Abangan... magsusulat ulit tayo!


Friday, July 24, 2009

A Pope of Prayer

The Chair of Peter isn't there just to govern and lead, but to endure pain and suffering as well.

Recently, Pope Benedict XVI had sent a letter to the ailing ex-president Corazon Aquino who is now combating for her life against colon cancer. He emphasizes his "spiritual closeness" to her through her sufferings and remembers her in his prayers.

Why did he said that? It is because the Pope is suffering terribly, too. In the fact that the Pope had recently injured his wrist, it is a very comforting thought that he still uses his hands in blessing and praying for others. This is not surprising anyhow. From the first century, the leadership of the Church was not devoid of blows physically and spiritually, even to the point of death or to the very edge of almost transgressing Church doctrine. The office of being the Vicar of Christ is a hard yoke, a burden on which the one designated into it must carry his own pain and the suffering of the Church with him. This is the yoke every Pope must carry with him, for he who wouldn't carry his own cross cannot be Christ's disciple. And the Pope's yoke is hard, though lighter than that of Christ's, yet is much heavier than those of ours summed up. For it is written: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more." (Luke 12:48)

We had known the Pope for being such a man of prayer. He prayed for us in the heart-breaking landslide tragedy at Guinsaugon, Southern Leyte. He was together with us in prayer for the ill-fated passengers of MV Princess of the Stars. However, not only for us Filipinos but for the entire universal Church were the intentions of the Pope being presented before God. In every earthly suffering is a blot of man's fallen nature, and the Church prays that somehow God would still bless this nature on which his own Son took upon himself to be with us. The task of imploring God in behalf of all men continues with the very prayers of Christ's Vicar here on earth together with the whole Church.

As we pray for Tita Cory, let us remember also the Pope who does not cease to do good on the behalf of our souls through his prayers. Make a habit of praying for his monthly intentions and for the safety, health and life of the Pope himself. "Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you." (Hebrews 13:7, 17)