Some Reflections I Have About Prayer as a Catholic

Some Reflections I Have About Prayer as a Catholic

by Jem De Ocampo

So how the heck can we get ourselves reoriented about the true value of prayer in this more secularized 21st Century world, whether public or private?

Continue reading “Some Reflections I Have About Prayer as a Catholic”

A Prayer for a Proper Public Life

A Prayer for a Proper Public Life

by Jem De Ocampo

As You, God Almighty, have said, nothing is hidden that shall not be made manifest. At the same time, there are things we sinful humans are not meant to know until You consider us worthy of knowing them. We tend to doubt Your love and assume that You hate us when it comes to such things too, doing things like assuming that privacy and publicity cannot work together well. We think sin should be glorified, while virtues should be marginalized. Along with that, we think that sin makes sin a form of justice, while virtue makes virtue a form of oppression, all while considering such perverted thinking from us sinful humans as part of how Your own Creation should truly be. But You love us, and thus, You do not wish to force love into us, even when we do not believe in You.

We also cannot work with Your power to lead us back to You if we do not let the goodness You made within us be revealed to the public, even as it means facing persecution along the way. We must let our light shine before men, so that they may see our good works and give glory to You. Along with that, we sinful humans should remind our fellow humans to remember how we are born sinful, but not to the point that we cannot be saved, a point that we can only reach by wholeheartedly choosing to be there ourselves. Not every one of Your signs are obvious to us sinful humans, too, God Almighty, but that is another reason for us to exercise our faith, another manifestation of Your love for us, Your love which came before ours. And we cannot understand without believing first. If we believe in evil and doubt good, then we will only find evil and never find good, even when good is standing firm right in front of us.

So let our only fear be a fear of You, Lord God, as we march into our everyday spiritual battles and fight for Your Kingdom’s victory in the war against the Evil One. Help us lowly soldiers be well-armed and coordinated according to Your standards. Do not let our sins occupy thrones, and do not let our virtues live in destitution. Let our goodness be revealed with glorious flourishing, and have our evil be driven into fearful hiding. Let us, Your usually rusty instruments, not boast of what little goodness we have, but let us allow You to grow our little goodness into something powerful enough to smite evil and save souls, all while glorifying You.

Mother Mary, Strongest Woman, and the Communion of Saints, please pray for us. You are who we faithful aspire to be like, and you bring us closer to God with how you humble souls allowed Him to make the very best life stories out of you all. You allowed God to be the author of your stories, with your selves becoming the beautiful subjects He meant you all to be. Please pray for us humans here on earth to have more faith in Him, then.

So this prayer goes in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,


A Letter to my Son

Not only timely but also wonderful. Perhaps wonderful to the point of timelessness, even. I feel like, once again, I’ve found something I have been looking for and should be looking for my whole life. Praise and thanks be to God Almighty very much again for this wonderful friend and father He’s working through, and may He keep on helping us all.

Convert's Quest

Dear Son,

Your mother has frequently asked me to write about fatherhood. For so long, I wanted to glamorize the new role and this new sense of spiritual responsibility that I am blessed to have.

Yes, being a father is a euphoric feeling. Here I am entrusted with the spiritual and physical well-being of another by God.

I could not have asked for a greater miracle than you!

My father abandoned me at fifteen. He nor your grandmother ever conveyed to me the necessity of “the talk”, a conversation about how to encounter racism.

With this letter, I want to illustrate the reality of racism and empower you to speak up for yourself and others.

So here it is.

It is 2020, and I turned thirty back in April.

Here you are, just a mere sprout on the spectrum of life.

Here you are living your best carefree life. So…

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A Prayer for Merciful Justice

A Prayer for Merciful Justice

by Jem De Ocampo

Father God, You could’ve instantly sent us to eternal suffering after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Lord Jesus, You could’ve not likened Yourself to a prisoner to visit as well. Holy Spirit, You already have more than enough reasons to leave us to rot. But You give us mercy along with justice, and You only give it to us not only when we ask for it but also when You think we should take it, and Your thinking is way above that of the sinful humanity that we are. We struggle to believe even in that because of our own desire to be equals with or even greater than You, when we are just Your unprofitable servants You shower with undeserved love out of Your own volition without breaking Your own rules.

Our enemies are not just the sinners ahead of us, but also the sinners we see in the mirror we tend to look at in vain. We call upon You to drive away the evil around us, yet we ignore how evil comes from within the hearts of man, our very own hearts You deal merciful justice upon. We are abusive wardens who should release You and take Your place in the cell we forced You into, all while believing in how You take care of us way better than we can ever do.

So please keep on doing Your work, God Almighty. Please keep on bringing us back to You. Please keep on helping us spread Your Good News across the earth. Please help us have faith in You and find meaning in how You use both speech and silence for Your merciful justice. Please use us the way You want no matter what.

And with the Church as His Bride, please pray for us, Mother Mary. To us sinful humans, you, along with the rest of the Holy Family, seem like a slave with your obedience, yet you are actually the strongest among us, especially with how you were Immaculately Conceived. With the great Communion of Saints you rule over, a Communion filled with former sinners, please pray for us that we may fulfill our respective roles the way God wants them to be fulfilled, even though we still have to suffer obscurity, confusion, and heartbreak along the way.

So this prayer goes in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,


A Prayer for Mental and Emotional Stability

A Prayer for Mental and Emotional Stability

by Jem De Ocampo

The suffering of our hearts and minds are ultimately born of our sin, and while we more than deserve to rot in that for eternity, You dare to give us chances to reconcile with You, God the Father. We attempt to justify our broken and hateful selves and refuse to think that we ourselves are also among those who hate us and You. We even dare to use Your name for such sinful endeavors. But You always frustrate our plans and the Devil who tries to take us away from You. And Your work is always better than what we tend to think and feel. Please keep on frustrating our evils as You grow our good.

You also use our madness to remind us about how You are Christ Almighty, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, but not without giving us the power to choose to believe in You first, even as it has the risk of us choosing to refuse instead. Your heartrending trust is something worth following, even as we won’t feel good and understand things a lot along the way. You see our sinfulness ruling over our virtuousness, yet Your love for us even reaches the point where You would endure the worst humiliation we can give You. Please give our suffering meaning as we strive to improve.

Holy Spirit, help us be clearly aware of what is right and what is wrong, with our emotions giving us enough boosts in our persistence with reasonings that are according to Your will. Do not let us use that awareness as an excuse to sin, do not let us make a false dichotomy out of emotion and reason, and do not let our control over our emotion and reason be disconnected from Your power. Help us grow and maintain our love for our fellow sinners as we vanquish and prevent our sins. And our bodies are also Your temples, so please help us preserve and cherish them for Your sake, and do as You please with us.

Mother Mary, Strongest Woman, please pray for us, too. Your Immaculate Conception does not prevent us from mistaking you for someone who lived a life that is insane and sinful, making your Fiat even more powerful to the minds and hearts of us weak humans who dare to believe. And even as you live with wholehearted service to God, you certainly feel happiness and sadness and fear and even anger and disgust just like any other human. Please intercede for us and help us live with our hearts and minds with love and without loathing, both for ourselves and for others.

So this prayer goes in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,


A Sinful Artist’s Prayer for Creativity

A Sinful Artist’s Prayer for Creativity

by Jem De Ocampo

We sinful humans have the power to create, but not as powerfully as You do, dear God the Creator. We can impress our fellow humans with the creative powers You gave us, but they are nothing if they do not honor You. We can claim to be original, but even our supposed originals can be traced back to lines and lines of sources that ultimately lead back to You. We can claim to be extraordinary, but these images we make come from ordinary things. Whatever real advancements we’ve made are already things You know everything about and always do way better at, with our learning of them being our reception of powers You entrusted to us Your Creation for Your glory. The beauty of Your work always shines, whether or not the spotlights of popular perception are focused on it. And the good in how images only show slivers of the reality they represent is in how they can remind us about how essential having faith is in our quest to make sense out of life. There is meaning in each and every speck of Your Creation, and we need to believe in You first, loving God who loved us first, for all these specks to be truly worthwhile. You are everywhere, and we Your adopted children have so many opportunities to be holy in reality. Thank You very much for showing that through the life You lived here on earth as well, with things like Your parables being in touch with when and where You lived while always being ahead of us sinful humans.

Give us a good sense of reality, then, God Almighty. Do not let us dismiss this world You created, even its smallest pieces, and do not let us abuse Your Creation, especially its biggest parts. Do not let us take our everyday lives for granted, for they make the greatest treasures, and do not let us disregard special moments, for they help us remember the little things that are essential to our lives. Do not let us be confined to our own views, for no human is meant to be alone, and do not let conflict tear us away from You, for glorious peace with You is what we are born for. Help us appreciate where we came from, and help us shape what You entrusted to us into forms that further dignify us and glorify You. And please use our creations for Your glory, God Almighty. Please use the ones You consider worthy, and please keep on guiding us towards being worthier for You.

And Mother Mary, Strongest Woman, please pray for us. You are the subject of many a religious image with God Almighty, yet on earth, you lived more like an ordinary person we sinful humans would easily ignore. With the Communion of Saints, please pray for us to be humble as well, so that we may find more of the wonderful things that God has in store for us.

So this prayer goes in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,


A Sinful Bosconian’s Prayer for Youthfulness

A Sinful Bosconian’s Prayer for Youthfulness

by Jem De Ocampo

Every one of us sinful humans cannot be grown-ups without being born as little ones first, God Almighty, and youthfulness is something we always have with how lowly we are in the face of Your love. Yet we dare to think that You excuse our childishness that corrupts humanity and its future generations. We walk where we would, doubting the true power of how You would let us be carried to where we do not wish to go. We refuse to admit our weaknesses, and we assume that we know where we need to go better than You do. But You are not us sinful humans. You are Perfection, and You provide the opportunity for a child’s instinct towards imitating his or her elders to be truly good. You even have first-hand experience with being a child, considering how You lived here on earth. With You, we do not need to drown ourselves in cynicism, which we foolishly consider an essential in being a well-grown human.

Whether young or old, we are sons and daughters of Father God, brothers and sisters of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and men and women of the Holy Spirit. We are not born to be divided and alone with our, at best, silly dreams, but we are born for things greater than those, things like being united in glorifying You, God Almighty, who never disappoints those who truly believe in You. Thank You very much for showing that through our everyday living, which holds more of Your wonders than what we sinful humans tend to think. Help us maintain our child-like parts as we weed out our childish parts. May we run, jump, and make noise without sinning, and may we give our all to You no matter how young or old we are. Grow us as You wish, and use us for Your glory.

Dear Mother Mary, Saint Francis de Sales, Saint John Bosco, and Saint Dominic Savio, please intercede for us. We sinful humans on earth are always in God’s sight, and we are wolves who can turn into sheep only through God’s power, which He has also granted to us as He wishes. Please pray for the child-like strength we here on earth need to properly face reality, which we sinful humans try to run away from everyday, even daring to claim doing such a thing in the name of God. With the Communion of Saints, please intercede for us.

So this prayer goes in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,


A Prayer from a Catholic Filipino Sinner

A Prayer from a Catholic Filipino Sinner

by Jem De Ocampo

Father God, you rule over both conquerors and conquered, and You had Your Only Begotten Son descended from them both as He was born on earth. We Catholic Filipinos claim to fight for Your glory, yet like those fools of old and new we vow not to be like, we betray our own kind, the rest of the world, and most of all, You. Thank You very much for fighting against our evil as much as You grow our good, much like how You guided Moses and the Israelites in their Exodus from Egypt. Please continue guiding us, and guide not only us Filipinos but also those of other nations, even those who oppress, for they are among us humans You created as well. Please strengthen us and use us for Your glory.

By Your Passion, Lord Jesus, You are able to use even this humiliating history we Filipinos have with the Church as well to bring us closer to You. We who are supposed to be faithful to You betrayed You along with our brethren so many times that we very much don’t deserve Your love now, yet You continue to help us move better for Your glory without compromise. Thank You very much for having lived with us on earth, showing that You also understand our struggles through Your lowly life in a conquered land filled with weary citizens. Please continue walking with us, and please keep on giving our suffering meaning. Please strengthen us and use us for Your glory.

You brought the gift of tongues upon Mother Mary and the Apostles, Holy Spirit, and You have more in store for us Filipinos as well. But while we Filipinos have gained quite an affinity for what we consider foreign as well, we tend to use it for selfish aims, whether as individuals or as a collective, much like those oppressive foreigners and privileged we criticize. Thank You very much for making our selfish endeavors backfire on us, too. Please continue shaping us the way You want to and make us true Filipinos according to Your will, whatever circumstances we come from. Please strengthen us and use us for Your glory.

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Saint Pedro Calungsod, please pray for us. You served God while living with colonizers, and you laid your whole lives as witness to Him. You faced people who understandably refused to be conquered by foreigners as you tried to help them be closer to God, and you fervently believed in His strength and persistently lived His Good News even as martyrdom was revealed to be your fate. So with the Communion of Saints made up of many faithful from across the world and its history, please pray for us.

And Mother Mary, Strongest Woman, please pray for us. You believed in God as you, Saint Joseph, and the Child Jesus fled from the oppressors within your beloved native land, even as it meant hiding within the land of those who once enslaved your people. You also stood with the Apostles as the Holy Spirit came during Pentecost, when foreigners and locals were surprised by the uniting power of God Almighty. So with the Saints you rule over, please pray for us.

So this prayer goes in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,


Some of Jesus’ Lessons and Miracles If They Happened in 21st Century Philippines

Some of Jesus’ Lessons and Miracles If They Happened in 21st Century Philippines

an Ordinary Time reflection by The Overlord Bear/Jem De Ocampo

“And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and kneeling before him said,

‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water.

And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.’

And Jesus answered, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.’

And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’

He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you’” (Matthew 17:14-20).

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A Prayer from a Helpless Catholic Sinner

A Prayer from a Helpless Catholic Sinner

by Jem De Ocampo

Father God, You always love us, even when we sinful humans don’t. Our abuse of You should be more than enough reason to forever leave us to rot, yet You sent Your Only Begotten Son to call us back to You, even at the risk of You being abused even more. Thank You very much for both Your refusal to compromise with our sinful bargains and Your acceptance for those among us who strive to repent, no matter how big or small. Let the sun and rain fall upon us, and let them fall as You wish. Use them to strengthen us, and use us for Your glory.

Lord Jesus, You lived among the worst of us when You could’ve refused to do so. We sinful humans doubt You with so much pride in our sinful selves that we would rather kill You whenever You speak Yourself. Thank You very much for exposing our sinfulness while revealing Your salvation through Your Passion. Transform us into holiness, even through all these humiliating things we have to live with everyday. Use them to strengthen us, and use us for Your glory.

Holy Spirit, You are always ahead of us. We sinful humans claim that we alone made ourselves, yet You stay close to us not only to take us down but also to build us up. Thank You very much for giving us many ways to let You spread across the world and for showing us that each and every one of us can only be truly unique with You. Give us what we need, and let them be whatever You want them to be. Use them to strengthen us, and use us for Your glory.

Mother Mary, Strongest Woman, please pray for us. Even as you were born immaculate, you still managed to properly understand sinful humanity’s suffering, even experiencing it through things you struggled to understand at times, like when you and Saint Joseph had to find Jesus in the Temple. So with the Saints you rule over, please pray for us.

So this prayer goes in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,