Watch out for people who call themselves religious

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Watch out for people who call themselves religious; make sure you know what they mean-make sure they know what they mean! (572). In the novel written by John Irving, A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, the protagonist, Owen Meany, developed an unusual religious significance. Owen experienced visions of future events, he had a unique type of faith in God that most do not attain, and Owen spoke endlessly to inform people about God. Throughout Owen's life he demonstrated the same characteristics as a prophet through his actions and his words. Thus one could conclude that Owen Meany is a prophet.

Similar to a prophet, Owen was given precognitive powers that allowed him to see into the future. Owen's first prophecy came to him on New Years Eve 1953 during the community production of 'A Christmas Carol'. The most obvious inference concerning the play was that Owen played the part of the ghost of Christmas yet to come. In reaction to Owen's portrayal of this character, the audience's faces which were so amused, so curious, so various-were rendered shockingly similar; each face became the model of each other's fear (42). Owen had dehumanized this character to the point that children were leaving the theater crying and some were even wetting their pants. One reference which could be made concerning Owen and Scrooge was that GOD HAS ALLOWED [them] TO KNOW MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE KNOW-... (366). Both of them were told their futures, however Scrooge made an effort to change his, where as Owen did not. Owen's revelation came through a vision he experienced during the graveyard scene of the play. He immediately fainted. The curtains went down, and members of the production all ran to Owen's aid, yet he seemed ungrateful, He appeared to be sullenly embracing his 'vision' like the typically doubtless prophet he so often seemed to be... (246). Owen believed he had seen his name on a gravestone along with the date of his death. No one could convince him otherwise. The fact that Owen was correct about the date of his death confirmed that he had visions; this proved he had qualities of a prophet.

A prophet uses prophecies to not only prove they have powers, but also to benefit others. The second prophecy came to Owen in his dreams when he envisioned the reason and the way his life would end. Owen wrote of his dream in his diary. No one realized how detailed and precise it really was until they read it. Owen stated in his diary, THE WAY THEY LOOK AT ME, I KNOW TWO THINGS. I KNOW I SAVED THEM-I DON'T KNOW HOW. AND I KNOW THAT THEY'RE AFRAID FOR ME... (474). The entries in his diary revealed that he died saving Vietnamese children. He was a prime example of courage and integrity. A prophet uses their prophecies to not only prove that they have powers, but also to somehow benefit the world or allow people to learn from their visions. In Owen's case, he had established himself as a prophet... (201). It was a wonder to John that the changing of the year had so little effect on Owen Meany - when [John] considered that he thought he knew...exactly how many years he had left. Yet he appeared content... maybe that's what faith is... (358). Was Owen's sole purpose in life only to save the Vietnamese children? The mind wants to say no because many of us could never comprehend such a sacrifice.

Owen Meany found strength in his belief that God made him for a special, heroic purpose. Owen thought he was the reason John's mother was killed. One night, Having gone into her room, he witnessed an apparition. Owen believed the task of John's mother's death had been passed to him for he had interrupted the angel of death at her holy work. To imply that this incident was an accident was to be accused that you lacked faith. In Owen's opinion ...he had DISTURBED AN ANGEL AT WORK, he had UPSET THE SCHEME OF THINGS (102). Robbed from an ordinary life, Owen felt that God had assigned him a role that he was powerless to change... (420). Owen's mission was clear to him;

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