Part 2 of 2
A song by OPM rock band Yano goes this way:
“Banal na aso, Santong kabayo, natatawa ako. Hihihihi.”
This controversial song does not sound foreign at all especially for those who grew up in the 90s. When radio speakers blared with Yano’s hysteria, there was much controversy over its seeming irreverence and mockery of sanctity. But when its vocalist-songwriter Dong Abay explained the song’s genesis, he said the song was a criticism of religious piety that does not translate to kindness and good deeds.
It echoes Mahatma Gandhi’s popular comment, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians.”
This is where the Life aspect of the Prayer and Life Workshops comes in.
“I love him / her / them, too”
PLW does not end at teaching prayer methods. An essential part of the workshops is the Life Experience assignment. Here is one example.
For the whole week, at every opportunity – whether at work, at home, on the road; when with friends, family, strangers; when spending precious time and conversation with special people; when dealing with difficult clients, when irked by reckless drivers – a pilgrim is encouraged to stay calm, breathe and whisper to God, “I love him / her / them, too.”
When practiced regularly together with daily solitary moments with Papa God (we are encouraged to call Him terms of endearment, as “Abba” loosely translates to something as intimate and personal as “Daddykins”), the life experience assignments make us more aware and more inclined to choose to act with kindness, peace and love.
Taking God seriously
Prayer then does not remain an isolated island of pleas, requests, and desperation. Prayer becomes a date with God where no words are necessary; it simply, and sweetly, becomes a pit stop where one can recharge with God’s love (in Brother Bo’s words, to refill our Love Tank). As one becomes full with God’s love, he spills over with God’s love, and whispering “I love him / her, too” to everyone becomes automatic.
The PLW is worth trying if one would like to, in founder Ignacio Larranaga’s words, “take God seriously” through prayer and a life of peace. Of course, for prayer to work on a pilgrim, it takes two things: constant practice, and significantly, God’s grace.
For more information about the PLW, visit www.plwphil.com and / or like Prayer and Life Workshops – Bacolod on Facebook.