Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joking while praying, or Praying while joking?

Dureza: Even God has a sense of humor

MANILA, Philippines -- Press Secretary Jesus Dureza made light of his prayer that put President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the spot during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, saying even God has a sense of humor.

Arroyo covered her face with her hand, looking embarrassed, after Dureza said in his prayer that she continue leading the country "even beyond" the end of her term in 2010.

Ms Arroyo, as she covered her face with her right hand in apparent exasperation, muttered: “Oh my God.”

“Bless the Senate President,” Dureza continued, referring to Enrile. “He’s the most volatile, the oldest. But we feel now—although not really comparable to St. Thomas More—[he’s] the man for all seasons.”

Dureza later said he was "drowned out" and actually said that the President could serve beyond 2010 "in her personal and private capacity." He clarified that the prayer was meant as a joke.

"I'm sure the Lord has sense of humor."

Members of the Black and White Movement, however, said they did not find Dureza's joke amusing.

"Pagbibiro ba iyan? Iyung nagbibiro habang nagdasal senyales ng taong arogante. Binibiro niya ba ang Diyos.... I think that's height of agenda to even pray for something like that as a joke (Is that a joke? Somebody who jokes during prayers is an arrogant person. Why should he joke about God?)" said group convenor Leah Navarro.

Was it proper for Secretary Dureza to crack jokes while praying? Were the jokes just incidental and did not deter from his prayerful conversation with God? I honestly don't know. Most likely it is only God who can tell, as the prayers were directed to Him. Perhaps the following little story might shed some light on the matter.
Juan and Max, both smokers, are walking from a religious service.
Juan wonders whether it would be all right to smoke while praying.
Max replies, “Why don’t you ask the priest?”
So Juan goes up to the priest and asks, “Father, may I smoke while I pray?”
The priest replies, “No, my son, you may not! That’s utter disrespect to our religion.”
Juan goes back to his friend and tells him what the good priest told him.
Max says, “I’m not surprised. You asked the wrong question. Let me try.”
And so Max goes up to the priest and asks, “Father, may I pray while I smoke?”
To which the priest eagerly replies, “By all means, my son, by all means."
"You can always pray whenever you want to.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Catholic Church has also taught that artificial contraception is a grave evil since its beginnings. The early Church Fathers such as John Chrysostom, Hippolytus, Jerome, Augustine of Hippo, and many others all condemned contraception. The Catechism of the Catholic Church prohibits it. In the 20th century, Pope Paul VI's
Humanae Vitae in 1968 affirmed this teaching, as did Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii decades before, in 1930. The Pontifical Council for the Family reiterated this teaching in 1997, through the document Vademecum for Confessors Concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life.

The teaching against contraception is clearly part of the ordinary magisterium of the Church and is NOT reformable (the so-called "consciences" of the 14 Ateneo professors notwithstanding).