Home > My diaries > Many thoughts in genuflection

Many thoughts in genuflection

This time, I’ll put one topic about a church.

I went to the church last Sunday. Strictly speaking, the English conversation school next to the church. I took one English examination there.

Before the examination, I dropped by the church. (Sorry, it’s not modest expression ‘drop by’) Actually, I have a few memories in the church.

Here, it is.

After entered the church, I tried to take holy water. My right hand swang and caught nothing. There was no holy water in the bowl. I didn’t know what to do in the case. Anyway, I sit the seat. Looking at people practicing songs or something on the stage, I prayed my success on the examination.

Most of readers of this blog are Christians, so it’s common sense for you, however, I don’t have so many opportunities to visit churches. At the first time I visited the church, I didn’t know how to pray. How could I say the board in lower part of behind each seat, which you flip when you’re genuflecting? Anyway, I opened the board, got on my knees, crossed my fingers, and prayed.

I had one experience which I felt a difference between Buddhists(or Japanese) and Christians(or other countries) in the church before. 3 or 4 years ago, I went to the same church with two female Philippinas, who had been arrested for overstaying and back to Philippine. It was my first time to visit the church. I completely didn’t know how I should do, so I tried to simulate them while praying.

What do you think while praying? Your successes? The peace of your life? Thankfulness? Confessions?

I was surprised with one of girls praying next to me. She was crying. I didn’t know what happened to her. Most of Japanese, even females, don’t cry in such places. Actually, I knew how she missed her country. She came all the way to Japan to work, even though by illegal staying. However, will I cry when I stand at the country far from Japan? I don’t know…I might do…

I was surprised with her again. After praying, I asked her what she prayed and why she cried. ‘I confessed what I did in Japan. I have to cheat on a lot of guests I have to entertain in the club. I mean, WHITE LIES, not BLACK LIES.’ Oh, my God, She regreted and asked forgiveness, not miss her family. That was what I felt the difference. I think many Japanese accept what we did and try to spend our life. I don’t know if I call it correctly, it might be called, ‘karma.’ Even though I visit shrines or temples and pray our guilt, I think guilt is guilt and I have to keep shouldering it. ‘I confessed my guilt. It’s over.’ I lost my words when she said.

I’m not saying which is right and which is wrong. There are many differences between people. It’s so interesting.

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Categories: My diaries
  1. January 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Hi H.P. 🙂

    Some people cry in church and others don’t. It’s more of a personal thing. I cry sometimes. Why? Relief. It’s like unburdening yourself. Gratitude.

    We confess to God through our prayers what he already knows. Our wrongs, our sins. Maybe your friend felt relieved. She acted on her regret with sincerity. She knew that she was forgiven and that the authorities were right in doing what they did.

    You know God forgives us if we are truly sorry, but sometimes it’s us that refuse to forgive ourselves. And therefore, we go through life miserable. We carry around a guilt that he’s lifted. But why?

    There’s personal prayer, and then there’s open prayers. And you can pray anywhere, anytime, on bended knees, standing up, sitting down, with our legs cross. 🙂

    • honeypotter
      January 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm

      Hi, girlgeum! How’s your weekend?

      >It’s like unburdening yourself.

      There seems a small difference on whom you want to unberden. Most of Japanese, I guess, don’t do that in temples or shrines. I can imagine people in Japan often unberden others, such as friends. But I understand what you’re saying. As you said, I often confess my mistakes, my arrogance by myself in somewhere and hope my reliefs. 🙂

  2. Mugami
    January 15, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    “Genuflection”… I had to look that up. I’ve never heard that one before. So…Good title! Clear, concise.

    And “dropped by” is excellent! That whole sentence is PERFECT colloquial english. Keep up the good work!

    The item your referring to I know as a “kneeling riser”, a “prayer bar”, or an “altar bridge”, though these are usually in the front of the stairs before the altar. I have seen them once in each pew in a very extravagant church, but those did not “fold down” is you described them. My guess is that they are the same thing.

    Christian scriptural ideals, as presented in the Bible, are the same as karma. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (An easier wording: ‘Treat others how you want to be treated’) is the most well known. But the basic tone of direct reading is that if you sin you will pay for it. If not in this life, you’ll pay for it in hell. You can only be forgiven for your sins if you “truly repent”. This implies that you must seek to relieve your burden to Jesus Christ and never commit the sin again. So if your an alcoholic and say, “God forgive me,” and then go get drunk again, God says, “You’re a liar!” Now you have two
    sins instead of one. You were an alcoholic (gluttony), you have a false confession (Thu shalt not lie) or if it wasn’t false and you really meant it; you were lazy and weak and didn’t try hard enough to not do it ever again (sloth).
    As you can see, the Bible has a very buddhist undertone: Karma. Don’t do bad things or they’ll come back at you. Treat people nice and they should treat you the same in return. That’s the root of Karmic Law. A lot of christian branches just stop at the prayer part though.
    The prayer bar, by the way was to prevent rich people and priests from getting their clothes dirty from kneeling on the dirt floors common in early christian churches during the dark ages. If you think about it it’s actually kind of offensive to the teachings of Jesus who said, ‘no man is above another.’ Like a said, the prayer bar was traditionally only in the front of the first pews. Right where the nobles sat. It seems everyone else could dirty their knees, just not them.

  3. Mugami
    January 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    By the way “caught air” instead of “caught nothing”. It’s an idiom we use go to reach for something and whatever it was is gone or moved. And “swung” instead of “swang”. “Swang” has always been an oddball. Now it is only ever seen in older books (circa 1950 or earlier).

    • honeypotter
      January 17, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      Hi, Mugami! How’s your day? I hope you already get your peaceful days.

      >That whole sentence is PERFECT colloquial english. Keep up the good work!

      Wow! I’m glad that you told me like that. Yeah, I’ll keep writing as many articles as I can and improving my English. 🙂

      Oh, ‘kneeling riser’, ‘prayer bar’, ‘alter bridge’…and it’s very interesting topic about this bar at the last paragraph in your comment. Yeah, they would not take care however their clothes got dirty if people were so faithful.

      The idea of ‘karma’ and the one of Bible(the ideas of Christianity) have strong connections, as you said. Umm…actually, I’ve never read the Bible. I’ll get it and read it. I mean, I should do, I must do that.

  4. January 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Or Buddhist has bible undertones. 🙂

    In every religion, there will be some that go against what is taught.

    God knows the sincerity of our hearts.

  5. Mugami
    January 24, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    It’s really the other way around. Buddhism started in the 6th century B.C. Some Indian texts mention a young jewish man, who performed healings, traveling into india. And Jesus’ teachings reflect buddhist philosophy. (“Turn the other cheek,” a christian saying which sounds very close to the buddhist saying, “even buddha can only turn his cheek twice.”)

    • honeypotter
      January 25, 2010 at 2:07 am

      Oh, really? I haven’t known about it. I think I should learn about both Buddhism and Christianity more… 😦

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