By Christina Hermoso
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has issued a message on the on-going observance of the National Week of Prayer in the wake of the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The CBCP said the declaration is a manifestation of the Filipinos’ deep faith in God in the midst of crisis.
“The declaration by our national government for a National Week of Prayer is very much appreciated. It shows that we are a nation that is truly ‘Maka-Diyos,’ a people with a deep sense of God. In the midst of the grim mystery and reality of death, of suffering, of the threats of the corona virus disease we are facing, deep in our hearts, we also believe in the presence of God in our midst – a God who is merciful and compassionate, a God who is mindful of our sufferings,” said CBCP president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles in a message.
Valles highlighted the importance of prayer and of praying for all those involved and affected by the pandemic.
“It is a prayer, I hope, that keeps us close to the Lord, and I believe that when we are close to the Lord in prayer, we will realize that the Lord to whom we pray, desires for us to be with Him in looking out for those who are the weakest and the most vulnerable in this time of crisis – the elderly, those who are sickly, the young children, those in the frontlines in the tasks of keeping us safe and well – those in the medical and health front liners, those in peace and order front liners, those who keep social services necessary operating – and those who are suffering in hunger because they have lost much of their daily income that will bring food to their tables day after day,” he said.
The archbishop urged the faithful to continue to pray while lending a hand to others in whatever way possible.
“As we deepen our trust and confidence in the Lord as a nation, may our prayer also lead us to a rediscovery of our God-given capacity to look after others who are most in need in our midst. As a nation, let us continue praying together,” Valles said.
President Duterte has declared the fourth week of March as National Week of Prayer as the country struggles to contain the spread of the viral disease.
In his Proclamation no. 934, Duterte said moments of prayer would be taking place on the fourth week of March as he asked Filipinos of all religious denominations to pray for those afflicted with COVID-19, and for the front liners in the fight against the pandemic.