Filipinos lead much of the world getting pumped up in the lead up to the day when we find out for sure who really is the pound-for-pound greatest fighter on the planet. Filipinos not just want but need a Manny Pacquiao win. “Filipino pride” depends on it!
What can ordinary Filipinos do to “help” Manny Pacquiao win? For many Filipinos, the answer to that question is obvious: prayer. Filipinos, according to Inquirer columnist Rina Jimenez-David “know the power of prayer”. Evidence of this, according to Jimenez-David is in the way Mary Jane Veloso who is in death row in Indonesia on charges of drug trafficking was granted a reprieve after her compatriots called to the heavens en masse to beseech their respective gods to intervene with fate.
Thus the resounding call to the heavens now echoing from the only predominantly Roman Catholic country in Asia…
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Drawing on the “People and Prayer Power” exemplified by the Edsa Revolt of 1986, the Spirit of Edsa Foundation is enjoining the nation to join hands to pray for the victory of our very own “Pacman.”
“Let us again make use of ‘People and Prayer Power’ in the Spirit of Edsa by praying together on May 1, 2 and 3 at 12 noon for the intention of our humble God-fearing and God-glorifying hero—Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao against his contender,” the foundation says.
It is urging everyone to pray one “Our Father,” one “Hail Mary” and one “Glory Be,” after which it asks that this prayer be recited: “Heavenly Father and our dear Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech you to please protect your faithful and loving son and servant Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao from bodily harm and for a safe and victorious fight. All for Your glory. Amen.”
But what is the logic behind the idea of “the power of prayer”.
Say, for argument’s sake, God does “hear” Filipinos’ prayers, intervene with fate, and make Manny Pacquiao win this Sunday. What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that God likes Pacquiao better than Floyd Mayweather? Does it mean that he likes Filipinos better than Americans?
Why would God grant blessings on Filipinos by making their hero win against Mayweather after burying thousands of people in Nepal with an earthquake?
I can hear it now. “Oh, God was not reponsible for that tragedy.” Another may chime in with “We cannot presume to understand God’s mysterious ways.”
But of course.
Every human soul is supposedly equal in the eyes of God and we are all taught to leave it to his “infinite wisdom” to bless some with great fortunes while others lead wretched lives and die horrible deaths elsewhere. Yes, it is very convenient for the prayerful to shroud God’s wisdom in “mystery” to exempt it from critical scrutiny. God’s “wisdom” after all is a non-negotiable construct. How, after all, can our finite minds presume to aspire to subject God’s “wisdom”, a product of his infinite mind, to our relatively puny cognitive faculties?
Next time we shout out how “blessed” we are by God, perhaps take at least a minute to ask Why? Why does God bless me while millions of children starve to death in Africa? Why me??
There is no answer to that question, of course. It is all a “mystery”, see. But at least reflecting on that question alone will hopefully provide us better perspective when regarding the idea of “praying” that Pacquiao wins against Mayweather this Sunday.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.