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"Give her something she'll really love for Mother's Day," urges an advertisement for 14-karat gold Crown of Thorns pendants, rings, and earrings. The Samaritan Arts Jewelry in Amarillo, Texas offers its Crown of Thorns jewelry as the "greatest witnessing tool ever made." Could there be any better way to show your mother how much you value the sacrifices she has made for you.*

It "is symbolic of the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ, and as such should not be worn merely as a piece of jewelry. The crown contains 39 thorns representative of the 39 lashes Jesus received at his scourging."


Mark Rutland (in Streams of Mercy, Vine Books, 1999) recalls an encounter in an elevator with an exhausted-looking man slumped lifelessly against the wall.

"Are you all right?" Rutland asked.

"School board," he muttered, as if this explained everything.

"Ahh," Rutland said. "Rough meeting.?"

"The Christians came today," the man responded, and the way he said Christians sounded like the way Christians used to say lions.

"Was it that bad.?" He shrugged.

"Oh, no worse than they usually are.

Placards, yelling, rudeness, interruptions. You know. It's just that my mother is dying in Dallas, and today I guess the Christians were just too much for me."


After extensive research, the Vatican's Observation Service for the Internet recently announced the top choice of computer and cyberspace pioneers for their patron saint. Saint Isidore of Seville (556-636), who wrote a dictionary called Etymologies, "gave his work a structure akin to that of the database. He began a system of thought known today as `flashes.'"

According to one cyberspace expert quoted by the Vatican office, Isidore "was ahead of his time and constituted a cultural bridge between the ancient and medieval eras. This also makes us feel close to him, as we are at the beginning of a new stage in history." (Zenit, Jan. 14, 1999)


As a fashion statement, WWJD? bracelets may be preferable to lip piercing. But Ed Marciniak thinks the underlying theology is askew. "The question `What Would Jesus Do.?' is not simply a matter of choosing a scripture passage and then charting a course of behavior.... Elbow grease, the art of compromise, precise information, common sense, and the bottom line head a long list of considerations that go into decision-making. They are essential components of good work. Like the good news of the gospel, they come with God's compliments. That's why G. K. Chesterton, when asked what book he would most enjoy were he stranded on an island, declined a Bible in favor of A Practical Guide to Shipbuilding." (Initiatives, Summer 1998)


In Italy, there are 100,000 full-time consulting magicians-three times the number of Roman Catholic priests. (United Church Observer, January 1999)


"The purpose of life is not to be happy. The purpose of life is to matter, to have it make a difference that you lived at all."--Leo Rosten (quoted in A New Moment; Pax Christi 1986)


"Don't get too impatient with your local bishop. Consider the alternative.... How many Catholic bishops would proclaim that Tinky Winky, the purple Teletubby, is gay?--Tim Unsworth (National Catholic Reporter, March 12, 1999)
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Title Annotation:news and anecdotes of concern to Catholics
Publication:U.S. Catholic
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 1999
Previous Article:Three of a kind.
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