Sunday, June 25, 2006

Watch Your Language! (Part 1)

This is rather an ongoing mulling-it-over process for me, but one of the things that really bugs me about many modern prayers is the language in which they're written. It's not the English that gets my goat, but the academic buzzwords (and there's a whole other rant there about academics who hijack perfectly good words for their own nefarious agendas). I can (and am forced to) read this sort of writing in my courses at the university--I'd rather it not be thrust into my prayers. These words are simultaneously politically charged and devoid of true meaning. And to top it all off, they lack beauty and impact. This, I think, is one of the reasons why many modern prayers and hymns ring hollow and leave me thinking, "What on earth did we just say?"

I don't want to pray to God, my Heavenly Father, that I wish Him to 'empower' me to become an 'agent of social change.' I don't want to 'engage in meaningful dialogue' with the saints. I don't want to sing about 'embracing diversity' in our one sappy 'community' (although I suppose I might deserve that one for going to a 'worship space' rather than a church). The intent of these phrases is often laudable (though all too often highly agenda-ized), but the expression of that intent is gag-worthy.

Give me the Our Father or Hail Mary (or Memorare, or prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, or Eternal Rest, etc.) any day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I'm glad that semester's over--writing 50-page papers and answering lists of redundant questions is really not to my taste. Now all I have left is to make it through the last week of my intersession course (which, luckily, is not horribly onerous, although some of the readings and discussions make me despair for the future of education in America).