Thursday, September 3, 2009

Give This Picture a Caption

The Dalai Lama's been visiting Taiwan this week. Here, he listens through his interpreter as (Catholic) Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi prays at an interfaith meeting.
That's the official story. But when I saw this picture, many alternate explanations and possible captions popped into my head, such as:
  • "Pray harder! He's winning!"
  • "Your Holiness, I think the Cardinal fell asleep. What do we do now?"
  • "He just prayed your food will be poisoned!"
You can do better. Add your own caption in the comments...
(Click on the picture if you'd like a larger version.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pray Like a Jew

I recently finished a slow reading through The Standard Prayer Book, a Jewish book of liturgical prayers first published by the English Rabbi Simeon Singer in 1890. My version was printed in 1951, and you can get used copies on Amazon. I got mine at a library sale for $1.00.
There are many things to like about the prayers found in this book, and I suppose it should be no great surprise that a Christian would find most of these prayers perfectly appropriate and doctrinally true. After all, much of the Old Testament itself consists of prayers, and much of The Standard Prayer Book consists of passages from the Bible. Here's one I like. It's from the Evening Service for Sabbaths and Festivals:

We give thanks unto thee,
For thou art the Lord our God and the God of our fathers for ever and ever;
Thou art the Rock of our lives,
The Shield of our salvation through every generation.
We will give thanks unto thee
And declare thy praise for our lives which are committed unto thy hand,
And for our souls which are in thy charge,
And for thy miracles, which are daily with us,
And for thy wonders and thy benefits, which are wrought at all times, evening, morn, and noon.
O thou who art all-good, whose mercies fail not;
Thou, merciful Being, whose lovingkindnesses never cease,
We have ever hoped in thee.

Photo: Simeon Singer in the 1880s