Monday, June 18, 2018

What did he/she say?

Sometimes I find myself saying the same thing my mother said decades ago (she died in 1973). I doubt she would really like my repeating some of her observations, but they do come quickly to mind in certain circumstances.

This realization got me to thinking about what others in the future may repeat because they heard me say it.

Mention Lord Acton’s name, and immediately we remember, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Refer to General William Tecumseh Sherman, and we hear the plaintive, “War is hell!”

Intimately wedded to Albert Einstein is “E=MC squared.”

Sam Goldwyn: "Any man who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined."

Abraham Lincoln is identified with “Four score and seven years ago…”

Joni Mitchell: “They paved paradise / And put up a parking lot.” 

John Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

 St. Julie Billiart; “How good the good God is!”

Yogi Berra: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

And my mom, when she could not suffer arrogance: “I’d like to buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.”

And me? If I could leave one idea, one observation, I’d like it to be this: “God does not like to do things for us; God much prefers to do things with us.”

It’s that realization that helps me make more sense of the Incarnation, of the need for prayer, of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

God could do it all –but a good Father teaches his children not only by word and example but also by participation.


The Father could give us a fish but prefers to teach us how.

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