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Past praying for

[ 2010-08-27 16:03]     字号 [] [] []  
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Past praying for

Reader’s question:  When I sent my cat to the vet, he said that it was past praying for.

Could you explain “be past praying for”?

My comments:

The vet means that you’ve come too late. The cat is too ill to be cured. In other words, brace yourself, the cat will die.

“Past praying for” is a Christian term. Christians pray a lot, including the sinners, particularly sinners as a matter of fact. Presumably sinners have a lot to pray for – pray for the Lord to forgive them all their trespasses (wrongdoing), pray for forgiveness and pray for redemption.

Or, say, the sick pray for regaining health.

That means their sins or sickness are not too bad. If their sins are unforgivable and their sickness incurable, people say they’re “past praying for” – they’re beyond repair, they’re hopeless, nobody can save them.

In other words, no use even praying for them.

In the case of the cat, its owner can instead pray for its soul to rest in peace when it dies.

Which it will.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.