Irish Papist

Irish Papist
Me and General Robert Lee

Thursday, July 11, 2013

An Idea I Had

Yesterday I was praying in Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Church, University College Dublin, as I do on most workdays. It's a very plain, airy church, the kind I find highly appealing. (I feel choked by too many columns, corners, shadows, side altars, and so forth.) As I knelt there going through my usual list of intentions, and trying to keep my mind from wandering as it is all too prone to do, it struck me (as it often does) what a very dramatic situation prayer really is-- especially a solitary individual praying in some deserted place. (People drift in and out of UCD's church, but very often I'm there all by myself.)

Prayer is perhaps the most simple and yet the most far-reaching of all human activities. I always love it when the parish priest in Ballymun says, at the beginning of Mass, "We put whatever is going on in our life, all our worries and problems and issues, on the table of the Lord". Prayer is completely wide-open. Nothing is irrelevant. All the screens of circumstance, of place and time, of convention and communication, fall away, and the solitary soul stands naked before God.

It struck me that a solitary man praying (out loud, for the most part) would be excellent material for a one-man play. What part of a man's life wouldn't float through the mental sea of prayer? What external drama could not be mirrored in that inner chamber? What adventure is more exciting, more consequential, than the adventure of faith?

(I often think that I could make much better arguments against religious belief than I ever hear even from even the most militant of atheists. So that would be an interesting thing to throw into the mix, too, as this solitary character at his prayers works through doubts and difficulties.)

I don't know if anyone has ever done this before. In any case, it should be fun. I think I might even post it here as I write it. I've written all my life but writing this blog is by far the most fun I've ever had writing. Those who read it are extraordinarily indulgent of my more adventurous (possibly read: pretentious) posts. And knowing that there is somebody reading is a huge boost. (I know from my blog statistics that people seek out this blog by name, most days. And I'm honoured.)

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