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,