Letters to the Bishop

America's Coldest Winter

Your Excellency:

To illustrate how Christians must live in both this world and the next, our parish priest recently quoted a Jesuit who once said: “In our right hand we carry the New York Times.  In our left hand we carry the Bible.”

Another story underlines this Jesuitical observation.  An older couple were perplexed by the antics of their son, Michael.  Some evenings he spent drinking and partying, while others found him kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.  The baffled parents sought help from their priest.  “When he’s out tonight,” the priest advised, “I want you to put a Bible, a twenty-dollar bill, and a pint of whiskey on the kitchen table.  Then hide in the pantry and wait for him to come home.  Whichever object Michael takes from the table will reveal his direction in life.”

The couple followed these instructions and were watching from the pantry when Michael entered the kitchen.  He marched straight to the table, pocketed the twenty, took a long pull from the bottle of whiskey, picked up the Bible, and left the kitchen.

Flummoxed, the couple told their story to Father.  “Holy Mother of God!” the priest exclaimed.  “Your son’s called to be a Jesuit!”

Well, we’re all Black Robes now, aren’t we, Excellency?  Just like the Jesuits, we’ve...

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