What we ask the Pope to pray for the country
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 14, 2015 - 12:00am

When Pope Francis finally arrives in Manila tomorrow, we wish that Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and our own Archbishop Jose Palma would perhaps whisper to the Holy Father the following specific prayer intentions for our country and people. First, for God to spare our country from more calamities, maladies, and disasters. Second, to protect us from threats to our national security. Third, to guide our leaders in solving the country's ills like the drug menace, the worsening crime situations, the unemployment and unabated outward labor migration, and the unemployment and underemployment. Fourth, to alleviate the sufferings of our people in poverty, crimes, and social injustice. Fifth, to guide us in choosing our next national leaders in 2016.

The Holy Father can lead us in a national prayer to spare our country and people from more devastations  that may arise from destructive typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, fires and from ebola, HIV/AIDs, and other infections. The Supreme Pontiff can intercede for us that God, in mercy and compassion, covers us with his Divine protection and care. Secondly, Pope Francis can pray for our peoples' deliverance from both external and internal threats to our national security. The continuing terroristic activities of some rebel forces in the country and the kidnappings of foreign visitors are damaging the image of our country as a tourist and investment destination in Asia.

Thirdly, our national leaders do need some spiritual guidance and prayers to be able to cope with the rising demands for quick, decisive and fair decision-making. They need moral and spiritual strength in grappling with the difficult task like dismantling the drug syndicates, arresting the drug lords and gambling lords and neutralizing a number of big and powerful crime groups and cartels that continue to wreck havoc at the very core foundations of the nation. Our leaders need prayers so that they shall courageously fight corruptions and clean up the bureaucracies from scoundrels, rascals, and scalawags.

Fourthly, we need the Holy Father's prayers to mitigate the sufferings of our poor countrymen who wallow in hunger and poverty. Millions are homeless, jobless, and often hopeless. They do not have access to affordable medical and hospital care. And the doors of decent and quality education are denied to these poor Filipinos. We hope that the Pope would also tell the President that what the people need is not dole-outs but decent jobs, one with job security and humane conditions of work. We wish the Holy Father can make our leaders realize that we cannot solve unemployment by holding job fairs ad nauseam.

Lastly, we hope that Pope Francis can help us pray for a clean, honest, orderly and peaceful elections in 2016. We need spiritual guidance in choosing our next set of national leaders especially the next President. The next six years will be very crucial for our country and people. We are entering the arena of the ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY and we do not fully comprehend the emerging challenges and threats arising from the integration with nine other countries, some of which are communists and majority of which are not Christian.

We hope that Pope Francis can lead us in a prayer to be participated in by no less than 80 million Catholics in the Philippines. We have a lot to pray for and we need a holy man to guide us in appealing to God. Tomorrow, we shall finally meet him.


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