Adverbs and Adprayers
Gillick, Larry, S.J.
Glimpses by Fr. Gillick
Does the following writing sound to you "very good" or "very well"?|What is the difference between "good" and "very good"? You might say that the difference is intensity and higher quality when using "very". The two letters "ad" come from the Latin meaning "to" or "toward". "Adhere" meaning "clinging to" and "Adverse" meaning "Turning to or against" can help us understand the words, "adverb" and "adjective". Sounds like First-Year English class, I guess. Remember class, you never, ever describe a verb with an adjective!|I am in a select group whose only object is to object to any use of "add-verbs". Here's our goal. If a verb needs adding to, that is needs help, then use a stronger verb. I have a Jesuit friend, who, when ask how he is, replies, "I thrive!" The verb is strong and leaves no doubts how he wishes others to think how he is doing. When people ask me how I am, I respond, "I have no idea!" I, attempt mightily, (that's a trite old nasty add-verb) to use direct and accurate words. I bust my brain to dazzle the asker, and that makes the point. Okay, enough, what's my point?|For many people who pray and especially prayers of intercession, they believe that intensity of feeling will make the prayer more fruitful. I was speaking with a person who was experiencing some guilt and a need to ask God for God's forgiveness. This person felt that the prayer was not accompanied by enough intense feelings of sadness or remorse. This person thought that God demanded sadness and a need to be punished and then God just might clear things up. This person then was indulging in "adprayering". This person thought that feeling sorrow for the sufferings of Jesus might help this person feel deeper and so the depth of sorrow would move God's "Mercy-meter" to the correct point of forgiveness. Many years ago a quite young lad came into the darkness of the confessional and began a long list of things, which I eventually interrupted. "Are you sorry?" I asked. He, without a moment's delay asked me, "For what?" That shut me up.|Is God moved by our adprayers, our flowery words, and our feelings of gratitude so God will do even more for us? God does not answer all our prayers or adprayers, because of content or verbiage. We would love to know the password-prayer that opens the divine vault of love. I am sure my former English professors were excited enough to move me from a C to a B as, perhaps, a result of my sentence construction and word-choice and maybe even the content. God is not a professor waiting for the magic adprayers.|What is God waiting for? Here's a good one! God is waiting to be God. God is waiting, not to hear from or about us. God is waiting not at all! God is waiting on us at the table of our lives. God delays not at all, not even to the moment we are ready to be served. Why say prayers then? We say adprayers and common prayers and repeated prayers so we know where we are watching to be cared-for and loved. God is love and loving. Our words and feelings and needs do not move that Love, that Love is always moving, preparing, laboring to bring us all to the awareness of just who we are so that we might, in time, allow that Love to be loving. It is just a Glimpse, written without any adverbs, mainly.
Creighton University, Online Ministries