The Thurifer swung gently, wafting Frankincense into the air and Ralph Henderson intoned sacred words, drank blessed wine and lit candles. The incense smoke swirled into a vaguely humanoid shape floating in the center of the Maltese cross he had drawn on the floor in pure salt.
“Mortal man.” A voice echoed throughout the rectory, “What is thine request?”
“I can’t believe it.” Ralph whispered, “It actually worked.”
“This realm pains me, mortal.” The angel said, “Make your request that I may depart.”
“Please, give me the power to help those in need.” He said, kneeling in reverence.
“Do you accept this power of your own free will?” The angel asked.
“Yes,” Ralph said, trembling in anticipation.
The Angel’s hand touched his head and pain exploded in his temples.
“What is stopping you from helping those in need?” The Angel demanded.
“I don’t have the money or connections.” Ralph gasped.
“Why do you lack these things?” The Angel asked.
“I-” Ralph hesitated, “Being a priest doesn’t pay well and-”
“If you are seeking material gain and your cause is just what is to stop you from taking what you require?”
Ralph’s eyes went blank and the pain spiked. He answered with utmost honesty. “The law and lack of ability.”
“If your cause is true and just the law has no sway over you.” The Angel proclaimed, “The ability to take what you need shall be yours.”
The pain vanished and its absence was like a drug. Ralph fell sideways, laying on the floor and panting. There was a liquor store down the street. They sold alcohol, regardless of the lives it destroyed. With the money from just one day of sales, he could feed the vulnerable in his parish for a week.
Ralph gathered some simple tools, pins, Allen wrenches, a screwdriver, wire cutters, and a flashlight. The clothes he was wearing were already black. With a smile, the priest adjusted his collar, slipped on a thin pair of leather gloves, and slipped out into the night.
It was a matter of minutes to tease open the back door using the pins for picks and a small Allen wrench for a torsion wrench. A glance at the security panel told him it was a simple model that would be easily disabled by cutting the ground wire. He twisted the panel open and snipped the wire. The numbers kept counting down but he ignored them.
Ralph saw the camera pointed at the back door. It took him a few minutes to follow the cables back to a closet and unplug the camera system. He opened the system’s panel and removed the hard drives, slipping them into his coat pocket.
Moving to the safe, he knelt in front of it, gently testing the handle. There was just enough play in it that he knew it hadn’t been set properly. If a combination lock isn’t spun after the combination is put in, all one need do is put pressure on the handle and gently turn the dial clockwise. When he got to 50, the tumblers clicked and the safe door opened.
“Praise God.” Ralph breathed, stuffing his pockets full of bills. “Thank you, Lord.”