I've read this letter of Fr. James Reuter of Ateneo de Manila from Hector's blog and with his permission I am spreading this letter as a call for prayer and change to my fellow Filipinos.
In my recent blog entry, I have written about the Moro armed struggle and the never ceasing Muslim-Christian conflict and the battle for power, land and autonomy over some parts of Mindanao. So, what do we need to do about it? These are some of the responses from my friends:
"Kalungkot, but we need miracles"
A call to prayer and peaceful talk plus a sincere heart to make a change is what we all need, LAHAT tayo government, people involve and us Filipinos. Unity kung baga, pero kung puro tayo sisi, point fingers, ako tama, walang mangyayari talaga.
I guess this problem would end if all the Muslims in Mindanao stop believing that they are not Filipinos and all Christians stop seeing Muslims as Muslims.
I have already given my two cents worth of opinion in that post but let their suggestions be heard and let's help make the Philippines a livable and country worth living again.
Now here's an article by Fr. Reuter (he's not even Filipino)... please read the letter with your mind and heart open. Thanks again to Hector for this copy.
THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE PHILIPPINES
by Father James Reuter, S.J.
By her own admission, GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) rightfully assessed that 'over the last decades, our republic has become one of the weakest, steadily left behind by its more progressive neighbors.'
Forty years ago, we were only second to Japan in economic stature, and way ahead of Singapore , Hong Kong , Malaysia , and Thailand . Today, at our present growth rate, it will take us 30 years to get to where Thailand is.
1. A population of 160 Million;
2. Of those, 70 to 90 million (equivalent to our current population) will live below the poverty line;
3. Our national debt is estimated to be at US$200B (compared to US$28B when Marcos fled, and US$53B today);
4. We will be competing, not against Thailand or even Vietnam , but against Bangladesh ;
5. We will be the most corrupt nation in Asia , if not in the world (we're already ranked 11th most corrupt nation by Transparency International) .
The signs are clear.
Our nation is headed towards an irreversible path of economic decline and moral decadence.
It is not for lack of effort. We've seen many men and women of integrity in and out of government, NGOs, church groups & people's organization devote themselves to the task of nation-building, often times against insurmountable odds. But not even two people's revolutions, bloodless as they may be, have made a dent in reversing this trend. At best, we have moved one step forward, but three steps backward.
We need a force far greater than our collective efforts, as a people, can ever hope to muster.
It is time to move the battle to the spiritual realm.
It's time to claim GOD's promise of healing of the land for His people.
It's time to gather GOD's people on its knees to pray for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation.
Is prayer really the answer?
Before you dismiss this as just another rambling of a religious fanatic, I'd like you to consider some lessons we can glean from history.
England 's ascendancy to world power was preceded by the Reformation, a spiritual revival fueled by intense prayers.
The early American settlers built the foundation that would make it the most powerful nation today - a strong faith in GOD and a disciplined prayer life. Throughout its history, and especially at its major turning points, waves of revival and prayer movement swept across the land.
In recent times, we see Korea as a nation experiencing revival and in the process producing the largest Christian church in the world today, led by Rev. Paul Yongi Cho. No wonder it has emerged as a strong nation when other economies around it are faltering.
Even from a purely secular viewpoint, it makes a lot of sense. For here there is genuine humbling & seeking of GOD through prayer, moral reformation necessarily follows. And this, in turn, will lead to general prosperity. YES, we believe prayer can make a difference. It's our only hope.
Today, we launch this email brigade, to inform Filipinos from all over the world to pray, as a people, for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation. We do not ask for much. We only ask for 5 minutes of your time in a day, to forward this email to your close friends and relatives.
This is the kind of unity which can make a big difference. Of course, if you feel strongly, as I do, about the power of prayer, you can be more involved by starting your own prayer group or prayer center.
We have tried people power twice; in both cases, it fell short. Maybe it's time to try prayer power. GOD never fails.
Is there hope? YES!
We can rely on GOD's promise, but we have to do our part. If we humble ourselves and pray as a people, GOD will heal our land. By GOD's grace, we may yet see a better future for our children.
'If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.'(2 Chronicles 7:14).
GOD LOVES AND BLESS THE PHILIPPINES.