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Prayer

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.

By Sybil Smith February 2014
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.

By Mark Twain January 2013
The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from
All Men Are Brothers

I have been practicing with scientific precision nonviolence and its possibilities for an unbroken period of over fifty years. I have applied it in every walk of life — domestic, institutional, economic, and political. I know of no single case in which it has failed.

By Mahatma Gandhi October 2011
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.

By Anthony Bloom February 2011
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

A Prayer For The Dead

My car died today in Catskill, New York. Her name was Rhonda: Rhonda the Honda. My wife had her in reverse when we suddenly heard a loud CRONK and the front of the car sank to the ground. A ball joint had broken, and the left front wheel had fallen off. (Three people later told me we were lucky: if we’d been driving on the highway, our car might have flipped over!)

By Sparrow July 2010
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?

By Sy Safransky July 2010
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

A Figure In Black And Gray

What they all have in common is a weakness: an inability to say no to a deeply imprinted call — a call to poverty, chastity, and obedience, strange virtues that had to be flushed out from their hiding places, shown to us, and somehow made desirable. We’re men who, for the most part, had good jobs and degrees but were brought low by something many of us hadn’t really asked for, and to which we all eventually yielded. In the end concession and surrender may be our greatest accomplishments.

By Joe Hoover March 2010
Quotations

Sunbeams

You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometime fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?

Robert Louis Stevenson

April 2009
The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from
Every Eye Beholds You

To expect to have faith before embarking on the disciplines of the spiritual life is like putting the cart before the horse. In all the great traditions, prophets, sages, and mystics spend very little time telling their disciples what they ought to believe. Indeed, it is only since the Enlightenment that faith has been defined as intellectual submission to a creed.

By Karen Armstrong April 2009