Here’s my Christmas prayer, inspired by Anne Lamott.
Dear God, may I also call you the Higher Being, the Force or the Universe? I’m sure you wouldn’t mind. What’s a little variation to spice up the conversation?
I just want to be inclusive in this prayer because, as a recent Pew Research Center study found out, one of every 6 people worldwide does not have any religious affiliation. That’s 16% of the global population, quite a significant number! The Pew study ranked them the third-largest group in the world, almost equal to Roman Catholics.
In other surveys I’ve read, some would call themselves “spiritual” rather than religious. I take this to mean they do not believe in organized religion and shun the rituals.
But many believe in Someone out there whom we can talk to, anytime of the day, whether we’re taking a shower, queuing in the bank, or waiting interminably for the traffic light to go green. It doesn’t have to be in the confines of a church.
That’s the essence of a prayer: we can ask for help, nudge you, thank you, even get angry and be impatient with you, which means we can think of you anytime and every time at any place, and tell you things straight from our hearts.
Like during this season which ushers in a spirit of remembering, of family and class reunions, of gift-giving, of laughter and joy, of celebration.
No disasters, please
Thank you for this break, for the vacation my journalist friends all so deserve. Please, no disasters, no big, breaking story that will pull them back to their computers, frazzled and distracted, away from spouses, siblings, children, and parents on the merry dinner table.
Needless to say, keep disasters away, please. Pablo has sown so much damage it’s truly surreal.
We’ve all learned to prepare for floods and unceasing rains, for storms that terrify us. Mitigation is good but the aftermath still brings pain, suffering and loss. We need you to help during these difficult times.
I pray for honest reflection among our bishops and priests, that they do not rush to judgment. Just because Catholics like me supported the RH bill doesn’t mean we’re sinful and bad, that we cease to have faith in you. Can you please rap their fossilized brains?
They cannot tolerate differences in convictions. But they tolerate wrongdoing among their clergy. But that’s for another prayer.
The bishops want to punish the legislators who voted for the RH bill, those seeking re-election. They want to make their wrath felt come election day. I wish that they funnel their energies to more productive endeavors, like making the church more open and accountable. But, again, that’s for a longer prayer.
As a journalist, two things will be on my radar screen next year: the cybercrime law, which the Supreme Court will take up, and the freedom of information bill, which some of the congressmen refuse to act on.
You may want to keep watch, too. The cybercrime law has a very restrictive libel provision. As someone who’s been through a number of libel cases, I worry about this. But having seen the uproar of colleagues, lawyers, and free-speech advocates, I am confident the Court will listen.
As for the FOI bill, it faced a rough patch this year. Help. Can you add more light to the benighted minds of these congressmen who fear openness and transparency? Make the light so intense that they actually experience an epiphany. Is this possible? Oops, sorry, I showed my doubt.
The last item on my list is a usual request. You’ve heard this before but it won’t hurt to say it again, so that it keeps bubbling up in your mind: good health for my family and me, of course. Count in Atom, too. He’s our one and only dog.
As a friend who reminisced about our college days (in the ‘70s) said, “We used to feel invincible.” Hardly did we pray for health and vigor then.
Today, it’s the one thing that tops our list of priorities. A life of the mind, strong and flexible muscles to enable our gym exercises, long walks, or Zumba classes, sound 8-hour sleep, appetite for healthy food and red wine, and clear eyesight.
With all this, we can continue to follow our bliss, make money, help change our country, and never be bored. There is, indeed, a connection between the personal and the national, the private and the public. This, to me, is bridged by a desire to make our society egalitarian, blind to class divisions, with opportunities for all.
To reach that big luminous arc—that has always been part of my hope and prayer. - Rappler.com