Prayer Doping: A Confession

Not wanting to fall behind professional cyclists in the public confession craze, the staff of TJP needs to get something off our chest.  We are publically admitting that Jesuits have been prayer-doping for years. In fact, the scandal stretches back to the foundations of the order: Ignatius was well-known for prayer “enhancing.” It gets particularly bad during the run-up to Easter — many of us have been participating in prayer-enhancing fasting in the weeks building up to Holy Week, and even sometimes as early as Ash Wednesday. In addition to the fasting, Jesuits have been making use of retreats, guided meditation, and even the occasional rosary, but over time it became so widespread that we feel it’s important to address the issue publicly.  Quoting an anonymous, jesuitical source:

PEDs: Prayer Enhancing Disciplines, a growing trend.

PEDs: Prayer Enhancing Disciplines, a growing trend.

“Most everybody back then was prayer-enhancing. We didn’t do anything which the others were not already doing.  If we didn’t, we would have never been able to catch up with the three century head start the Dominicans and Franciscans had. And let’s not even talk about competing with the Benedictines. They’ve been prayer-doping for more than a millennium now. And now, we have to compete not only with other religious orders, but with the televangelists as well. And they get to use special effects.”

The source claimed to be motivated by the desire to be competing on a level playing field with his main rivals.

“In my view you can only call it cheating on my part when it is clear that I have gained an unfair advantage,” he argued.

“That was not the case. All I wanted was everyone to have the same chances of winning.  I’m not better than St. Benedict, Billy Graham, or Mother Teresa  – but I’m no worse. The great heroes of the past are today people with flaws with which we must cope.”

He then added, “Jesus is about forgiveness, so it’s all good, right?”

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