Tag Archives: Quotations

Lino Rulli: Take-aways that could be out-takes

September 19, 2011

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"Sinner" is available online at Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

  • “I trust in God’s plan, but I’m always afraid I’m going to screw it up.”
  • “Faith and a neurotic personality don’t always mix well.”
  • “I liked the rhythm of monastic life. I liked the structure of prayer and work. I really liked being a part of a community that prayed together, ate together, drank together. It was like a clean frat house.”
  • “Mother Teresa once said that in order to be a saint you have to seriously want to be one. So I try, feebly, to be a saint. Frankly, the sinner in me doesn’t think it sounds like much fun.”
  • “Just a quick note to priests hearing confessions: If confessions start at 5:00 p.m., any chance you could get there a few minutes early, before the line forms? . . . There’s nothing worse than standing in line, waiting for the priest to arrive, and having him show up, stare at each of the people in line, and then go in. Kind of ruins the whole anonymity thing.”
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13 coolest, wisest, wittiest words ever uttered about prayer

August 19, 2011

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“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it.” —Corrie ten Boom

“Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”  — Satchel Paige

“The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.” — William McGill

“Many people pray as if God were a big aspirin pill; they come only when they hurt.” — B. Graham Dienert

“The trouble with our praying is, we just do it as a means of last resort.” — Will Rogers

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” — Abraham Lincoln

“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” — Blessed Mother Teresa

“What we usually pray to God is not that His will be done, but that He approve ours.” — Helga Bergold Gross

“We must move from asking God to take care of the things that are breaking our hearts, to praying about the things that are breaking His heart.” — Margaret Gibb

“God has editing rights over our prayers. He will  . . . edit them, correct them, bring them in line with His will and then hand them back to us to be resubmitted.” — Stephen Crotts

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” — Corrie ten Boom 

“Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.” — George Herbert

“Lord, please keep one hand on my shoulder and one over my mouth!” — Author Unknown

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Quotes show comments in past were as nasty as today’s

September 20, 2009

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“Distory,”
by Robert Schnakenberg

Don’t believe the voices clamoring about our 21st-century society being exceptionally rude and willing to belittle others more virulently than ever.

“Distory” proves that people — especially some in high office — have been saying ugly things about the rest of God’s children for a good long time.
When Charles the Fifth led the Holy Roman Empire, he slammed an entire country: “I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse.”

Nineteenth-century Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative Thomas Reed blasted congressmen of his time with the cutting remark, “They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.”

And author Charles Dickens once called Henry VIII “a blot of blood and grease upon the history of England.”

The whole book is like that, a series of quotations by individuals who have taken the kidgloves off and vented about another.

Insults through the years

Because the quotes are organized into chapters of insults by and about a) Americans, b) Brits, c) military figures, d) other nations and e) miscellaneous, and because they are listed chronologically, “Distory” can claim to teach us a bit of history as well.

Robert Schnakenberg subtitles this St. Martin’s Press work “A Treasury of Historical Insults.”

“Treasury” might not be the choice of nouns that polite folks would have used. In fact, some of the remarks are clever and witty. Others plain mean and graceless.

But I found it valuable to read the American chapter from beginning to end. It was a refresher course in history — and a mostly witty one at that. I learned, too, what some of the great names in history felt about others of their time, perspectives that weren’t in my elementary or high school history books.
Guess about whom pamphleteer Tom Paine — the lauded author of “Common Sense” — called “treacherous in private friendship . . . and a hypocrite in public life”?

Would you believe George Washington?

John Quincy Adams termed Andrew Jackson “a barbarian who cannot write a sentence of grammar and can hardly spell his own name.”

General George McClellan called Abraham Lincoln “nothing more than a well-meaning baboon.”

Teddy Roosevelt said that William McKinley “has a chocolate eclair backbone.”

Press no shrinking violets

Media are often accused of being much more mean than their predecessors, but Baltimore Sun columnist H.L. Mencken was as nasty as they get when it comes to insults. He wrote this about Franklin D. Roosevelt:
“If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he sorely needs, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House backyard come Wednesday.”
Journalist Hunter S. Thompson at the end of the 20th century had a poison pen as well. Thompson on Richard Nixon:

“He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad.”

And Gerald Ford said, “Jimmy Carter wants to speak loudly and carry a fly swatter.”

Brits: Masters of the ‘craft’

Our friends across the pond, of course, have made political insults a science. Politico John Bright in the 19th century said of prime minister Benjamin Disraeli: “He is a self-made man and worships his creator.”

Disraeli came back with this about the man who was both his predecessor and his successor, William Gladstone: “If Gladstone fell into the Thames, it would be a misfortune. But if someone pulled him out, it would be a calamity.”

My favorite quotations, however, are this clever bit of repartee between playwright George Bernard Shaw and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Shaw: “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend — if you have one.” Churchill replied: “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second — if there is one.” — bz
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