The Savior taught us to pray 'Our Father who art in Heaven...' and He at least you can be sure knew what it was he was saying. God is our Father and a good Father loves his wee ones to pieces and doesn't at all mind a bit of griping and complaining from time to time. And to be sure his heart soars when the kiddies turn to him for help and advice. It does him proud to know that they trust and love him so much. How much more then do you think our Father who art in Heaven appreciates such precious moments with his earthbound sons and daughters.
I say this because not a few people have written to say that I am too bloody irreverent. Didn't the Pope himself say that being irreverent isn't a bad thing. It was just a wee while ago that the Vatican praised the Homer Simpson writers for their take on religion and the mixed up feelings in people's hearts about God.
That Homer loves to have his little gripes with the Almighty, friend-to-friend like, and sure I am that that's the way our Father likes it.
I've visited some of those 'heretic' churches where they pray so loud and long as to be boring the Almighty to death if such were possible. How he puts up with it I will never know. And such fine and glorious phrases they pray with! I'm sure if I spoke to my own Da like that he'd pack me off to the looney bin.
I've even been in those 'cost ye a penny' churches where they pray in their holy or wholly unknown foreign tongues. They even laid hands on me once to get me to do the same. Hell's Bells I almost decked the first one who grabbed hold of me. If my friend had not been there to explain what was happening, it's possible that I could have given the man a helping hand on his way to glory.
So there be me with these heretics carrying on in their jibberish telling me to do the same. I felt like a bloody corpse at a wake - there at the party but not enjoying meself. And I have to admit that I felt like a bit of a fool not knowing what they were going on about. But you know, as the old saying goes: If you're enough lucky to be Irish you're lucky enough! and luckily I learned as a child how to say 5 decades of the Rosary in under a minute.
So I was off like a skirt at an orgy. I started saying the Rosary like me life depended on it (and I wasn't altogether sure if it didn't). Not even me uncle Mike who was a priest would've recognised that I was praying to the Blessed Virgin, but it did the trick. Everyone was pleased as punch they were and I escaped the place leaving them all feeling satisfied that they had saved another soul.
I'm not putting the kibosh on such behavior or the religious beliefs supporting it and nor am I saying it's not right, but it's not for me. Maybe I'm too bloody Catholic for such goings on, although I do know that some Catholics do the same thing.
When I want to talk to the big man upstairs, I don't need to talk in jibberish, or fine fancy phrases; I just do regular talking like. And yes, sometimes it is even irreverent. But my Da in Heaven knows me well enough to know that I love him and mean no disrespect to his authority.
And sure it is that I am, that more often than not he sits on his Almighty Throne chuckling away at the antics of both the religious and non religious alike. Sure it is that he has a good sense of humor. And isn't that why he made the Irish? To teach you all how to have a laugh and to enjoy life.
May the Lord keep you in his hand and never close His fist too tight.
John J. Walsh, a Catholic, is originally from Ireland; went to high school and university in Australia, and later moved to the U.S.A. Fearing the hot blooded protestants and not wanting to reach heaven or hell faster than is God's plan, his personal email address and other particulars are not available for publication. You may however Email him at: johnjwalsh_magic @live.com