I am a very religious individual.
I like to ponder the meaning of life.
I enjoy praying.
All of these things trace back to my childhood, when, as a student at St. Francis of Assisi Grammar School, I began my religious training as a precocious five year-old.
Even then my inquisitive mind wrestled with life's mysteries. I remember one morning in the second grade. We were in Religion class – I remember it vividly because we were always in Religion class.
We were learning about the Holy Trinity – The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Our nun, Sister George was trying to articulate the old three-in-one theory. She likened God to a three-leaf clover. It's only one leaf, but with three distinct parts.
"What have you learned from this, Mr. Murphy?" she asked me.
I stood up – you always stood up to answer – and replied, "That God is Irish."
That was a magical moment – the first time I would get swatted with a yardstick, courtesy of the legendary "Sister Blister."
Late that night, lying in bed watching my inaugural blister form, I though about this mystery. God the Father? We all know him. Long, white beard. Kindly, glowing face. St. Peter to his left. Angels sitting about. He's holding a scepter of some kind, and he's sitting on the throne.
Then, of course, there is Jesus. Slim guy. A tall drink of water, as they would say in Jerusalem. Crown of thorns (hey, wassup wit dat?). Loin cloth (Who does he think he is, Tarzan?) Drank a lot of wine. Holding hands with Mary Magdalene (Hey, didn't she invent twerking?)
Then there is . . . the Holy Ghost, aka the Holy Spirit. What do we know about him? Nuthin'.
Jesus has a famous birthday -- it's celebrated all over the world.
The HG? Nuthin.'
We celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Jesus (as if).
The HG? We have no idea who his ma or pa was and we don't care.
God has churches named after him. Even his lamb has a church named after him. His sacred heart has a church.
Not only is Jesus famous, but all his friends are too, even St. Jude. The guy that baptized Jesus has his own cathedral, for Christ's sake. Even the Good Shepherd has his own church, and he smelled like donkey poop.
The Holy Ghost has squat. Nobody cares about him.
I devoted a great deal of time to unraveling this myth. Who IS the Holy Ghost?
a) He wears a hoodie.
b) He invented tollbooths so he would have a place to hang out.
c) He is insanely jealous of Caspar.
d) He is tortured by the fact that no prayer ever ends with "In the name of the Holy Ghost, the Son and the Father, amen" - his agent threatens to demand top billing but never does.
I've been praying to the Father and the Son for years to no avail: I'm still not rich, Kitty Merrill still sits next to me, and Halle Berry still hasn't moved on my block. Clearly, I am not a priority with certain members The Shamrock family. God the Father is manning the gates of heaven and he never gets a day off – people are always trying to enter illegally.
Jesus has gone Hollywood on us. He's like Justin Bieber without the weed.
So I've decided to put my faith in the Holy Ghost. There is none of the stuffiness you get with God the Father. There is none of the drama that goes along with Christ – walking on the water, the posse, the virgin mother, yada yada yada.
There is just the Holy Ghost – God Lite.
As he is fond of saying, "Hallowed Be MY damn name."
So I've fashioned a new Lord's Prayer:
"Dear Holy Ghost, It's me, Rickey. Could you please leave a pile of money in my underwear drawer (or anywhere you want as long as I can get me hands on it). And if you could make Merrill a ghost – the kind that can't communicate with living people, that would be cool. Now, if Halle is busy ,maybe Kate Upton could . . well, you know. You're God! Lite, that is. Amen."