I met with my cohort group today; two other lovely souls, I am journeying with as we do further studies at The Chaplaincy Institute. It was my turn to open our time together. I found a prayer I was drawn to, and shared. However, I was unsure of the source. After our meeting I took time to explore more about this prayer. It was noted several places that this prayer is a translation of the Lord’s Prayer, directly from Aramaic to English; rather than translated through Greek and Hebrew and Modern English… and… I was intrigued. I have visited parts of Syria where Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is still spoken. And I have heard several recite The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic. My heart immediately traveled back to Syria and I was in love even more with the prayer translation. Alas, it was not true. In further exploration I found the story of this being a direct translation from Aramaic to English is a myth. Clearly a very good myth. An Irish Man named Diarmuid O’Murchu has been credited with the prayer; even though on his website he states the myth, and does not take direct credit for the translation. My heart was a bit deflated. And it made me remember my days studying the Bible and my beliefs, as I worked toward Confirmation within the Presbyterian system. I questioned all the time… because I already was wise enough to know that each time a story is retold, it loses a bit of what the original storyteller shared and picks up a lot more of what the current sharer of the story interprets. Okay, Okay... so my wisdom comes from the childhood game of Telephone. The game where one person whispers a phrase into the ear of another, and the phrase is passed along a group of people by whispering in ears… only to have the final recitation of the phrase be completely different than the phrase first spoken. So with this understanding of how stories are passed along… evolving and changing… how on earth was I able to know the truth about anything? As I’ve continued my journey in life, I see continued evidence of power in the person stating the story, the prayer, the facts, the whatever. When I was active in organizations, and serving on boards and committees, I remember someone more experienced in that work telling me; the power is held by the person transcribing the minutes of the gathering. Because that person has the power of how the discussions and decisions will be recorded. Just like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder; handed down words are in the control of the current teller. I’m seeing this playing out in the current situation with the global pandemic. So many handing down words that are their version of a story. And there seem to be multiple versions of the same story. It’s just exhausting watching the news. I do believe most people, if we listen to our hearts, can discern bits of myth, and bits truth within a story. I guess it comes down to quieting myself to try and hear the essence of the story… and the truth. Perhaps it is back to the teaching to live in the present… just as I have learned through walking with people at end of life. I only have this minute, this hour, this day; and I need to enjoy what is… right now. Tomorrow is not promised. And there are many things I cannot control. This Coronavirus/COVID-19/Pandemic is something I cannot control and there is still so much unknown. So… I’m going to rest from worrying and share the prayer here. I believe I found the source from which it came at some part of the proverbial Telephone game. Most of all, I find it beautiful, and appreciate it in this form, in the here and now.
O cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration. Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where your presence can abide. Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of your mission. Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire. Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish. Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes. Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment. For you are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth, power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made whole once again.
Based on Prayers of The Cosmos: Reflections on the Original Meaning of Jesus’s Words by Neil Douglas-Klotz
Originally Published to Facebook on May 1st, 2020 at https://www.facebook.com/creativecarolcelebrant/posts/158401732316693