Gem of thoughtsI remember a friend priest who texted me this reply one time when I asked for prayer for the soul of a relative who just passed away. He stated, “Prayer is indeed a deeper struggle to participate in God’s embrace. It helps when nothing else does.”
In my humble understanding of prayer, it is our way of communicating with our Divine Creator Father God or to any of the Heavenly persona we adore or venerate. However, priest as he is, his message transcends the shallow insight of an ordinary faithful.
Another priest, in his homily said that prayer is a gestured of faith, adding that persistence and perseverance in prayer manifest a person’s unfaltering trust in the one he prays to for supplication. He added that such prayer usually yield positive result.
Of course, the faithful should always be reminded that he should be persistent but not demanding in prayer, my friend priest further stated. In sum, as all of them imparted, “Our prayer will always be answered by God, especially if it is in accordance with God’s will for each of us.”
Would all these exhortation make a sense or at most generate an impact when a believer had lost almost everything and even his loved ones to a storm surge in spite of his deep prayer for deliverance from harm? For a while, a desperate heart will not understand the reason of having to suffer so tormenting an effect of the catastrophe in his life. He could not surmise that the disaster from which harmful consequence he prayed hard for liberation almost took his life as well.
He thought his earnest prayer did not achieve its salvific miracle. Eventually though, he will open up his weary mind and sullen heart in order for his soul to voluntarily communicate once more with the persona to whom he prays fervently in plea and thanksgiving. In vivid terms, he is back to his pious other self for whatever purpose yet again. This being prayerful is his weapon against anxiety and fear, because after all only He who created him has the right to take everything he has including his life.
Across the globe, natural disasters of terrifying aftermath happen too often at any time of the day and night. If doomsayers’ claim would only be given credence, the foreboding signs of the end of time are evident. Is it not that some of these disasters were written in the Christian’s Holy Scripture, particularly in the Book of Revelation? The dancing sun, natural calamities of petrifying magnitude war here and there, sons against fathers, the coming of the anti-christ, name them they are present nowadays.
Since no one really knows the day and time that this end of the world will come, everyone is reminded to “turn away from sin” and be at peace with his brethren. On top of that is consistent prayerful life. Again, we go back to the essence of prayer in one’s life.
To complement this need, there are groups who opted to distribute prayer books, pamphlets and leaflets, copies of the Holy Bible, rosary beads and scapulars rather than relief goods to victims of supertyphoon Yolanda. One of these is the God Our Father Followers Worldwide Inc led by entrepreneur Marlaw Kaquilala, who is ably helped by wife Shirlee (nee Diaz Herrera), also a entrepreneur. The foundation just did their medical mission and relief operations this week at the desolate Brgy. Old Kawayan, Tacloban City.
The Archdiocese of Palo also has been giving away rosary beads and prayer books to the people. However during the relief operations following the strike sty Yolanda, the local church did not include these religious items in the goods distributed to the victim.
According to Rev. Fr. Oscar Florencio, the one erstwhile in-charge of the relief operations of the Archdiocese of Palo Disaster Response Committee, the “only reason why it did not distribute those items is that we believe they have to be fed, clothed, sheltered first.” He stressed, “RCAP has distributed bibles, etc even before Yolanda.”
One priest, who requested anonymity, put across a distinct aspect of relief that is of equal importance to the victims other than prayers and basic commodities. These are pastoral activities or “spiritual relief” as one priest called it, through the parishes in the local church in the Roman Catholic faith.
To quote him, “There have been thousands of rosaries distributed during relief operations, prayer booklets and aids to prayer, a certain group (neo catechumenate) ask the priests to provide confessions as relief service to evacuation center, different catholic institutions coming in to help in the psycho spiritual stress debriefing.”
The Sto. Niño Parish in Tacloban had its mass at the parish church right after the Yolanda and had never failed to provide spiritual relief to the people through the sacraments and the homilies. Mass, which is the highest form of prayer, is indeed one best way of relieving a person from the emotional and psychological stress caused by the very destructive killer typhoon that hit Eastern Visayas on November 8 last year.
Relief for the victims is not just confined on food and other basic personal items. Equally important are what eases the mind and soul of the victim, primarily through prayer. It surely does wonder within our inner self when nothing else does. Further, by praying for others we do not only bring ourselves into God’s loving embrace but the person or persons we pray for as well.

God Our Father Followers Worldwide Inc members are joined by residents and local church volunteers in their humanitarian outreach mission where bibles and prayer booklets were likewise given to victims of supertyphoon Yolanda at Brgy. Old Kawayan, Tacloban City on Monday Jan 27.
God Our Father Followers Worldwide Inc members are joined by residents and local church volunteers in their humanitarian outreach mission where bibles and prayer booklets were likewise given to victims of supertyphoon Yolanda at Brgy. Old Kawayan, Tacloban City on Monday Jan 27.