Excerpts From "Rolandson Radio" (Pt 6)Dec 14, 2007 Write an essay on this topic.
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Oliver, in limbo between a lifetime in the priesthood and part-time unemployment, approached the confessional of his regular parish church and stepped inside. The small, scholarly face of Reverend Morgan peered through the squares in the latticework and solemnly began the session.
Well, what do you wish to discuss today?
The reason I wanted to come, Alan, is because recently I have suffered from the most immense lack of faith and well I wondered if it is all right for me, as a priest, to be so profoundly uncertain as to whether or not God is, you know a load of bollocks, he began.
Well, that depends. What has, um, prompted this sudden crisis of faith?
Ive been having these recurrent dreams steadily for the last year. Theyre unlike any dream Ive ever had before and Ive been unsure all this time how to interpret them. When I was younger, I mean, all I dreamt of was fast cars and Cyndi Lauper, swimming nude in kegs of American cream soda. Do you remember Cyndi Lauper? he asked.
Um why dont you tell me what some of your dreams are about?
All right. Well, I had the first one about a year ago now. I was on top of Mount Sinai with this goblin, and he started to taunt me in this shrill, fearsome voice and chase me about the place with an electric cattle prod. He trapped me against a wall and rattled off a list of reasons as to why God was a liar, a pervert and a faker, and I was just some foolish sinner. I mean, at first, I just assumed he was there to represent some messenger of Satan I might encounter in my everyday life, sent to test my faith by God, but then he produced this album of photographs. The first one he showed me was a picture of God with a giant reefer in His mouth being shot up with heroin, and the other Him in flagrante with these ladies of the night, he said, such a weight off just to tell someone.
How could you tell it was God in the photographs? Alan asked.
It was the same shaft of white light I saw after my epiphany, when I decided to become a priest. Well, anyway, he was doing all of these awful things in the photos yeah. In the next dream, the goblin gave this slide show and it had footage of God slaughtering cows, having intercourse with underage girls and all sorts of unpleasant things. I was disturbed in a such a profound way I was almost unable to take my masses. To cope, I decided to write them all off as brief messages, probably sent from you know who and carried on with my services as normal. The next week, however, I had this new dream where St. Paul and St. Luke were selling these plots of space in heaven, evicting elderly people and sending them to hell, oh it was bizarre! he revealed.
Alan coughed and left a minute of reflective silence in the air between them in which to ruminate deeply. He had never encountered a member of the priesthood with such surreal and strong dreams before and found the revelation a welcome distraction from the odd cuss word and blasphemous remark on the sly he usually dealt with.
Well the very fact that you have had these dreams does not mean you are being sent signals from the Devil, necessarily. It would leave you in a position not to doubt the existence of God, but it would strengthen your faith, surely? he refuted.
But after these dreams, Alan, I found myself approaching things from a whole new perspective. I mean, it was as though these dreams belittled the fruits of my knowledge and my ecumenical teaching and I had to do something to fight them in my professional life. All the reassurance and shelter I felt through the love of God had all but disappeared. Instead, I felt as though I was thirteen again and had this sudden desire to rush out into the world and do all the forbidden things my parents disallowed when I was little, he said.
Right. You didnt do anything bad did you?
Well, that brings me to my first proper confession. In the third week, the dreams were just so persistent that I went nightclubbing to try and fight them off and er, copped off with this student. Brynne I think her name was. From Minnesota. I had such a kick pretending I was a normal person, it was impossible to try and readjust back into the swing of things at church. In the fourth week the dreams abated a little but I was riding high on such a thrill, I joined the group of teenagers who joyride outside the church and we went for a spin around town at 1 oclock in the morning. It was such a kick that I had to do it again and again!
Well, that is
See, the problem is that I just dont feel God around me anymore. I used to get this warm sensation in my stomach, like a sort of benign indigestion, you know? I havent felt that for over a year. When I pray, all I can see is the goblin and the photographs of God being a corrupt bastard. I mean, its as though I can see through Him and into the real rot that festers inside, you know? Do you see what I mean? I dont even feel His presence in the church when we pray. Without the reassurance that He is everywhere, then I really cant continue this charade a moment longer, he concluded.
OK. Well let me put this to you. Do you wish to abandon the priesthood and His eternal, divine grace and love because of this little crisis? Is your faith not strong enough to defeat this weakness and see through such idle temptation back onto the right path where He shall guide and watch over you until your dying day? Alan asked, building up a head of ecclesiastical steam.
Um no, Oliver replied.
Right. Well maybe you should get out then, Alan conceded.
OK. Well, thank you for your honesty, father, Oliver smiled, a burden lifted from his shoulders. The burden of God Himself.
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