I just encountered a young man doing his morning run and we stopped and chatted. I live near a university, so I wasn’t surprised he was a student; a grad student getting his second undergraduate along with a master’s in music and music therapy—and a master’s from the “University of Theology and Spirituality” whatever that is. He aspires to be what he called a “clinical chaplain” also whatever that is.

On learning my favorite sorts of music, he asked whether I am Catholic. Yes. Now, here goes:

“Can you recite for me The Lord’s Prayer as you know it?”

I did.

“What if I told you that’s not what Jesus taught his disciples.”


“See, the language was Aramaic, and it’s been through many translations.”

(He doesn’t think Catholics know this?)

“I’ll recite it for you.” And he proceeds in something presumably Aramaic, clearly longer than The Lord’s Prayer.

So I asked, ”Translate now?”

“Yes, well, see it’s a lot different than what we get from (sic) Old English. It goes, ‘Source of power and light, carve out a space in us for your strength … teach us to share with others ….”

It went on in like vein. I can’t remember the rest.

“That’s not Christian,” I said. “That’s somebody’s fantasy.”

“Yes, it is Christian. I can show you books by PhDs who…,” etc.

That’s okay. Never mind. Have a nice day.