspects human behaviour.

  • awkwardcustomer

    We can know this though, from John 6: 71-72

    ‘Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve; and one of you is a
    devil?  Now he meant
    Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for this same was about to betray him, whereas
    he was one of the twelve.’ 

    And from John 17: 11-12

    ‘And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee.
    Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one,
    as we also are. While I was with them, I kept them in thy name. Those whom thou gavest me have I
    kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may
    be fulfilled.’

    Judas Iscariot is ‘a devil’ then.  Is he not also ‘the son of perdition’ who is lost, ‘that the scripture may be fulfilled’?  Plus, he committed suicide in despair without repenting. 

  • awkwardcustomer

    We can know this though, from John 6: 71-72

    ‘Jesus answered them: have not I chosen you twelve; and one of you is a devil?  Now he meant Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for the same was about to betray him, whereas he was one of the twelve.’

    And from John 17: 11-12

    ‘And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee.
    Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one,
    as we also are. While I was with them, I kept them in thy name. Those whom thou gavest me have I
    kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may
    be fulfilled.’

    So, Judas Iscariot is ‘a devil’.  Is he also ‘the son of perdition’ who ‘is lost’?  What’s more, he committed suicide in despair without repenting.  It’s not looking good for him.

  • JabbaPapa

    OK, so in other words just your a priori dogmatics then.

    Colour me unsurprised.

    I won’t bother asking you to prove your statement then ; given its doctrinal nature, you will have no proof to provide.

  • karlf

    As I said, that would be my natural assumption. Surely it’s your place to tell me why the creator of the universe and master of all is interested in listening to you?

  • JabbaPapa

    Well, if you just flat out reject the notion of Free Will, you’re not going to understand either the Christian or Jewish teachings about ethics, and those about crimes, and those about sin and evil.

  • awkwardcustomer

    I’m appalled.  My first response is to urge you to leave Kenya for somewhere safe, or safer at least.  We need people like you Aelfrid.  Sorry, a coward’s response, I know, but be careful Aelfrid. Please.  Anyway, nowhere is 100% safe.