religion

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Pea Soup Sermon
The scholar and educator Frederick Denison Maurice was always careful to distance himself from the various controversies which raged in ecclesiastical circles. Benjamin Jowett was once asked about the subject of one of Maurice's Oxford sermons. "All that I could make out was that today was yesterday," Jowett replied, "and this world the same as the next."[Another critic once likened listening to Maurice to eating pea soup—with a fork.]
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Hilaire Belloc - "I am a Catholic..."
Although he knew that his Roman Catholicism would present political problems, Hilaire Belloc confronted religious prejudice and sought election as a British MP in 1906. On the occasion of his first speech (at Salford) the candidate appeared on the rostrum—rosary in hand—and made the following declaration: "I am a Catholic. As far as possible I go to Mass every day. As far as possible I kneel down and tell these beads every day... If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that he has spared me the indignity of being your representative."[Belloc was elected.]
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Lord Melbourne - evangelical sermon
Lord Melbourne, not noted for his appreciation of religious experience, was once obliged to suffer through a long evangelical sermon on the consequences of sin. "I have always been a supporter of the church, and I have always upheld the clergy, but it is really too bad to have to listen to a sermon like that which we have heard this morning," he later complained. "Why, the preacher actually insisted upon applying religion to a man's personal life!"[Compare William Gladstone, who once said: "One thing I have against the clergy both of the country and in the towns.. I think they are not severe enough on congregations. They do not sufficiently lay upon the souls and consciences of their hearers ...
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St. Augustine Repents For His Sinful Youth
St. Augustine once prayed for repentance for his sinful youth. "Give me chastity and continence," he pleaded, "but not yet."["Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter," Lord Byron once similarly remarked, "sermons and soda water the day after."]
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Richard Bedford Bennett & the Anti-Christ
One day in 1932, Saturday Night magazine editor Hector Charlesworth examined an unsolicited manuscript which had been lying unread on his desk for some time. The piece, he recalled, "proved an almost intolerable rigmarole relating to Biblical prophecies... Toward the last page or two its purpose was revealed. Nothing less than this; that the world's troubles would not be solved until anti-Christ appeared and started the Battle of Armageddon. The writer assumed, as do most of those who look forward to the joys of Armageddon, that anti-Christ would be defeated and then the Millennium would begin. The writer was logical in his contention that somebody to play the role of anti-Christ was a sine qua non, of the whole situation. ...
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A Future Pope Meets A Woman In A Low-Cut Dress
At a formal banquet one evening, Angelo Roncalli, papal nuncio to France (and the future Pope John XXIII), found himself sitting with a woman wearing a low-cut dress. When dessert was served, Roncalli selected an apple from the cart and offered it to the woman, who politely declined. "Please take it, madam," he pleaded. "It was only after Eve ate the apple that she became aware of how little she had on."
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Pope John XXIII - advice to an ambitious priest
Pope John XXIII once offered a word of advice to an ambitious young priest who appeared too intent on impressing Vatican dignitaries. "My dear son," he said, "stop worrying so much. You may rest assured that on the day of judgment Jesus is not going to ask you, 'And how did you get along with the Holy Office?'"
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John Sobieski reports a victory to the pope
In 1683, John Sobieski's military brilliance drove the invading Turks back from the walls of Vienna, altering forever the history of central Europe. He soon announced victory to the pope. "I came, I saw..." he declared. And? "God conquered."[A play, of course, on Caesar's famous remark: "I came, I saw, I conquered" (Veni, vidi, vici).]
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Jean D'Aubigne & The Kippered Herring
While staying with the Scottish preacher Thomas Chalmers and his family, the Swiss divine Jean d'Aubigne was served a kippered herring for breakfast one morning. Curious, he asked about the meaning of the word "kippered" and was told that it meant "kept" or "preserved". Shortly thereafter, the guest, leading the household in their morning prayers, asked the Good Lord to see that they be "kept, preserved—and kippered."
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Father Andrew Answers A Question About Heaven And Hell
While serving as the BBC's adviser on Roman Catholic affairs, Father Andrew Agnellus received a letter from a producer asking how he might determine the official Catholic view of heaven and hell. Agnellus replied with a letter consisting of a single word: "Die."