Swimming with the Cross. . .and Praying for Rain

There seems to be some odd connection for me in these two odd stories.

Cross Swimming
Cross Swimming (NOT a new Olympic sport)

1.  Froggy Faith in Prague (and Bulgaria, Istanbul, Athens!)

“Water temperatures were dangerously cold in some parts of Europe as men participated in the annual Epiphany Day celebration of diving into the water to fetch a wooden cross.

The cross, thrown by a priest into a lake or river, is believed to bring a healthy year free of evil spirits to the person who retrieves it, according to an Associated Press report.”

Help me out here. . .oh, forget it!

This seems equally strange. . .closer to home:

Hello?
Hello?

2.  Dry Catholic Bishops Pray for Rain

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Catholic bishops called for divine intervention Tuesday as California endures what appears to be its third straight dry winter.

The California Conference of Catholic Bishops asked people of all faiths to join in prayers for rain as reservoirs in the state dipped to historic lows after one of the driest calendar years on record.

Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto, president of the bishops’ conference, suggested a prayer for God to “open the heavens and let His mercy rain down upon our fields and mountains.”

“Our reliance on water reveals how much we are part of Creation and Creation is a part of us,” Soto said in a news release that included four other suggested prayers for relief and for the wellbeing of those most at risk from a water shortage. The bishops said a drought, if it comes, will affect people’s livelihoods, health and quality of life.”

Alternative prayer:  Dear Raingod, could You please hold the rain until WE learn to conserve water?  When we stop relying on Your Cloudness to make it all better and tuck us in at night after a sweet story, we’ll get back to You!  Amen

Alright, as I often say about these pleas by the God-pleasers:  We already know their prayers will be “answered”!  At some point (we hope soon) it WILL rain.  That’s just natural and reasonable and common sense.  So they will then claim their prayers were once again heard and God loves us enough to say to Godself, “What’s all that NOISE?  OK already, Geez, I suppose I can spare some rain (though I need it for my fine heavenly crop of heirloom tomatoes!”).

Alternative prayer #2:  Dear Rainman in the Sky, we’re just wondering if we could, well, just have You spare some rain in our town, actually right in my veggies but not on the lawn, You see, I’ve got 24/7 sprinklers. . .well, I’m sure You understand.  But please, Your Warm and Cozyness, we just ask, pretty please, don’t drop any rain a few states over where it’s flooding, but Australia could sure use some, and Brazil, and the reservoirs in India, but maybe You could just, You know, be careful with Your water, Your Holy Wetness, Amen.”

Dry humor

Ouch!
Ouch!
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3 thoughts on “Swimming with the Cross. . .and Praying for Rain

  1. I wonder if the participants in these types of events/prayers take them literally, or are just expressing concerns as a community? Could a prayer for rain really be more about raising awareness of “our reliance on water” and therefore about conservation, etc?

  2. I wonder that too sometimes, Karen. It’s just that those in leadership positions know fairly well what they’re doing, don’t you think? If they would simply say they are “expressing concerns as a community,” or calling on their flock to be more aware and conserve, then I don’t see much problem. If they are supporting “magical thinking” then of course I would take issue. As a former “prayer warrior” (long ago Evangelical) I can say that we believed “prayer moves the hands of God” and that just simply doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t the God of the Universe simply ACT with compassion, love and justice without millions having to beg for Him/Her to act? Is it that S/he cannot act apart from pleading? Prayer has never made much sense to me, I admit. Not since those days when I expected The Creator of the Cosmos to listen to little old me and do what I ask. And of course, that rarely (never) happened!

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