Monday, 16 September 2013

At Peter's Gate

Saint Peter sat at his computer, cleaned his spectacles, scratched his beard, tapped on the keyboard and shouted "NEXT!"

A diminutive little man came in trembling in hesitation and carrying his copy of the Catechism.

"Oh not another Catholic are you?" said the Saint frowning at him.

"Yes Sir ... your Sainthood ..." mumbled the little man.

"I thougth so as soon as I saw your Catechism," continued Saint Peter, "yet another Catholic trying to get in here."

"Is there a quota, Sir?" asked the man fearing the worst.

"No, of course not!" replied the Saint raising his voice a little, "there is no quota as such. Everyone enters Heaven on his merit. But Catholics can be ... ehm ... let me explain. Sit down over there for a minute.

"Now tell me. What do you understand about Vatican II?"

The man felt his throat and mouth go dry simultaneously. He tried to talk but no words would come out. He gulped once or twice and then said, "I have been married for over 25 years and I still don't understand my wife. How can I understand Vatican II?"

The Saint smiled, "precisely!" he cried, "precisely!"

"You see ..." he continued, "down there on earth there are many Catholics still arguing about Vatican II. What it meant and what it did.

"Jesus and I look down on them and smile at all their debates. They argue about which Form of Mass is better and more valid. Whether the priest should face the altar or the congregation. Whether it is OK to sing in Latin, or have guitars in church or female altar servers!

"Phooey ... that's what I say ... Phooey.

"Our Lord, my Master, said it plainly enough. Not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants them to do.

"In other words people should love God with all their might and love one another as Jesus loved them. His sacrifice on the Cross was not a prelude to endless debates amongst His followers about the technicalities of religion.

"Deeds ... action ... compassion and love. that's what God wants of people. Not sanctimonious Pharisees debating the finer points of religion." 

The Saint scratched his beard again.

"Don't misunderstand me ... many of these eternal debaters are good at heart really. They do good in life and many find a welcome in Heaven. But oh ... their endless display of knowledge makes me reach out for the headache tablets!"

The small man smiled feebly and said nothing, grateful that he never had the intellect to understand let alone debate the many intricacies of religion.

Saint Peter tapped at the computer keyboard and stared at the monitor for a while.

"I read here that you've been a good man ... trying your best as you got on in life," he said finally, 

"Your wife has been quite a handful I see. I understand now your earlier comment about not understanding her ways." he chuckled.

"She misses you ... you know. She means well and she appreciates you more now that you're gone."

The man wiped his eye with the back of his sleeve.

"Yep ... all is in order." declared the Saint, "you can come in. But take my advice. Always carry with you a tin of sardines in your pocket. Some Catholics in here still insist on eating fish on Fridays.They keep asking me if I have a haddock. I remind them that I gave up fishing long ago."


  1. Ohhh; how I would love to print this one in our parish bulletin...

    Another good one, Victor! Thank you.

    (I'm so very glad the humble little man got into heaven!)

    1. Thank you Hand-Maid for the compliment and the honour. Please feel free to print this story if you wish.

      Sadly, there are so many Catholics whose Blogs are full of technicalities about religion and what is right and wrong. What really matters is what's in our hearts, I think.

      God bless you and your family Hand-Maid.



God bless you.

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