mGa KuRo-KuRo Ni Ka UrO

Friday, June 03, 2005

On Prayer

What is your favorite prayer? Mine is the prayer by St. Francis.

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love,
Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord,
And where there's doubt, true faith in You

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness - only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy

Oh Master, grant that I may never seek,
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood, as to understand,
To be loved, as to love with all my soul

Make me a channel of your peace,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all men that we receive,
And in dying that we're born to eternal life


I like this prayer because it is personal and sincere. Every word in it, I could honestly relate to. It is a very unselfish prayer because it asks God not for material or worldly things. Instead it asks for love, forgiveness, faith, hope, joy and understanding, and not for oneself alone but for sharing with others. It’s saying: “God, I offer myself to you. Use me for your glory”.

How I wish all prayers are this way -- a personal communication between self and the Creator. I grew up as a Catholic. And now, I know Catholics will hate me for saying this. But frankly, I can’t understand why some Catholics (and that includes me) pray in emotionless, repetitive, almost mechanical fashion. I also say some, because, I’m sure other Catholics put deeper meanings to their prayers.

I can only speak for myself. Whenever I pray the rosary for instance, it feels impersonal and detached so much so that I think of it as just a waste of time. I truly can’t understand the need to repeat Hail Mary 50 plus times. In Catholic School, they taught us that when praying the rosary, one should be thinking of the mysteries (Glorious, Joyful, Sorrowful mysteries). One mystery for each decade of Hail Marys. Well, I tried doing that but then I realized that if I have to meditate on something, then I shouldn’t be thinking of the words I’m uttering. Which means that the Hail Marys are there simply to fill the time while meditating on a mystery. So why can’t we just be silent for 5 minutes for each mystery? Why can't the prayer being uttered be about the mystery itself? That way it has more meaning and is easier to meditate on. I wonder.

I feel like a rebel to my religion, expressing my gripes on Catholic prayer. But how can I help it if that’s how I feel. All I long for is to discover an intimate way to talk to Him. Like a son to his father. If my prayers lack sincerity and feeling, then who am I fooling? Isn’t it better for me then to simply not pray than pray pretending that I’m praying?

14 Comments:

  • Ka Uro,
    nice one here. i believe in the power of prayers. my faith is the bond i have with the Mighty Creator. when i pray, i pray on a personal level...one-on-one..kami lang ang nagkakaalaman. i don't go to church though i'm catholic, madalas akong nakukwestyon ng kapwa natin Pilipino, i don't try to argue my reasons, pero the truth is, i really don't want to be surrounded by people na nagsisimba nga pero baluktot naman ang gawi. i don't like to discuss religion din. i don't know how to pray the rosary, but one thing i do is the Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

    By Blogger Rhada, at 4:16 PM, June 03, 2005  

  • ka uro, exactly the sentiments of many catholics. i don't even know how to pray the rosary. Meron na po bang family ministry ng Couples for Christ dyan sa Parish nyo? Please check them out, it will revolutionize your catholic faith and ways! :-)

    By Blogger Gloria, at 4:44 PM, June 03, 2005  

  • I feel the same way regarding rote prayers. But seeing my husband practice his Buddhist faith somehow gave me an insight too: sa particular Buddhist faith nila, they chant this "prayer" over and over for 10 to 15 minutes. Maiksi lang siya so it is almost automatic, halos no need to memorize kasi one liner lang. Ulit lang ng ulit. He says it brings him focus raw, and that it centers him. I'm thinking ---ito rin kaya ang function ng pagrorosaryo: to try to get your spirit in touch with the divine, even as you recite the prayers. Wala lang...more food for thought.

    By Blogger Sassafras, at 7:31 PM, June 03, 2005  

  • Continue praying the Holy Rosary. Tama yan, meditate on the mysteries while saying the Hail Marys. The Blessed Mother is very happy that you are honoring her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Ask for the grace to pray properly and to understand the strength of the rosary. Ask for all the graces. God will be delighted in giving you these graces.

    By Anonymous banjan, at 11:39 PM, June 03, 2005  

  • yeah,ako may sapul pagkabata pala simba ako ang natatandaan ko minsan 2x pa ako magsimba sa catholic dati...sa totoo lang nagdadasal talaga ako ng taos halos memoryado ko na ang sinasabi ng pari.Until noong nagulumihan ako nagkaroon ako ng question maging sa Diyos hanggang sumagot nga siya nagpakilala SIYA..unti-unti nakilala ko SIYA..unti unti sinasagot niya mga panalangin ko minsan big time din SIYA magbigay minsan kuripot din SIYA naiintindihan ko naman yon kung bakit kuripot Siya dahil nagbabasa din ako ng sulat niya para sa'kin.Nakipag deal na ako sa Kanya ang deal namin?kung nakakalimot ako kahit batukan Niya ako ng malakas basta waglang akong makalimot...at kahit kaylan di Niya ako binigo...di na ako humihiling sa Kanya puro na lang "papasalamat"alam naman Niya kung sino ako kaya alam na Niya kung ano gagawin sa'kin at kung anong karapat-dapat na mangyari.alam Niya pagmalungkot ako... Siya lang ang PWEPWEDE KONG Paghagulhulan ng aking pagsamo at pa-iyak sabay ng pagyugyog Niya sa'king balikat...sa Kanya ko pwedeng pakawalan ang buo kung kahinaan dahil "iyakin"ako talaga sa Kanya...Siya ang sumbungan ko pag feeling ko naagrabyado ako..pag pinaiyak nila ako at ako'y tao lang na nasasaktan at dumadaan sa "pakiramdam"ng kalungkutan,kasiyahan,takot at iba't ibang kailangan kong pagdaanan.

    Isa sa mga paborito kong salita niya na di ko tinantanan ang "Awit kabanata 27 boong chapter nagbigay sa'kin para lumaban sa buhay.

    makipag "ugnayan" ka Kay Jesus Christ at subukan mo makipag deal.

    By Blogger LadyWhiteSpirit, at 11:49 PM, June 03, 2005  

  • Hi Ka Uro,

    I echo your thoughts. Prayer doesn't have to be mechanical let alone memorized. Like what the bible says, we should all practice a child-like faith. So much so that our prayers must be like how we'd communicate to our own fathers - sincere and from the heart.

    I'm not condemning those who do, btw. I just hope they'd be encouraged through your post.

    Hope it's ok if I link you up. Thanks!

    By Blogger Tin, at 5:19 AM, June 04, 2005  

  • KA URO, I salute you because you speak and live the faith. Very few people now do. In our lands where increasingly we see negativity in our midst, the voice of people like you committed to God is all the more necessary. It is actually the task of each layperson to speak and live the faith today.

    I still believe in guardian angels The "Prayer To My Guardian Angel" wa taught to me by my mother when I was a little girl. I passed it on to my daughter. I believe I have a guardian angel who protects me, and my angel takes any form. He often reads my blogs too, and tells me to carry on despite any trials, can you believe that?

    Thank you for this post, Ka Uro, which reminds us of our faith.

    By Blogger TEACHER SOL, at 11:43 AM, June 04, 2005  

  • rhada,
    me too i do believe in prayers especially if done on a personal level as you said.

    glo,
    oo meron din ditong CFC. yaan mo, one time baka mag-attend ako ng meeting nila.

    sassafras,
    i think the buddhist call it mantra. i'm don't think christians have something similar, but i see your point.

    banjan,
    i think you're right in that one of the things we should ask is grace to pray properly. only God can give us that grace.

    lws,
    salamt sa makabagbag damdamin mong comment. napakaganda ng "ugnayan" mo kay Jesus. para talaga kayong mag-best friend.


    tin,
    yes, child-like faith. exactly how i wanted to describe a prayer -- like an informal heart to heart talk with your father.

    mam sol,
    like you i too believe in angels and they could be anywhere, in any person, in any living thing we meet.

    By Blogger Ka Uro, at 10:03 PM, June 04, 2005  

  • ka uro, do you know that this is also a song? how i wish i can sing to you so that you will know how this sounds. so peaceful, intended for GOD only..

    there is a saying that GOD is just a prayer away. do not hesitate about communicating with Him anytime, anywhere, in private. i am not a believer of repetitive prayers, too. when i pray, i usually follow ACTS - adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. it is more personal to me and not mechanical, as you said.

    By Blogger bing, at 2:44 AM, June 05, 2005  

  • Bing,
    yes i know the song by heart. i knew it since i was in grade school. it is my favorite one too.

    By Blogger Ka Uro, at 9:15 AM, June 05, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger neodelphi.net, at 11:23 AM, June 05, 2005  

  • Hello ka uro, napaka tapat ng inyong sinabi dahil marami sa ating mga kababayang Katoliko nga ang may ganyan ding damdamin...subalit sa aking pag re-research sa biblia, na pagalaman ko na kasang-ayon nyo ang biblia.

    ganito ang sinasabi ng ating panginoong Jesus sa Mateo 6:6-7

    "Datapwat ikaw, pagka mananalangin ay pumasok ka sa iyong silid, at kung mailapat mo na ang iyong pinto, manalangin ka sa inyong AMA ng nasa lihim, at ang iyong AMA na nakakalita sa lihim ay gagantihin ka"

    sa Siete ganito po ang sinasabi ni Kristo ukol sa paulit-ulit na panalangin....

    "At sa pananalangin ay huwag ninyong gamitin ang walang kabuluhang paulit-ulit, na gaya ng ginagawa ng mga Gentil: sapagkat iniisip nilang dahil sa kanilang maraming kasasalita ay diringin sila".

    ayan po ang nasa biblia, hindi ko po kinakalaban ang Katolisismo dahil galing din ako dyan, subalit gaya ni ka uro marami rin akong katanungan kaya nag re-research po ako ukol sa kaligtasan ng aking kaluluwa.

    Salamat po!

    By Blogger neodelphi.net, at 11:29 AM, June 05, 2005  

  • Though not catholic, I have always loved the rosary. I take it as a time to reflect in prayer and try to understand what the words really mean, I am especially fond of the our lady pieces and find myself saying parts of them when I see car accidents... I love the ritual that it is, but also recognize the problems... I have no fear about adapting the rosary to fit my spiritual needs.
    I hope you (or any other catholics for that matter) are offended by this.

    By Anonymous Blair, at 5:47 AM, June 11, 2005  

  • ka uro - sometimes it's more of a tradition kasi the way we live our Catholic faith pero sangayon ako sa yo 100%, prayer should be personal and from the heart. I started reading the Bible for myself and found out a lot of our Catholic "traditions" do not jive with what the Bible teaches. I've been called a "judio" sometimes by my relatives for pointing this out but i choose to obey the teachings of the Holy Book, ikanga "...and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you FREE" (St John 8:32)

    By Blogger mkeniabe, at 2:45 AM, June 16, 2005  

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