A mark of an integrated life.
Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
Satchel is really talking about more than prayer. Giving it a positive spin, he’s talking about integrity; giving it a negative one, he’s talking about hypocrisy.
The comical, lovable, and talented baseball player (Cleveland Indians, c.1948) was just sayin’ it like he saw it: You can’t have it both ways if you want to be true to yourself.
When I was a boy I was strongly encouraged to pray for a particular day to be sunny. It was presented to me as both important and necessary, so of course, I did it.
The day in question was the occasion of the springtime garden party to benefit the Carmelite nuns. It was held on the grounds of their monastery. Both my mother and aunt were active presenters of this event and its success meant a great deal to the cloistered nuns who benefited from it. (They of course did not attend, being cloistered. Seemed very unfair to me. I often wondered if they looked through the windows to see how the party was going).
At other times I also prayed for snow – so much snow that school would be called off.
These might seem naïve prayers now, and have a feeling of by-gone times and simpler assumptions about a lot of things. However, at the time they seemed both real and honest – and for many might still be.
I don’t pray about the weather any more but nevertheless I like Satchel’s advice. If you pray for the rain to stop, you gotta’ say thanks for the sun or vice versa. It’s one of the marks of an integrated life. It encourages us to get out of ourselves and think in broader terms about living our human lives in the community of others.
Here’s another way of saying Satchel’s advice: A “please” is best followed by a “thank you.”
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