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Posted July 2, 2007

Current Words Worth Pondering

By David Gibson

To influence another: “Power is based in relationships, and whether you’re trying to influence another parishioner to attend a church meeting or a city council member to vote for a housing ordinance, if you have no relation with that person you are unlikely to change her behavior.” – Theologian and economist Daniel Finn of St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., in his address as outgoing president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, June 10, 2007, in Los Angeles

Human rights and respect: “What Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote about bringing human rights to life applies equally to creating a culture of mutual respect among peoples. ‘Where,’ she asked, ‘do human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. … Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.” – Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard law professor and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, in remarks May 10, 2007, during a discussion at the United Nations in New York)

Religious freedom: “We prove that we believe in religious freedom when we are prepared to speak up for other people’s right to exercise it and not just our own. If we can learn to act together in favor of religious freedom for all, we shall certainly influence tomorrow’s world for the better.” – Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O-Connor of Westminster, England, speaking June 9, 2007, at the University of Cardiff as a guest of the Muslim Council of Wales/Cyngor Moslemaidd Cymru

Strength for ministry: “When Mother Teresa was asked how her sisters could pick people up out of the gutters in the slums of India and remove the maggots from their bodies, cleaning them up to die, she responded that they spent three hours a day in prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and that gave them the strength to see Jesus in the people in the streets.” – Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., in a high school baccalaureate homily May 23, 2007