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LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING

Girolamo Savonarola was one of the great preachers of the fifteenth century. He preached in the great cathedral of Florence, Italy, which contained a magnificent marble statue of Mary. One day he noticed an elderly woman praying before this statue and then realized it was her habit to come every day and bow before it. One day the preacher remarked to an elderly priest who had been serving in the cathedral for many years, "Look how devoted and earnest this woman is. Every day she comes and offers prayers to this statue. What a marvelous act of faith!"

To which the priest replied, "Do not be deceived by what you see. Many years ago, when the sculptor needed a model to pose for this statue, he hired a beautiful young woman to sit for him. This devout worshiper you see here everyday is that young woman. She is worshiping who she used to be."

(From a sermon by Brian Bill, "A Prayer God Will Answer" 6/28/2009)

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