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Meditation 841
Is that red or white you are praying for?

by: JT

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The billboard discussed in the previous meditation at least made sense in terms of the mission of Holy Cross Family Ministries; that is, to promote prayer and the family. But along the same route through Michigan, I saw at least twice as many of this particular billboard (four in the space of about 100 miles).

Got faith?

Now this one had me thoroughly flummoxed. What is being promoted here?

Well, it is a message that achieved Father Patrick Peyton's aim of making me stop and think.[1] But in doing so, I must ask if it succeeds at "[T]he American public needs to be constantly reminded of their dependence of God." Do Americans really depend on God being always ready to turn water into wine on demand?

For this ad, they've clearly borrowed the old "got milk?" theme and replaced the milk pouring into a glass from a carton with wine coming out of a water faucet. Years ago, the milk marketing people switched to celebrities who have clearly just drunk deeply from that glass of milk while using the same tag line. Is that the next phase of the "got faith?" campaign - showing celebrities who have clearly drunk deeply from a glass of wine?

OK - if we really look for relevance, the water into wine is the old Jesus magic trick; and if you have faith, then you might very well believe that was an actual historical event. And it did supposedly happen at a marriage - which ties into Holy Cross Family Ministries' focus - a traditional marriage - you know, a marriage such as the one attended by Jesus, where the father sold his daughter to another man, and she became her husband's property instead of her father's. That's traditional marriage - which should be pointed out to anyone who states their support for traditional marriage to the exclusion of all other forms.

But, getting back to the billboard which is promoted by World at Prayer, a Holy Cross Family Ministries subsidiary. What has this billboard got to do with prayer? Is the Catholic Church claiming that if you have faith in prayer, then you can successfully pray for water to be turned into wine? Is that even something desirable to be prayed for. Is this the type of prayer that supposedly keeps families together? It seems to me that Catholics with faith have a lot more important things to pray for than water into wine.

To me, this billboard trivializes prayer, it trivializes miracles, it trivializes God. But it is, of course, a Catholic billboard.


  1. I actually pulled over in a rest area and made notes about the billboard in case an internet search did not turn up an image of it.