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The vocal prayers

By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, roycimagala@gmail.com
April 14, 2021

IF we only know the real beauty and power of the vocal prayers! Itís a pity that nowadays these prayers are practically regarded of little importance, if at all. Many people treat them only casually. They are resorted to simply out of mindless habit or out of mere compliance to some social or cultural expectations. But the spirit of these prayers is often missed.

Itís a pity because these vocal prayers are actually very special prayers. They are given directly by Christ himself as in the case of the Lordís Prayer (the Our Father), or are composed by saints and the Church herself. They are truly inspired prayers. They are not mere words conveying some literary message and beauty. They convey the Holy Spirit himself.

As such, they are very helpful prayers. They easily connect us with God or with whomever is the object of some pious devotion to whom we go to ask for some favors. They help us in articulating the deep yearnings of our heart that we often find hard to express. They are an effective doorway to a contemplative life which we all should aim at, since at the end of the day, thatís what we are meant for.

We have to recover, if not develop in the first place, the proper attitude toward these prayers. We have to give this concern some special attention since we know that these days especially, with the mainstream lifestyle of activism generated by our new technologies and other allied developments, the life of piety of the people is fast fading away. Many people are drifting toward hardened secularization or paganism.

We need to pause and consider once again the origins of these vocal prayers. We have to develop a certain sense of being duty-bound to have recourse to them. And for that to happen, we really would need to realize from whom these prayers come, to whom we are addressing them, what they are telling us, etc.

As usual, we need to activate our faith that would always require of us to humble ourselves so that we could feel the need for prayer, for connecting and being with God. Without humility, we would just be full of ourselves and fail to consider the most important dimension of our lifeóour relation with God which is crucial in developing our proper relation with others and with everything else in our life.

The vocal prayers, in fact, can be and should be a constant companion of ours, considering that we are often easily swallowed up and trapped in our worldly affairs. Without the vocal prayers, we become easy target to our own personal weaknesses and the many temptations around. The vocal prayers help us in keeping a spiritual and supernatural bearing which is proper to us.

We truly need to popularize the recourse to the vocal prayers that should start with oneself, then with the family, the school, offices and other work places. We need to constantly remind everyone of the importance of vocal prayers without, of course, compromising the naturalness that should go with it. We have to make it attractive, always highlighting its beauty and power.

As we celebrate the 500 years of Christianity in our country, I believe that highlighting the importance of the vocal prayers would be one most helpful contribution that can make the celebration most meaningful.