Press Release

An Invitation to Watch, Pray and Act this Blessed Season

Today, as we usher in the nine-day novena masses in anticipation of the Christmas Season, we, the member-associations of the Watch, Pray and Act Movement (WPAM) fervently join hands and lift our eyes and hearts to God in prayer for our beloved country, the Philippines.  We have been disturbed and moved by the recent events in our country. We are alarmed by the escalating violence, the shameless display of power, arrogance, and greed, and the unabated manipulations and abuses that have inflicted much more suffering and fear among our people.  We agonize over our broken and divided nation, and we share in our people’s anguish that have left many of us barren, disillusioned, and discouraged.  We hear their muted cries of distress.   With them, we ask God to listen as our hearts cry for justice, integrity, and peace.  

This Advent season, we pray for new beginnings.   We implore God to cleanse our nation and grant us healing and renewal, and bring about our country’s rebirth.  We lay prostrate before the Child Jesus, begging that His example of humility, service, selflessness, and great love for humanity will be what we embrace as we plod on in our journey as a country.   

We pray for our civilian and military authorities.   May God enlighten and grant them the virtues of wisdom, temperance and prudence, humility and integrity in service, and minds and hearts committed to the upholding of the common good. May the Almighty inspire them to restore public trust to public office, not by wielding ruthless power but through Christian stewardship and servant leadership.  May they be guided so that they will remain faithful to their sworn duty to protect and serve our people.  May the Holy Spirit enfold them and unleash the good that is in their hearts, so that they may fully live out the Gospel values and serve the nation with Christian charity, honesty, and faithfulness.  

We pray for those who will be involved in the 2010 national elections: the Commission on Election (COMELEC) officials, the candidates and their supporters, the officers and members of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the teachers and poll watchers.  May God touch them with His Spirit, so that they will all work with one mind and one heart, to ensure that we will be able to exercise our constitutional right to vote in accordance with our conscience and in unthreatened freedom.  May they have the wisdom to institutionalize guidelines and mechanisms that will safeguard the sanctity of the ballot, and the courage and strength of character to oppose any kind of wrongdoing so that the coming elections will reflect the true will of the people.  

And finally, we pray for all of us.  May God’s Spirit urge us to spend this beautiful season in prayerful discernment, so that we may choose the good candidates who will rise above selfish desires and commit themselves to work for our nation’s renewal.   May we remain patient and vigilant in ensuring that the rule of law is upheld and not compromised, in rebuilding and strengthening our institutions, in continuously fighting for the common good.  May we have courage, perseverance, and a steadfast faith that will compel us to walk the way of the Child Jesus even as we behold our Jerusalem, and never to lose hope in the midst of much suffering and pain.   AMEN.

We enjoin all our administrators, faculty, staff, students and their families, and all freedom and peace-loving Filipinos, to watch, pray, and act with us, for our nation’s future. We request our faculty and students to form reflection and prayer circles in the last few school days of 2009 and dedicate their prayers for the nation.  We ask them to involve their families in prayer even amidst the merrymaking during Christmas break.  We also call on our priest directors to say the same prayer at the celebration of the Eucharist.  May God look with favour on us His people, and grant us our desires for the good of our country, the Philippines.