After a rather long absence and after a literary and "bibliophic" shopping spree from which I've just arrived yesterday evening, I would want to share something from one of our newest acquisitions:
Cardinal Manning once attended a dinner at which he sat next to Dr. Alder, the Chief Rabbi, when a huge ham was passed around. Cardinal Manning turned to the Rabbi and said, "Dr. Adler, when are you going to be liberal enough to eat ham?"The Chief Rabbi smiled and said, "At Your Eminence's wedding".
Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman was traveling in a railway carriage and sitting opposite were a couple of men who made continual and derogatory remarks about the Church. The Cardinal said not a word until one of the men came to his destination. As the man was getting out of the train, the Cardinal said, "Here. You've forgotten something behind."
The man turned arond quickly. "Have I left something behind?""Yes," said the Cardinal, "a very bad impression."
Once there was a bachelor posted as Ambassador to Peru. At a reception dance given by him in the embassy he spent more time with his whiskey bottle than with his guests. Emboldened by the intake of spirits he decided to ask what appeared to him his most important lady guest, to dance the Viennese Waltz with him. The guest turned down the request with the following words:
"There are three reasons why I will not dance with you. The first is that you have undoubtedly had too much to drink. The second is that the orchestra is not playing the Viennese Waltz; it is playing the Peruvian national anthem. And thirdly, I am the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru."
New York's Francis Cardinal Spellman was watching a World series baseball game, back in the days when they had such things in Brooklyn, and a high foul fly was hit towards his box seat. Roy Campanella, the catcher, tried to catch it but missed and the ball bounced against the Cardinal's knee. Roy inquired anxiously if he had been hurt."Don't worry about it Roy," the Cardinal said, "a priest's knees are the toughest and the most thickly padded part of his anatomy."
Francis Cardinal Spellman relates this personal experience:"During my recent trip overseas, Cardinal Machory invited all the bishops of Northern Ireland to meet me. He had been fortunate enough to secure a large fish for dinner and it reminded me of one I had seen mounted in a friend's office in the United States. When some media men asked me a great many questions which no human being could possibly answer, I pointed to the fish on the platter and told them of the mounted fish back home with the significant label: If I had kept my mouth shut, I wouldn't be here".