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Mary Jane’s reprieve and the power of prayers

12:44 AM May 20, 2015

Now I know how it feels to weep in the midst of joy! Some may call me quite corny or overacting to say that; yet methinks such feeling deserves to be put in writing.

Yes, I am specifically referring to that which extremely overwhelmed me very early morning of April 29 upon hearing that Mary Jane Veloso had been spared from execution following an emergency Cabinet meeting called by the Indonesian president, in view of the voluntary surrender of Veloso’s recruiter to Philippine custody—though not as much in admission of her guilt as in view of the death threats she had been allegedly getting. Needlessly stressing, and whether we appreciate it or not, it was definitely upon President Aquino’s, no one else’s, last-ditch appeal that the Indonesian government had finally reconsidered.

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As things are, whether or not Veloso has been permanently, or only temporarily, saved from the firing squad, and whether or not President Aquino’s otherwise dwindling acceptance and popularity ratings would bounce back in the next surveys because of the reprieve, are both highly speculative and completely beside the point at this juncture. What should rather matter more to all of us is that such unthinkable happenstance, when the whole nation has practically given up all hopes, is indeed one other exhilarating and telling proof of the monumental power of prayers in our earthly lives.

Having said the above, I am tempted to call back to mind one little question that somewhat keeps bothering me from time to time. That is to say, do we, Roman Catholics, indeed believe in the power of prayers? I really do not know if others have ever, albeit randomly, thought of it. But please consider this. It is inarguable that everything which our faith requires us to believe in—God in heaven, creation of the universe, Holy Spirit, immaculate conception of Mary, death and resurrection of Jesus, communion of saints, forgiveness of sins, resurrection of the body, everlasting life—we all keep repeating one by one every time we recite the Creed. But then, for heaven’s sake, why is the power of prayers not included? Was this really intended or merely missed when the Apostles’ Creed was written?

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To be sure, not a few readers will readily accuse me of being unduly philosophical in this regard. I am not! It just so happens that, as far back as I can recall, I have always been in the habit of looking for logic in everything I see around. And so, to be indeed logical myself, I learned a long time ago to add “the power of prayers” whenever I recite the Creed. I still do not know if our parish priest would agree with me on this; or if perhaps he could help me unravel this tiny conundrum one of these days.

—RUDY L. CORONEL, [email protected]

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TAGS: Death Row, Indonesia, mary jane veloso, Prayers, reprieve
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