faith in “programs” to “address issues.”nRizzo has faith in himself and, I wouldnguess, believes that the anarchic energynof a city doesn’t make it ungovernable,nit just makes it difficult to governnwithout a strong leader to act as anlightning rod to redirect some of thatnenergy.nWhile I’d like to see that rematch,nit’s only because I consider such politicalncontests to be a form of entertainment,nmuch like local television newsnprograms. If someone put to me thenserious question of the future of Philadelphiangovernment, I’d suggest thatnwe abolish the office of mayor and letnthe Philadelphia City Council runnthings on its own. Whenever one of itsnmembers goes crooked, it’s done sonstupidly that they get caught, and ifnthey engage in actual policymaking,nthey do it cleanly and efficiently—bynmeans of fistfights in council meetings.nNow that’s entertainment, SouthnPhiladelphia style.n* * *nOn the drive back from a pleasantnvisit with the horsemen of PocononDowns the Sunday before the primarynelection, we learn that the PhiladelphianFlyers lost the first game of thenStanley Cup finals to the EdmontonnOilers. South Philadelphia goes aboutnits business on the verge of tears, butnKate and I are feeling optimistic aboutnthe future, no matter who the nextnmayor turns out to be.nJ. Michael Bolinski is a communicationsnconsultant in Devon, Pennsylvania.nLetter From thenHeartlandnby Jane GreernAfter Vatican H; Drinking the HolynSpirit NeatnIt’s Charismatic Prayer Sharing,nThursday nights at 8:00 P.M. in thenCommunity Room of the large Catholicnchurch I attend with my family.nBecause I’ve been wanting to learn tonpray better, I went recently.nLou, the man I’d talked to on thenphone, walked over and greeted me.nAnother, Stan, a seraphic, unkempt.nround little man with a wooden crossnon a leather thong around his neck,ntraveled the room hugging people andnbestowing upon each a great boisterousn”Shalom!”nBefore the meeting, facilitatornLou — possibly the world’s kindestnman—explained to me and severalnother newcomers what might happen.n”We’re going to listen to a tape ofnsinging and some speaking. Let thenSpirit flow into you. Afterwards, we’llnhave some testimony from variousnpeople, and then you might hearnspeaking in tongues, you might hearnprophesying, you might see miracles.nWhen people prophesy, they do it innthe first person, but remember that it’snnot them speaking but the Holy Spiritnspeaking through them.” Lou then lednus in one of the evening’s manynprayers beginning, “Oh, Lord, we justnask that you …”nHe turned on the tape, and immediatelynhalf of the group of 30 raisedntheir hands in the air, palms open andnup, beseechingly. I’d seen an occasionalnparishioner do this at my littlenEpiscopal church, but it alwaysnseemed out of place, self-conscious,nshow-offy. Here I felt odd and embarrassed.nWe sang and listened to upliftingnwords for nearly an hour. Thenwhole point of the tape was that ournpurpose in life is to praise God, and Incan buy that. A few of the songs spokenof lying down before the Lord, and atnthose points Stan stretched himselfnfull-length on the linoleum.nWhen the tape was finished, Stan, anpresence at the front of the room,nhands folded on his chest, forefingersnto his lips, raised his head and sangnout, “O my people, how many timesndo 1 have to remind you that I lovenyou? And how many times will younquestion what I ask you to do?” At leastnthat was the gist of his message, whichnwent on for five minutes. A sensiblelookingnwoman whose job it was tontake notes on the prophesies became anprophet herself “O my people, I willnshelter you, you will be safe. Do notnfear. In me is your refuge.” All solidnbiblical stuff. A priest (the church’snpriests weren’t there) read Bible versesnwhich didn’t seem to fit (but then Indon’t always see the connection betweennthe first and second readingsnand the gospel, either, and I’m used tontaking such things on faith).nnnA woman stood and said, “I don’tnknow if this should come now or later,nbut I have a strong feeling that someonenin this room is having leg or kneenproblems tonight, in the left leg.nThat’s all,” she added self-effacingly,nand sat down. Group: “Praise thenLord!” Lou said, “Okay, is there anyonenhere with pain in the leg or kneentonight?” A man sitting next to me saidnhe was experiencing pain in his leftnleg, a problem that had been recurringnfor years. “Praise the Lord!”nLou, who wore a loose, lace-upnmedical slipper on one foot, confessed,nchoosing his words thoughtfully:n”Last week the Lord told me to donsomething, and I disobeyed. Then Inwoke up a few days ago, and my footnhurt. I don’t remember doing anythingnto it, but it got worse and worse, and itnhurt so bad today that I went to thendoctor—and he couldn’t find anythingnwrong with it!”n”Praise the Lord!”n”I know now that God is trying tonget my attention, to chastise me fornintentionally disobeying him lastnweek. So now I’m asking for yournforgiveness—and I’m really asking fornit, my friends.”n”You’re forgiven, Lou! We forgivenyou!”n”And I know that with your forgivenessnand prayers, I’ll be healed tonight.n”n”Praise the Lord!”nA woman on my right began calmlynenough—“I’ve been coming here forna long time, and for years I’ve beenntelling you about my husband’s illness,nand you and the Lord helped menthrough it”—but then broke down.n”Well, last week I went to Rochester,nand they said I have cancer, andnthey’re trying to keep it from going intonmy liver, and I have to take chemotherapy,nand it hurts so bad, and mynhair’s falling out, and I’m so ashamednbecause I’m losing my faith! Why doesnall this have to happen to me!?”nThree or four women ran to her andnlaid their hands on her. One of themnannounced to the rest of us, “ThenLord’s just told me that Anna’s goingnto need at least 10 people to walk withnher and help her get through this. Notnjust one, but 10. Are there 10 peoplenhere who are willing to help her?” Insquirmed; what did she want? Prayer,nor visits, or minute-by-minute com-nNOVEMBER 1987 I 49n