Friday, July 30, 2010
A brilliant new book: geeks and prayer types please note
A Californian acquaintance of mine by the name of Sistertech has written a truly brilliant, not to mention humorous and touching, book of prayers.
Sistertech transmits her spiritual writings via my friend Pamela Hood, Ph.D., a professor of philosophy in San Francisco, and I recently received a copy of this Book of Uncommon Prayer. Here are a few samples from it.
1.1 Prayers for Morning
May The One in Charge bless us this day, keep us from evil viruses, and bring us stable wireless connectivity. Amen.
Dear One In Charge,
You have brought us in safety to this new day:
Preserve us and our tech devices
with your mighty power,
that we may not fall into sin,
or be overcome by phishing scams, spyware, viruses,
or other adversities;
and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose.
A Morning Psalm for Social Media Users
Open my _____ (state name of social media program or website),
O One in Charge,
and my tweets shall proclaim your praise.
Create in me a clean cache
and renew a right spirit of updating within me.
Cast me not away from my Twitter stream,
take not your holy inspiration from me.
Give me the joy of sending tweets again.
Sustain me with bountiful followers
and plenty of content to retweet.
1.4 Prayers for Sleep
O One In Charge,
while our bodies and computers rest
from the labors of the day
and as our RAM, caches, and our souls are released
from the thoughts of this world,
grant that we may stand in your presence
with tranquility, quietness, and peace.
1.5 Prayers Before and After Meals
O One in Charge,
bless this caffeine to our use
and us to thy service.
Bless the bunch that munch
O One in Charge, Giver of all good things,
may this food and drink restore our strength,
giving new energy to tired limbs,
and new thoughts to weary minds.
2.0 Traditional Prayers (Fran, you will love this one)
2.2. Hail Holy External Drive
Hail, holy two terabyte storage drive,
mother of mercy,
Hail keeper of our life's work,
our sweetest digital files,
and our hope of promotion.
To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of incessant computer crashes;
to these do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping
in this valley of infected and corrupted files.
Turn, then, most gracious defender,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this, our exile,
show unto us the blessed repository of our files:
O clement, O loving, O sweet
Pray for us, O perfect external drive,
that we may be made worthy of thy promises of safety.
There are prayers to various appropriate saints as well.
There is also a wonderful rendition of the Prayer of Saint Francis, but I will not reproduce it here. You'll have to buy the book!
4.0 The Collects
For Those Who Offer Technical Support
O One In Charge,
we pray that your grace may always precede and follow
those who offer technical support on their service calls.
May they continually do good work
and not make matters worse.
Under 5.4, Ministration to the Sick, there are prayers for sick computers, for the restoration of a hard drive, for computer repair personnel, and so on.
There are also Various & Sundry General Prayers & Thanksgivings including a System Administrator's Prayer for Wellbeing and a prayer For Victims of Gaming Addiction and, of course, For Tech Devices We Love.
I particularly like the Reconciliation of a Penitent, which includes the following:
I confess to The One In Charge,
to geeks everywhere, and to you,
that I have sinned by my own fault
in thought, word, and deed, in things done and left undone;
(attach digital file if more space is needed.)
For these and all other transgressions which I cannot now remember,
I am truly sorry.
I pray The One In Charge to have mercy on me.
I firmly intend to get a grip,
and smell the coffee,
and I humbly beg forgiveness of The One in Charge
and all tech devices,
and I ask you for counsel, direction, and absolution.
Here the witness may offer the penitent counsel, comfort, absolution or a hard time.
The One In Charge has deleted all your sins.
Whew! Thank God!
And just in case one of your machines has a birthday today...
6.11 For a Birthday of a Tech Device
Watch over this device, O One In Charge,
as its days increase;
bless and guide it wherever it may be.
Strengthen it where it is turned on;
comfort it when it receives error messages;
raise it up if it is dropped;
and in its memory
may thy peace which passeth understanding
all the days of its life.
And there are, of course, Sistertech's Ten Commandments. Do not drink coffee while reading them. Especially when you read the Sixth Commandment:
"Thou shalt not kill thy laptop by spilling within it half-caf/half-decaf, 2%, extra tall, double mochas or any other fluids."
The Sabbath-keeping and no-adultery commandments are good, too.
The Faith FAQ is terrific.
Now this is a book that "prays well."
The book is on sale at 15% discount till August 15 and it is also available as an e-book in pdf form if you prefer.
I know I've posted two pieces of book p.r. in a row, but it's summer, a good time for reading. You will also need this tech-y prayer book when fall comes along, or long before that if you have anything to do with a computer. Yes, you.
Postcript to the Adorable Godson: Don't you dare buy this: I'm sending you one as a new-tech-job present.