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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Token Prayers

I believe I have mentioned before that I have no use for New Year's resolutions. If I haven't, I'm telling you now that I believe that each day is an opportunity to do better. I've never understood, for example, how someone "falls off" a diet.  I understand that one could slip and give into to that luscious piece of pie or become overwhelmed by the desire for a quarter pounder with cheese and bacon.  What I fail to comprehend is how the flood gates then open wide for binge eating. Had that quarter pounder? Don't have another one.

So you slipped up, you ate a whole bag of Oreos, you had a cigarette. Stop now. Go back to your diet and your smoke free life and try harder, learn about yourself and what made you do it, remove the triggers and blocks as best you can and begin anew.

Surely you're not going to wait until next January 1st to do better? Of course you aren't. You're going to do better right now. You will be in our prayers.

Hey Sister Mary Martha, my name is Sandra. I read several blogs on religion and prayer and I feel like I've ended up here once before. I ran across this prayer exchange website and I haven't had the chance to ask my Church what their stance is on it.

I'm a bit confused, I think that there are some benefits to a site like this but some Christians might find it questionable.

The website is http://www.prayermarket.com/. 

If you're looking for a topic to blog about, I would be curious to hear your thoughts and know what your stance is on this type of prayer service.

I have your blog in my feed reader so I'll check back, God bless
Sandra J

Questionable?  A site by the separated brethren who became separated initially because they were mad at the Church for 'selling' indulgences allows people to 'earn' tokens for praying for other people and then use the tokens to get prayers for themselves read OR cash in the tokens for CASH and PRIZES.  

What's to question?  It's cash people! Who doesn't want more cash?  Isn't that the most important thing in our lives? You can earn up to $10 an hour just by reading people's prayers! All you need a a good pair of knees and a webcam.

Oh, I feel a swoon.  My veil is spinning. Maybe it's my head.

I'm still not sure I understand how it works, although there is this helpful diagram:

Does anyone understand this?  I think I do.  Bob reads Susan's prayer and earns tokens. He uses his tokens to submit a prayer which is then read by Alice. Bob is now devoid of tokens, but good old Alice has earned some by reading Bob's prayer. Then Alice blows her tokens on a prayer that is read by David.  Alice now has no tokens, but David has a handful that he splurges on a prayer for himself, which Susan reads. Now Susan has all the loot, until she submits a prayer.

That explains everything.  It seems to me you'll do fine for yourself as long as you don't submit any prayers.  It promotes unselfish behavior, don't you see?

If you need more clarity, you can click on "How it Works" on the site there and they spell it out even more, right down to how you can skip the tokens altogether and just pay hard cold cash for someone to read your prayers. Only a dollar a pop.  What a bargain!

I have to have a nap now. 

And the truly wonderful part is that by submitting your prayer, you are helping the prayer reading people earning up to $10 an hour to "stay close to God" by doing all that prayerful webcasting.  AND you get to check in on them and make sure they're doing it right!  I suppose this means that they read the prayer just as you submitted it.  Such as the  prayer that asked Our Lord to make sure the Vikings beat I forget who by 28 points, because, you know, you can't win the bet if the point spread is wrong.

I need an handkerchief. Either I have allergies or I have started to cry.

It's so wildly ironic that if there were irony prizes, this would have to be the winner. Because they could have done the exact same thing, the underlying idea being that by posting these prayers and videos, you will have even more people praying for you, they could have done that without any tokens or cash.

What's my take on it? Whoever put this together is preying (the winner of the worst pun award) on desperate people who need our prayers.

Too bad there isn't a way to steer them all over to the Carmelites.  That's their whole job, those Carmelites. They spend almost every second in prayer for you and me, both in general and in specifics.  

Or, steer them all over to Mass, for that moment when the priest tells us "insert intentions here" and we all pray for each other's intentions, even if they involve point spreads.


Nelson said...

Where do you get all these pictures? So apt, so fitting to the topic...

Sister Mary Martha said...

Two of them are from the prayermarket website.

jeliecam said...

Dear SMM

We looked at this prayer site and immediately decided we weren't impressed. We never even GOT to the tokens and money!! Yes, someone is definitely preying on the praying.
That chart; if you work out the tokens, it adds up to zero.


WELCOME TO BLOG - www.virgemdeguadalupe.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Glad to discover this great blog, I'm a recovering Catholic who grew up under the heel of authoritarian Benedictine nuns in central Minnesota in the 1950's. Still digging my way out from that experience. Had my knuckles rapped with a ruler more times than I can count. Looking back on those years, it's amazing that the Church succeeded in selling such an unbelievably complicated story to young people. The Catholic story has all sorts of little mysteries and blind alleys and conundrums, and it's incredible that somebody put the whole thing together and managed to get much of the human race to buy into it. If you want to a Hollywood producer with a script like that, it would be rejected in a heartbeat as being way too convoluted and beyond comprehension. Imagine starting from scratch and coming up with such a labyrinthine tale- it would be nearly impossible.

Anonymous said...


Remember when St. Christopher got demoted? It shook my faith a bit. For years our family drove around with that little ivory-colored plastic statuette of him on the dashboard of our car. We never had a wreck, so maybe St. Christopher did a good job. Hard to know...

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused by that graph above. Didn't Bernie Madoff run a scam something like that?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't being payed specifically to pray be the sin of simony?