Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Quick shot: Christopher Hitchens - prayers for.
Discernment of spirits
I've hardly read anything written in its entirety by Christopher Hitchens save for an article in this month's Vanity Fair concerning his reaction to the day of prayer for his conversion, salvation, healing, what have you. He makes some very good points about illness and suffering and how the good and the bad all share the same fate. It is no wonder he doesn't 'get' religious people or faith after reading some of the stuff written about him online. (I know, he's said hateful things himself.)
One blogger/commenter Hitchens' cites hoped CH suffered eternal torment for his blasphemies - after suffering the full effects of his cancer of course. Others prayed for his healing, conversion or salvation. It seems to me most of these had some sort of self-interest in the outcome of their prayers - like they might be winning a bet or something - indeed, Hitchens found a betting site online for just that purpose.
I'm wondering now, if Hitch converts on his death bed - which I always think is a nice way to go - does that mean prayers were heard? And if he doesn't - does that mean the prayers went unanswered? Does either outcome prove there is a God? If he's lost for all eternity, does anyone win?
I think we Christians get in God's way many times. I appreciate today's Gospel from Mass, when Christ rebuked the disciples for wanting to call down fire from heaven upon the Samaritans who would not welcome Jesus because he was heading towards Jerusalem. [Luke 9: 51-56] Other sources reveal what Christ told the disciples in his rebuke: "You know not of what spirit you are."