Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The melting prayer

Religion is such a wonderful thing. Believers feel they can invoke it, as a warlock would a magic spell, to bring their dreams to life.
Here is a religious bribe; a treat with a message for selfish needs. A big tin of Quality Street with a sticker on it saying: “Thank you for your prayers that I get into Pembroke! Have a chocolate!”
Quality Street is a popular brand of confectionery, and Pembroke is a respected college within Oxford University. How do scholarly life and the aspect of the Christian pulpit become so intangibly entwined?
I asked myself that question as I toured the sacrosanct chapels of the Oxford conglomerate; saw the enlightened ministers of the written word that studied nearby; inspected the towers of beer cans they had drained, we all laughed to see such fun.
And there, on the dark oaken table, next to the postcard of Michael defeating Lucifer, sat the tin of temptation; the treat-laden box of delights with the begging message: pray for me, just me. Pray for me and perhaps I will enter these hallowed halls and be better. Better than you, or better than most.
Pray for me. Pray for me and have a chocolate. Pray for my intercession unto the right hand of the dons.

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