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The Sun Magazine

Religion and Philosophy

Prayer

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Wrong Imam

If we could have been inside his heart, if we could have been offered transportation from our Jerusalem to his heaven, this is what we might have absorbed: Abkar was not leading us in prayer. He was talking to God while we happened to be behind him, squeezed in so tightly we could hardly find places for our foreheads on flawless plush carpet.

Quotations

Sunbeams

The path of progress has never taken a straight line, but has always been a zigzag course amid the conflicting forces of right and wrong, truth and error, justice and injustice, cruelty and mercy.

Kelly Miller

Fiction

Imogene’s Prayer

The pills are about the size of a bing-cherry pit in diameter and are a faint green color, like the eggs of some songbirds. On one side they have a deeply inscribed SZ, on the other, the number 789. They are Ritalin, the ten-milligram kind. Imogene knows them by sight because occasionally patients admitted to the psychiatric ward where she works as a nurse have containers of assorted pills, and she has learned to spot the ones that will get her high.

The Dog-Eared Page

The War Prayer

“God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken.

The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from
Courage To Pray

Our deep reality may take over in moments when we are so carried away by joy that we forget who might be looking at us, . . . or when we are unselfconscious in moments of extreme pain, moments when we have a deep sense of sadness or of wonder. At these moments we see something of the true person that we are.

Sy Safransky's Notebook

July 2010

I admit it: My memory isn’t what it used to be. I forgot what number we’re supposed to dial when we see the Supreme Court leaving the scene of a crime — for what else to call yesterday’s 5–4 decision to kill campaign-finance reform?