The vocal prayers
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
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
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.