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Pope Bede

Pope Bede

They came from the north, the south, the east and the west. They filled the length and breadth of the beach. They were as numerous as grains of sand on the shore - the noble and the ignoble, the poor and the proud, the beloved and the despised. Who were wise and which were fools? None could say, for by their gilded countenances they were pilgrims, they were pagans, they were people all.

The crowd parted and there stood Pope Bede. It was a time of great unrest. Some fell to their knees, some buried their face in their hands. Others wept openly as the pontiff passed.

"Is it a sin", they said, "To strive for better things? Is technology a good or a bad thing? Does it take us closer to God?"

"By God's grace, not by our own endeavours, do we draw close to Him.", said the pope. All our earthly gains must be returned, for they belong to the earth. Which of the world's empires has not already been over-turned as easily as a castle in the sand? Do not build in this world, but in the kingdom of God, where goodness endures forever."

"Where is this kingdom?", they said, "Where in this world is even the smallest part of it to be found?"

"Look with the heart, not the eyes", replied the pope, "The kingdom of God is inside us all."

"But we must live somewhere", they exclaimed, "We are poor, and our houses hovels."