A sister’s prayer

Published by rudy Date posted on April 11, 2011

HEAVENLY Lord and Father, I pray to you as I have never prayed before, even more than the days when armed, ruthless and powerful enemies threatened our family. That is because now, not only is my beloved brother’s future at stake, but also his very soul and the well-being of our nation.

I already told You my misgivings about his decision to run for high office just because of public clamor. It is one thing to win a landslide victory, and quite another to govern and deliver, especially with little past achievement and experience to build on.

But the hopes of millions seeking reform and the threat of less than upright leaders taking over took precedence over my fears for how my brother’s limitations and difficulties may burden him in the daunting challenges he was taking on.

Now, however, I see my nagging concerns realized in ways far more alarming than I could have imagined even in my worst fears. You see all that is happening, O God, and so do our dearest Mom and Dad, and You understand why I am so alarmed.

At the same time, You also know how little one sister or even two or three can do to change things and veer my brother away from the path he is speeding on and bringing countless others along. Even if he would listen to our warnings about the excesses and misgover-nance, there are evil men around him who have a grip on him with their intimate knowledge of appalling things they have all done, from corruption by day in the halls of power to perversion by night along the bay and in private compounds.

Hence, I now have to plead for Your powerful intervention again in our family’s life. I pray that You open my brother’s eyes to the evils and dangers around him and along the road on which he is taking all those who trusted him with their hopes and destinies. And I ask that You foil and expose the machinations and schemes of those exploiting the enormous power and scandalous proclivities unleashed by the victory we celebrated nine months ago.

For that very triumph I must beg Your mercy for those in our family and political camp who were seduced by a master manipulator of our hugely flawed elections. They gave their blessing to his latest plot, exploiting the marvels of technology not only to engineer an unprecedented landslide, but also to elevate the scheme’s main financier ahead of our ally who set aside his ambitions to ensure our victory.

And now the architect of that high-tech debasing of our democracy collects daily on his dastardly plot through the nationwide numbers racket. And like the manipulators around our brother, this perennial schemer possesses embarrassing, even incriminating information, which also makes him untouchable, like the ruling cabal with whom he shares billion-peso payolas from the illicit enterprise.

Dearest Lord, if it were just dirty money changing hands and imported pleasures shared with friends, it would be distressing enough. But as we have seen in rulers since the time of Your ancient prophets, moral decline inevitably leads to growing misrule.

The fall in public trust, approval and satisfaction, the rise in business concerns over corruption, and the continued worsening of hunger and poverty point to failings that need urgent and strong corrective action, not just glib words casting doubt on the data.

Also worrisome are disturbing reports about more top people close to my brother, including his right-hand man and another companion in one of his favorite pastimes. But like the first accusations leveled against another of his buddies last year, there is no action from him.

All these these worrisome news and surveys strike at the very heart of his agenda for change and upliftment. If they are Your warning signs, Father God, then deign to also grant my brother the grace and humility to see how he may have lost his way and to do what he must to return to the straight and righteous path.

Yet I know too, Almighty Creator, that You also sometimes let the proud and ambitious succeed for a time in their arrogant, imperious whims. You let the cheers of their sycophants and the blind adulation of their followers get to their swollen heads and persuade them that their positions and decisions are beyond reproach. But in the end, You humble them with Your just chastisement as a lesson to all and sundry.

I pray, dear Father, that You will spare my brother from this fate of pride and power before ignominious debacle. Let him wake to the error of his ways before the powerful institutions and forces he has alienated come together in righteous anger against him. I know he is a good man at heart, and with Your grace and guidance, he can return to the right path and rid his rule of corrupting, manipulative influences.

Let him know that there are so many others of wise and upright mind and heart who can help him in righting the ship of state and navigating it toward a better future for the tens of millions on board. These good men and women do not play to vanities and proclivities, but always uphold high moral standards and patriotic intentions. Let my brother give ear to these voices of Your holy will.

This is my Lenten prayer to You loving Lord, and I offer all my penances and pious works for this plea on behalf of my brother. I know You love him more than even we hold him dear, and I hope in Your boundless mercy and powerful grace. Amen. –RICARDO SALUDO, Manila Times

Ricardo Saludo heads the Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence (ric.saludo@censeisolutions.com). He holds a M.S. in Public Policy and Management from School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

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