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Thursday after Ash Wednesday; Order of Malta Day of Recollection

A. You may be surprised to learn that sometimes urban legends surround seminary rectors. I’m sure no one is more surprised than the seminarians among us this evening. At any rate, the story is told of a rector who was also a bishop and he was indeed a very grand bishop, at least by all accounts. Like all rectors, he gave periodic talks to seminarians, talks known as “rector’s conferences”.

B. During one of his rector’s conferences, this bishop uttered words which were nearly immortal, at least to my generation; he said: “Gentleman, I am nothing! And you are less than nothing!” I would say that this rector took self-abnegation to a whole new level. What could it mean to be “less than nothing”?

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