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 Praying: to whom, about what?

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PostSubject: Praying: to whom, about what?   Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:23 pm

I was praying today, more out of habit than anything and I was reminded of something I had thought of a while ago. What are you supposed to pray about? Is there any point praying for living people? One might pray that some evil dictator or other might suddenly develop a conscience, but surely that's up to the dictator in question. If I prayed to Mary to help yer evil person find a conscience then amn't I interfering with their free will? Surely we can't have Mary or the saints coming down like Athena in the Iliad and interfering with peiople's lives, even if they could do with it.

As for praying for the dead, I'm not great on purgatory but without it everyone's beyond prayer. Either they're in heavan or hell. And am I the only one that dislikes when the priest says "tonight pray for the soul of Jimmy and Brenda McCabe, i.e. some people you've never heard of and whose very existence you never even suspected before tonight. Yeah, pray for strangers." I find that very strange. At least the McCabes presumably had someone ask for their mention. What about those stain-glass windows that say "Pray for the soul of someone who's been dead for nearly a century and whose only memory is this message". It reminds me of Addison:
Quote :
I yesterday passed a whole afternoon in the churchyard, the cloisters, and the church, amusing myself with the tombstones and inscriptions that I met with in those several regions of the dead. Most of them recorded nothing else of the buried person, but that he was born upon one day, and died upon another: the whole history of his life being comprehended in those two circumstances, that are common to all mankind. I could not but look upon these registers of existence, whether of brass or marble, as a kind of satire upon the departed persons ; who bad left no other memorial of them, but that they were born and that they died. They put me in mind of several persons mentioned in the battles of heroic poems, who have sounding names given them, for no other reason but that they may be killed, and are celebrated for nothing but being knocked on the head.
It's a funny way to be remembered, like Ozymandia in Collapse.
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PostSubject: Re: Praying: to whom, about what?   Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:46 pm

I believe in leaving praying to the experts (particularly as I am an atheist and don't believe in the power of prayer). Let those red nuns from Wexford who never go out do it, or Buddhist monks with prayer wheels who can whizz them round and pray for the whole nation before breakfast.
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PostSubject: Re: Praying: to whom, about what?   Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:34 am

Well let's see what Christ said:

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to
pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by
men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But
when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your
Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in
secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. .Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

There is a good contemporary book on prayer called "How not to Pray" by a guy called Jeff Lucas.
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PostSubject: Re: Praying: to whom, about what?   Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:33 am

johnfás wrote:
Well let's see what Christ said:

"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words."
Who's up for a decade of the rosary?

One of my American anthropology lecturers used to say that Catholicism was the closest Christianity got to polytheism. Think of all those saints. Anthropologists tend to be either hard-core atheists or hard-core Catholics.
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PostSubject: Re: Praying: to whom, about what?   Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:36 am

905 wrote:
johnfás wrote:
Well let's see what Christ said:

"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words."
Who's up for a decade of the rosary?

One of my American anthropology lecturers used to say that Catholicism was the closest Christianity got to polytheism. Think of all those saints. Anthropologists tend to be either hard-core atheists or hard-core Catholics.

Ooh. Rosaries are very fun. I love their rythym and Catholicism is indeed rather polythestic. I'm always praying to St Anthony when I lose things.
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PostSubject: Re: Praying: to whom, about what?   Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:51 am

I think you can apply the babbling notion to any set prayer which is repeated across the churches. What is important, in my opinion, is not the words said in set prayers but the intention and thought that is behind them. I've no problem with people saying the Rosary... but I wonder the point if it is hollow. I do not believe that reciting the Rosary is inherently hollow.
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PostSubject: Re: Praying: to whom, about what?   Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:27 am

Lost a post on this thread. Not typing it in again. Twisted Evil

**Heads straight to complaint thread ****
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PostSubject: Re: Praying: to whom, about what?   Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:30 am

johnfás wrote:
I think you can apply the babbling notion to any set prayer which is repeated across the churches. What is important, in my opinion, is not the words said in set prayers but the intention and thought that is behind them. I've no problem with people saying the Rosary... but I wonder the point if it is hollow. I do not believe that reciting the Rosary is inherently hollow.

The Rosary can be a great way to clear the mind and focus on communicating with Our Lord and coming to an understanding of His love and mercy. It's been a good part of some of the more traditional Catholic funerals to which I've been.
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PostSubject: Re: Praying: to whom, about what?   Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:20 pm

Repetition is slightly hypnotic and relaxing. Mantras are used by the religious and irreligious alike.

Did anyone else hear was it Chantelle on finding herself last in the Big Brother House say 'oh my Gawd' about a hundred times?
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