15 May 2011

15 May - Ides of May

Ovid in his fasti says that today is a festival of Mercury, and he writes the amusing prayer of a local merchant.  It starts off pious enough, and then descends to something less, as so many prayers do:

Wash away all the lies of the past,’ he says,
‘Wash away all the perjured words of a day that’s gone.
If I’ve called on you as witness, and falsely invoked
Jove’s great power, hoping he wouldn’t hear:
If I’ve knowingly taken the names of gods and goddesses,
In vain: let the swift southerlies steal my sinful words,
And leave the day clear for me, [so far so good, and then...] for further perjuries,
And let the gods above fail to notice I’ve uttered any.
Just grant me my profit, give me joy of the profit I’ve made:
And make sure I’ll have the pleasure of cheating a buyer.’

Ovid stopped short.  What about:

O Lord, forgive my hasty temper and unkind words and help me to find a charitable way to tell That Woman that she is a female dog...

O Lord, forgive me for stealing from my employers by wasting time on the Internet during working hours, but there is a comments war going on at my favorite forum and You really don't expect me to miss that, do You?... It's a Catholic forum, if that helps.

O Lord, help me to be more charitable... and there is no way I'm volunteering to drive that old woman to church, because then she'll want to stop for coffee, or do a little shopping, or go to the park because it is such a lovely day.  What am I, a chauffeur?

O Lord, the priest says that carrying on an affair with a married person is a sin, and of course he is right, but this isn't an affair because we're in love... and besides, everyone says that I am so joyful, so that must be a good witness for the Faith, right?

O Lord, I'm really sorry that my business has gone down the drain and I had to let go of my employees, but its not my fault, it's the economy and those d---d politicians from the opposite party, but it's okay because I have been very clever in moving company funds into my personal accounts over the years so I will still be able to give some money to the Church, only not right now, because who knows when the economy will come back up and I have four properties to pay for, and my kid has been accepted to Yale, and tuition there doesn't come cheap, Y'know? And thank You for Your many blessings.

OMG! I mean, O Lord, the priest says that I'm taking Your Name in vain, and I'm sorry if you think so, but OMG! is just a phrase we use online and texting - You know what texting is? - and even when I actually say OH MY GOD! I'm not really referring to You, it's like saying NO WAY! and GET OUT! so will You please tell the priest to get off my case?

And so on....