David Bruce: 250 Anecdotes About Religion — Faith, Family, Food

Faith

• R’ Shimon Sofer of Cracow was very young when a heretic asked him a question that he could not answer, so he approached his father, the Chasam Sofer, and asked for the answer to the question. The Chasam Sofer did not answer the question right away, but waited a few days, then easily answered the question. When his son asked why he had waited, although he could have answered the question right away, the Chasam Sofer replied, “I wanted to teach you that in questions of faith, one does not have to worry if he does not have an immediate answer. If he doesn’t have an answer today, he will have it tomorrow. Meanwhile, there is no reason to lose faith.”

• Sheikh Abu al-Bistami had several disciples who complained that the Devil had taken away their faith. After hearing this, the Sheikh summoned the Devil and asked if his disciples’ complaint was true. The Devil told him, “I never force anyone to give up their faith because I fear God too much to do that. However, many people foolishly throw away their faith for trivial reasons. Whenever that happens, I take the faith they have thrown away.”

• A young man who doubted the existence of God asked Menachem Mendel, Rabbi of Kotzker, where God really lived. The Rabbi answered, “Wherever He is admitted.”

Family

• Catholic priests may not have biological children of their own, but they do have families. An American, Msgr. Vincent Fecher had been studying in Rome for five years, but then he was assigned to be the priest at a Catholic church in the small town of Uvalde, Texas. He was walking with an Italian friend and discussing his return to America when the Italian friend said, “I guess it’s only natural that you should want to go back to America and be near your family.” Father Vincent said, with conviction, “My family is right here!” Then he continued, more quietly, “Gino, you’re my family. I am closer to all of you here than I am to my own brothers and sisters, some of whom I have not seen in 15 years. Some of whom I hardly know.” Since saying that, Father Vincent has become even more convinced that the “parish is my real family.”

• Dr. Stephen S. Wise was introduced in an African-American church by a minister who said, “I have the honor to introduce you to a man who is conceited to be America’s greatest orator.” When Dr. Wise related this story to his family later, they commented, “How well this minister knows you.”

Food

• Do you know the first drink and food to be drunk and eaten on the moon? According to astronaut Buzz Aldrin, “The very first liquid ever poured on the moon and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.” While Mike Collins orbited the moon, and Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were on the moon in the Eagle, Mr. Aldrin requested a few minutes of silence from Houston. Mr. Aldrin then opened some plastic packages containing the communion wine and bread and poured the wine into a chalice his church had given to him. After Mr. Aldrin had read the words, “I am the vine — you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without Me,” he and Mr. Armstrong took communion.

• While the Israelites were wandering in the desert, they decided to ask God to dinner. Their leader, Moses, explained that God is not a physical being and so He does not eat. But when Moses went up on the mountain to talk with God, God said to him that He would accept the Israelites’ dinner invitation. All the next day, the Israelites prepared dinner for God. An old man, poor and hungry, arrived and asked for something to eat, but the Israelites were too busy to give the old man some food. That evening, the Israelites looked for God, but they didn’t see Him. The next morning Moses went up on the mountain and asked God why He had not come for the dinner. God replied, “I did come. If you had fed the old man, you would have fed Me.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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