Friday, 11 November 2016
Prayer expresses faith:
- or just hope:
"Whatever gods may be..."
Ythrians of the New Faith, wanting to honor God the Hunter with a good fight, do not pray to Him. Mersian Vachs have Secret Prayers to the God. Some characters in Poul Anderson's historical fiction bargain with their gods on an "If you get us home safe, then I will give you a big, expensive sacrifice" basis. Van Rijn offers to St Dismas. It was a while before I realized that van Rijn's devotion was sincere, not formulaic. Djana focuses her psychic power through a prayer, "'God have mercy,' she cried with her whole being..." (Young Flandry, p. 353) and it works. In the Cathedral where Dominic Flandry's murdered fiancee lies in state, Flandry asks her for a sign but does not believe that he receives it. Nevertheless, he is the first to pray to St Kossara as she will be known when she has been canonized by her fellow Dennitzan Orthochristians.
James Bond, training to be Japanese, goes through the motions of offering a prayer to the goddess but is too preoccupied with getting the ritual motions right to formulate a prayer. Tanaka says that the goddess will help him. Kissy prays that Bond will stay on her island for a long time and this is granted. Before the Jizo guardians:
"...Bond, for the first time in his life, had a sensation of deep awe."
-Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice (London, 1966), p. 140.
He bows and asks for good fortune. Both see the statues nod although Bond denies it.