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Going to heaven by Ahermin
Going to heaven by Ahermin

"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name ....."

....and on.... the prayer goes.

Big pity,

that's the only prayer recommended by Jesus

And who can query his temerity !

the only trinitarian,

we are told,

who walked this earth

and

knows first hand

how his father's mind ticks.

When I was much younger,

coming up inside Catholic,

I said that prayer

with

some reckless abandon :

particularly when hunger threatened .

"Give us this day our daily bread "

had a special ring and appeal.

I needed it said

to

outwit the forces of hunger

as often as they threatened.

So I'd believed.

When around age ten,

i dipped my hand

into my granny's pot

to

steal stewed meat

thinking

she was fast asleep,

it was that same line

I invoked

to

give me courage for the thievery.

She was not asleep and the verse did not save me from due process.

When in my second form at high school,

along with other dare devils ,

I went during class break

to

raid a farm near the school

just to steal bananas,

i used same verse

to

steel my restive nerves.

We were caught :

because

one of us in the raid

had a deformed foot ( talipes or club foot)

and

couldn't outrun the guard .

He was arraigned

and he had convinced himself

he wasn't going to go down alone.

Rev fr cloutier, the school principal

not only beat the hell

out of

each of the six of us,

he relayed the humiliating news

to our respective parents

and

I still remember

what black eye

I got

when I reached home.

As i grew older however

... less impulsive

... more deliberate,

...i began to run away from the prayer,

not only because

it hadn't always saved the day

where

'bread matters'

were concerned,

I realize

there were even more serious landmines

ahead

as one journeys through the prayer.

How jesus could have left no alternative prayers

still baffles me .

Our father or Pater Noster

is

a dangerous prayer.

Of this.... im convinced .

It is not meant for jokers.

But how easy is it

to

find non- jokers in these matters

When a man says

" thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven",

but knows

the only will that matters is his,

not His,

is he not conjuring a curse on himself?

what is even more frightening!!!

When a man

out of his own volition or group/herd pressure

says

" forgive us our sins"

promising

as he reads along

"...as we forgive those who sin against us"

yet knows

he has never forgiven

Or

plans to forgive

Or

able to forgive

Or

willing to forgive ,

he is mocking the very prayer he mouths

and in the process

mocking the ear above the clouds

to which

the prayer is addressed.

Hasn't he wasted his efforts and incurred wrath for his hypocrisy .

If you request of your boss,

to forgo your debt

cos you have forgone others'debt,

but turns out

you have actually

forgiven no one any debt,

the dishonesty involved

is itself punishable .

This is the way I see it

when I hear people reading the Lords prayer

I feel they are attracting a curse on themselves

without even knowing it.

Just visit a court of law any day!

See how both Christians and non Christians

throw themselves

'mouths and pockets'

into

wanting to secure punishment

on

whoever

has crossed their paths.

Yet just as easily,

they go running up the lord's prayer.

I find the unseriousness in the whole saga

very troubling.

It may be reason there is so much tumult around us .

Each time congregations go through the prayer,

it is tempting to think

they incur the wrath of the very god

they pray to

since the request made of Him

is strictly

predicated on the obligation

promised by the supplicant.

But the supplicant

too often

has no plans

discharging his own side of the bargain.

God must fume

each time

people say the Lords prayer

seeing fully well

the annoying assymetry

of intentions

with regards

to

the contractual obligations

to

forgive ...as we forgive.

so clearly implicit in the prayer.

Jesus was

either

being clever

by

recommending that prayer;

.... making one set of forgiveness

contingent on a prior one

Or

being protective of his father

by

saving him from a barrage of hypocritical supplicants

since the verse

" forgive us as we forgive "

throws the contract full spin

back into the laps

of

the supplicant

if

the supplicant

really desires any intervention from his God.

When president Bush

claimed he is on God's side,

yet

would rain bombs on those

who inflicted a run against his people,

when he should remember the lord's prayer and forgive,

the hypocrisy involved as self proclaimed Christian

Or

Christian nation

is

too thinly veiled not to be obvious .

That particular clause in the prayer

is the reason

I've turned loath

to

saying the lord's prayer

since I'd rather not complicate matters

for myself

knowing

my human incapabilities in the area of forgiving.

I'm happy I find a hide out

in the rosary

no matter what critics have to say about it.

I would rather that

than promise

a contract

I cannot fulfil

or fulfil regularly enough .

When I see people accuse homosexuals,

i often have to think

these accusers

are themselves sick

for

their hypocrisy.

Why preach against one set of sins

(if sin it is)

when your own set of sins

run up your meter everyday .

Won't it be so much better

concentrating

on your own sins

than play sanctimonious

with

others'.

I wish jesus had framed the clause by simply saying

" forgive us our Sins" ....full stop!

.... and ....not

put the landmine of

" as we forgive those who sinned against us"

As it stands,

that landmine

remains

the graveyard of many Christians.

And many don't even know it.

Basil Jide Fadipe. Justin Fadipe Centre. West Indies.


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