A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving
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A Prayer for Owen Meany Religion Quotes Page 3

Page (3 of 4) Quotes:   1    2    3    4  
How we cite the quotes:
Quote #7

"WHAT A BIG FUSS ABOUT A BLANKET!" Owen said. "THAT'S SO CATHOLIC," he added—"TO GET VERY RELIGIOUS ABOUT OBJECTS." (6.82)

Owen has a lot of beef with Catholicism. He's all about talking to God directly and getting rid of stuff that distracts from having a genuine relationship with God. He sees ceremony and symbolism as things that get in the way.

Quote #8

"IF KENNEDY CAN RATIONALIZE ADULTERY, WHAT ELSE CAN HE RATIONALIZE?" Owen asked me. Then he got angry and said: "I'M FORGETTING HE'S A MACKEREL-SNAPPER! IF CATHOLICS CAN CONFESS ANYTHING, THEY CAN FORGIVE THEMSELVES ANYTHING, TOO! CATHOLICS CAN'T EVEN GET DIVORCED; MAYBE THAT'S THE PROBLEM. IT'S SICK NOT TO LET PEOPLE GET DIVORCED!" (7.301)

As per usual, Owen goes on a tirade against Catholicism. Here, he criticizes the sacrament of confession – Catholics believe that they can be forgiven for their sins if they confess them to a priest and then say a prescribed number of prayers after. Owen sees this practice as being horribly misguided.

Quote #9

"YOU ABSOLUTELY KNOW SHE'S THERE—EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN'T SEE HER?" he asked me.

"Yes!" I screamed.

"WELL, NOW YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT GOD," said Owen Meany. "I CAN'T SEE HIM—BUT I ABSOLUTELY KNOW HE IS THERE!" (8.265-267)

The "she" in question is the statue of Mary Magdalene in front of the playground at St. Michael's. Owen draws a parallel between John's rational knowledge that a statue is still standing there in the dark even if he can't see it and his own belief that God is there even if he can't see God.

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