Out of curiousity, one day I went off to one of those Christian book stores to find a book of prayers. I spent many years in a Catholic school but I came away really only knowing two formal prayers, The Lord’s Prayer (the one that starts out “Our Father, who art in heaven”) and the Hail Mary (“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you…”). Those are the two that form the substance of the Rosary, so it makes sense that I’d remember them, having said them possibly hundreds of times.
So I picked up a book on prayers and discovered that there weren’t much in the way of formal prayers. There were guidelines and jumping off points and such, but not much in the way of set pieces.
I brought this up with God today. I was wondering if this was something that he had set up or if it had just happened. And if he had set it up, why?
Of course, he didn’t give me a straight answer, but he did ask me a question in return. He pointed out that I got bored with those two prayers just by going through a Rosary and asked if I could imagine what it was like hearing those same two prayers over and over again from millions of unimaginative worshipers.
He told me that if there were any more than two prayers, then fewer people would get bored with the standards and he would get to hear even fewer original works, fewer heart to heart talks.
It would be like getting a new album from your favorite artist and discovering that there was only one new song on it; that the rest of them were just tracks taken from their other albums.
Come to think of it, a lot of greatest hits collections are just like that, they have one new song to try and force the fans that already have the rest of their albums to buy their greatest hits, too.
Hmm, now there’s a thought, maybe The Lord’s Prayer is the original hit single.