Mavis took a ticket every week in the Lottery. She had done that for forty-two years and not won a thing. Every week she had prayed to God that she would win the Lottery.
“It’s not the money,” she would say, “it’s the security”.
But God never answered her prayer. Week after week it was “Dear God, please may I win the Lottery.” And week after week God ignored her petition.
After forty-two years Mavis had had enough. “I know what I’ll do,” thought Mavis. “I never have a prayer answered. I’ll pray to God that I DON’T win the Lottery. That way when I don’t win I can say my prayer was answered.”
Matilde was devoutly religious. She prayed frequently to all the saints – at least to as many as possible. She always prayed the same prayer: Dear Saint N., Please give me a happy life.
Saint Hildegard von Bingen thought that Matilde would look fabulous driving around in a bright pink Volkswagen. And besides, it was a German brand. “I can see her now,” said Saint Hildegard, “and I’m sure it can be arranged.”
But Saint Thomas Aquinas thought that a bright pink Volkswagen was frivolous. “Why not find her a little Italian Vespa? She could run around in that and have no parking problems.”
Saint Katharine Drexel was on another venture altogether. She thought if Matilde had a little cottage by the sea she would have much happiness. “And the view! Can you imagine? Especially if she drove an American Ford.”
Saint Cuthbert had other ideas. “Look into the future,” he said. “Don’t you know about dangerous coastland erosion? Not to mention tsunamis.”
The discussion between the saints in heaven about how best to make Matilde happy went on and on. At times it almost became vitriolic. The saints are not talking to one another. Matilda got nothing, and lived a most miserable life.
Greetings! It has come to my attention that some of you are praying to God that you might win the lottery. You would like a better house and a bigger car. Perhaps you would like to travel the world. Allow me to point out the selfishness of that prayer.
Don’t you realize that the world is full of poor people who don’t even know where their next meal is coming from? Let alone having a roof over their heads. There are countless numbers of these poor people who are too lazy to work and so have to beg for money. And yet we still have to act with charity. They may be the scum of the earth but charity is called for.
So I say it loud and clear: give generously to the fund I have set up to help the poor and needy, and remember – charity in all things. Charity! Forget trying to win the lottery. Give from what you already have. There is no place for selfishness, and quite frankly, if you don’t whole-heartedly give to my fund for the poor I hope you burn in hell, you uncharitable bastards.
Joylene prayed that somehow she would find a job or find some way to feed her three children. She even (just the once) took a dollar ticket in the lottery.
Hermann was a multi-millionaire. He prayed that he would win the 14 million lottery prize. And he did! He won! He won! He was very grateful to God. He danced up and down! Thank you! Thank you! Ask and you shall receive, he said, citing the scriptures.
In the meantime, Joylene continued to pray that somehow she would find a job or find some way to feed her three children.