Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who said that?

Columnist and Grammarian James J. Kilpatrick died on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary a couple of weeks ago. I sometimes quote him when trying to explain the benefits of the new translation of the Mass that will come into use Advent of 2011. In one of his columns, he said, “English vocabularies offer abundant opportunities to measure meanings by micrometer.” Perhaps that explains one of the reasons the new translation took so long to render accurately.

Whenever I hear or read a quotation I find interesting, I save it on my computer for future reference. In looking for my Kilpatrick quote, I found others that caught my attention over the years. In his January 16, 2005 column, The Writer’s Art, Kilpatrick wrote about the word ‘any’. He said, “Early in the 18th century, some agnostics were ‘anythingarians.’ The court is not making this up.”

Another man I respected also died recently. Basketball Coach John Wooden, a graduate of my alma mater, Purdue, said, “You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” I am sitting here trying to think if I have ever done anything for someone who could not repay me. Sometimes I feel so inadequate.

Along the same lines is this quote by PFC Daniel R. Parker. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better or happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm smile.” Private Parker died in Iraq in August of 2003.

Archbishop Charles Chaput attended a town hall meeting on immigration on July 18, 2006. Someone tried to trip him up by asking him if the government should listen his church. He replied, “I don’t think the government should listen to the church – the government should listen to the people and the people should listen to the church.” Bullseye.

Father John Corapi said, “God has placed obvious limitations on our intelligence, but no limitations whatsoever on our stupidity.” As evidence of this fact, I present 35th District of California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. At a pro-choice march in Washington DC, she said, “I have to march because my mother couldn’t have an abortion.” Along the same line is one of Murphy’s lesser known laws. “Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”

Violinist Jascha Heiftz said, “No matter what side of an argument you’re on, you always find some people on your side that you wish were on the other side.” Who hasn’t seen the actions of a fellow advocate prove counterproductive?

I often think of a quotation by George Bernard Shaw when I see some of the entitlement programs our elected officials have enacted. Shaw said, “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” How true. He also said, “If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.”

And finally, an unknown author urges us to “Pray for the conversion of Catholics to Catholicism.” Many Catholics do not practice their faith these days and they could certainly use our prayers. On an Internet forum, someone asked, “If you were on trial for being a Catholic, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” We should all give that some serious thought.