M*A*S*H is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, and I remember one episode, where a wounded soldier came in who had no wounds, but had declared himself to be Jesus Christ. All the characters had their opinions, from Fr. Mulcahy, who sat and had long philosophical and biblical conversations, to Radar, who asked him to bless his Teddy Bear. But my favorite was (of course) Frank Burns, who ‘tested’ him by praying for chocolate pudding at lunch. His prayer didn’t come true, so the soldier must not have been Jesus.
This is just a long-winded way for me to bring up my question… Do you believe in prayer? Do you think they’re answered, or do you think it’s just coincidence that sometimes things happen that you wish for? Or, is it more of an eastern philosophy thing of Karma – what goes around comes around.
I’m fascinated by religions and how they influence us. From the Catholics and their almost corporate-like hierarchy and division of duties (there’s God, then there are the Archangels, then there are the regular angels… or are the Saints next? Either way. But the saints all have specific areas that they’re in charge of. Like St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. Ask me how I know this…), to the Amish with their very simple ways, to Islam and their fiery passion and devotion. Wiccans and Pagans, with their devotion to multiple gods and goddesses, and their commitment and knowledge of holistic, alternative, and earth-based healing. Those religions of the East with meditations and Karma. But all of them have some kind of communication with a higher power (or something outside yourself) in common. Some believe their prayers go directly to Someone, others believe they go out into the Universe, and connect into a great web, sending ripples of change, much like a drop of water in a calm lake.
So do you pray because, like the Buddhists, it calms the mind and soul, and helps you find enlightenment, peace, strength? Or is it more of a goal-oriented practice, like in church, when you hear the Petitions read, asking for people to get better, rain for a drought-stricken land, and safety and protection for Troops abroad? OR… are you like Frank Burns, hoping for chocolate pudding for lunch?