God answers our prayers in his own way


Thursday, 2/21/13

I have never cared for this Gospel. It seems to promise us that God would give us anything we pray for, and in our experience that just ain’t so. Our Religion teachers always got around that by saying God answers every prayer by giving us what we need, rather than what we ask for.

St. Luke, in Chapter 11, verse 13, says that God will always give us the Holy Spirit whenever we ask for it. I believe that.

This problem reminds me of Sid, a Jewish architect in the army with whom I played golf in Korea. He put his daughter Rebecca in a Catholic School in Seoul Korea where he was assigned. He was so clever that the four star general kept him on his staff to make drawings of all the constructions the general thought of putting up. Sid was gentlemanly except for his excessive use of the word bullshit. “What did you have on that hole, Father?” “I’ll take a five.” “Bullshit, it took you three to get out of that sand.”

One day he had a story for me. The evening before when he saw Rebecca kneeling for night prayers, he took her on his lap, explaining how it did no good. He told her, “In my four years in the Nazi concentration camp I prayed to save my mother, then my father, and all the rest; but they all went to their deaths.” He told Rebecca, “I don’t want to be mean. I just don’t want you wasting your time on what doesn’t work.”

Then he asked Rebecca, “Have you ever seen God?” “No daddy, but I know someone who has.” “Tell me, who has seen God?” “I can’t tell you.” Why can’t you tell me?” “Because if I do, you’ll just say, ‘Bullshit.’”

He was delighted with that, because something in him still believed

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