A preacher was winding up his temperance sermon with great fervor:
"If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river."
And the congregation cried, "Amen!"
"And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and throw it in the river."
And the congregation cried, "Amen!"
"And if I had all the whiskey and demon rum in the world, I'd take it all and throw it in the river."
And the congregation cried, "Hallelujah!"
The preacher sat down.
The song leader stood up very tentatively and announced: "For our closing song, let us sing hymn #365, 'Shall we gather at the river.'"
A businessman was in a great deal of trouble. His business was failing, he had put everything he had into the business, he owed everybody-- it was so bad he was even contemplating suicide. As a last resort he went to a priest and poured out his story of tears and woe.
When he had finished, the priest said, "Here's what I want you to do: Put a beach chair and your Bible in your car and drive down to the beach. Take the beach chair and the Bible to the water's edge, sit down in the beach chair, and put the Bible in your lap. Open the Bible; the wind will rifle the pages, but finally the open Bible will come to rest on a page. Look down at the page and read the first thing you see. That will be your answer, that will tell you what to do."
A year later the businessman went back to the priest and brought his wife and children with him. The man was in a new custom-tailored suit, his wife in a mink coat, the children shining. The businessman pulled an envelope stuffed with money out of his pocket, gave it to the priest as a donation in thanks for his advice.
The priest recognized the benefactor, and was curious. "You did as I suggested?" he asked.
"Absolutely," replied the businessman.
"You went to the beach?"
"You sat in a beach chair with the Bible in your lap?"
"You let the pages rifle until they stopped?"
"And what were the first words you saw?"
A kindergartner was practicing spelling with magnetic letters on the refrigerator: cat, dog, dad, and mom have been proudly displayed for all to see. One morning while getting ready for the day, he bounded into the room with his arms outstretched. In his hands were three magnetic letters: G-O-D.
"Look what I spelled, Mom!" he said with a proud smile on his face.
"That's wonderful!" his mom praised him. "Now go put them on the fridge so Dad can see when he gets home tonight." The mom happily thought that the Catholic education was certainly having an impact.
Just then, a little voice called from the kitchen. "Mom? How do you spell zilla?"
An elderly parish priest became unhappy with the things he was hearing during Saturday confessions. After his sermon one Sunday morning, he said to his congregation, "I'm tired of hearing so many people tell me in confession that they have cheated. For thirty years, people have been saying to me 'I have cheated with Anthony...I have cheated with Mary...I have cheated with Frankie.' I am sick and tired of hearing this word. From now on, when you come into my confessional, you will say 'I have fallen with Anthony, or with Mary, or with Frankie.' No more the word CHEAT. It will be FALL." About a year later, the old priest retired and was replaced by a younger man. No one thought to tell the new priest about the change of words in the confessional. After hearing his first round of Saturday confessions, the young priest went to the mayor of the town and said to him, "Mr. Mayor, you are going to have to do something about the deplorable condition of the streets and sidewalks in this town. Everybody is telling me they are falling all over the place." The mayor immediately understood the problem, and he leaned back in his chair and laughed. The priest was puzzled, and said, "Mr. Mayor, you shouldn't be laughing! Your wife told me that just last week she fell three times.!"
My home church welcomes all denominations, but really prefers tens and twenties.
A priest who went into the country to pay a visit to a 92 year old church member whom he had not seen for some years. She welcomed him into the parlor. While she made tea, he looked around and saw a beautiful oak pump organ with a cut glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was half filled with water and a condom was floating on top of it. Astonished and shocked, he quickly turned away. But after tea curiosity got the best of him and he asked her about it. "Oh, yes," she said enthusiastically. "While in town last year I found a package on the sidewalk. The directions on the back said 'keep wet and put on your organ to prevent disease.' And you know, I think it works. I haven't had a cold all winter."
About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave the Vatican. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Jewish community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew won, the Jews could stay. If the Pope won, the Jews would leave. The Jews realized that they had no choice. So they picked a middle-aged man named Moishe to represent them. Moishe asked for one addition to the debate. To make it more interesting, neither side would be allowed to talk. The pope agreed. The day of the great debate came. Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat. The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said, "I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay." An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said: "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that god was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that god absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?" Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe. "What happened?" they asked. "Well," said Moishe, "First he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here." "And then?" asked a woman. "I don't know," said Moishe. "He took out his lunch and I took out mine."
At a ceremony in the National Cathedral, an old lady buttonholed an usher and commanded, "Be sure you get me a seat up front young man. I understand they've always had trouble with the agnostics in this place."