Prayer of A Doubting Thomas


My Lord and my God!

Forgive me if I doubted,

The pains and tears brought by your cross

Are so much that they blinded me

And the realization that it was my sins that brought you death

Filled me with so much loathing of myself,

that I wanted to be alone,

I wanted to be far off,

so as not to be a stumbling block to our friends and thus bring further pain.

And so I was not there

When you appeared before them

And assured them peace.

You see, when they told me,

That You, Lord, rose again,

I was overjoyed by the thought,

I can only dream of that moment

When your mere presence

Calmed all their fears

And confirmed in their heart

That you truly conquered  everything.

But what if everything they saw was a dream?

A mere hallucination of people buried in grief,

A mere illusion to survive the fear that consumes them.

I wanted more than anything to believe

That you truly rose again!

And thus, I feared more than anything

that all of it was not true,

And so Lord forgive me,

If I have wanted to touch those nailmarks,

If I have wanted to feel your heart beating once again even if it was pierced,

For it is the only way to wake up

to the realization

that love truly conquers all

and to have that faith

That does not fear anything

A conviction that calls into action.

Forgive us Lord,

For we are all doubters

And when you appeared once again,

When I’m with them

We are still cowering behind locked doors

Fearful that our sins and enemies

May claim our lives once again.

Doubt is a cycle and contagious

And so help us Lord

To be strong in faith

For one another.

May we find You

In the faith of our friends.

And so there You are

You give us your peace

And your Spirit

Even though our hearts

Like those doors

Are locked

You entered

In the glory of your risen body

And filled us

With the power and joy

Of your resurrection

Despite our doubts

Our fears

Our cowardice

Our weaknesses

Our sins.

And You approached me

Chiding me like a child for my unbelief

And you allowed me to touch those nailmarks

And to feel that heart

Beating once again

Alive once again

Out of love for me

And nothing

Not even death

Can now separate us.

As I kissed your feet,

I realized that I cannot fully understand

The meaning of everything

But that does not mean

That I cannot believe

I do believe Lord

Supply my unbelief

And in my heart I instantly knew

And so I exclaimed

My Lord and my God!

I wanted to believe

Despite my doubts Lord God

And there will be times

I know, that I will still doubt,

Not because I did not see you

But because of my sins

Because of my flaws

Because of my falls

Because of my self.

And so this is my prayer,

Everytime I grow less sure of myself,

May I grow more sure of you!

Jesus, I trust in you!

And when I doubt Lord God,

Grant that I may doubt the world is round,

That I may doubt that the sun is fire,

That I may doubt that truth be a liar,

But never may I doubt,

That You Love!

Blessed are those who doubt,

For by their doubt,

They seek the truth

And they are found by it.

Blessed are those

Who despite their doubts,

Move on through it

And chooses to believe

Finding our Lord and our God

Alive in them. Amen.

Psalm 22: A Paraphrase, A Psalm depicting the Passion of Our Lord

My God, my Father, why have you forsaken me?
Why do I feel so lost and alone?
That even You,
Who promised to be with me,
Seem so far away on the pains of this cross.
Answer me.

I have seen better days!
You are my strength and my glory
Make me not forget
That those who believed in you were saved,
And those who cried to you were heard.

Yet now, I feel the loneliness,
Of those who choose right,
Who loved truly and fought for it,
But now seems defeated
All who see me mock me.
They laugh at me and deride me.
See, they are testing You
Saying that if You are true
You will deliver those who serve You.

I have no one but you
You are my life
You are my God
You are the one who sustained me
Do not leave me now.
That the calvary is so near.

Many evils are surrounding me,
My enemies encircle me,
They are tearing my limbs
As my life ebbs from me.
And now I’m losing heart
My heart that believes in You,
This heart that loves You,
Heart that belongs to You.
I can count its pieces,
Broken parts of who I am
And who You are in my life
They are carrying it away
Claiming them as empty fantasies.
The world wants to corrupt them
As its own.

But even now, I know
That even in this brokenness
You can save me and make me whole.
Even from the jaws of death
You can snatch me
And it is in the midst of this darkness
Where I will finally realize that You are Light.

And thus I will proclaim your victory
In the assembly of your people
Together with my friends
We will declare your glory
For in this forsakenness, you are there
You are with me on the cross!
You have given me your heart,
A heart of your child,
Destined for your kingdom,
Living in glorious freedom!

All your children will gather.
From the ends of the earth,
The whole creation will jump in praising You
For You are our Father
The Creator of the Universe.
From the sleep of death
You will gather us
Breathing only by your love
So that we may live for you.

The generation yet to come
Will know you
And the salvation
You have wrought
In this forsakenness
And brokenness.

We Only Live Once: 1st Sunday of Lent Year A


“The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.” (Gen 2:7)

The 2016 film “The Young Messiah” ends with the Child Jesus praying to His heavenly Father these simple yet very profound insights:

“I’ve learned so much since leaving Egypt. I know everything I can for today. I even know I’m going to die. I used to wonder if angels would come to me, if they would sing to me, if they would fill my dreams. There is still so much that I don’t know but I do know this. I don’t think I’m here to see angels or to hear them sing. And I don’t think I’m here to make it rainy, or sunny or anything like that. I think I’m here just to be alive. To see it, hear it, feel it, all of it. Even when it hurts. Someday, You will tell me why else I’m here. I don’t know when, but I know You will. I know that. Because, Father, I am your child.”

The first Sunday of Lent brings into focus the plight of human life, the plight that Jesus Himself shared with us, the life of man upon earth as a drudgery (Cf. Job 7:1). So many people are living with lives of quiet desperation, alive but not living. They are so busy working just to be alive so that life passes them by. They see life as its own end and so they fail to embrace its meaning. They know likewise that “you only live once” and even used this as a cause to squander their lives, surrendering their selves to the flow of the world until they are drowned in it. Otherwise, there are those fortunate souls who indeed know that we only live once and so they continue to accept the challenges of life, and so be really alive to live it. They know that they are only going through this once and so they do it right, trying to better themselves, yes, sometimes defeated, but never giving up. God smiles upon their undertakings and so rewards them with the meaning of life, to be a worthy sharer in the true life to come.

“In conclusion, just as through one transgression, condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all.”

Even Jesus Christ lived only once and he was tempted to succumb to the drudgery of living just to be alive. But Jesus showed us that sin is not what temptation does to a man, it is what a man does to temptation. All of today’s readings point to the difference that one man can make in the examples of Adam and Jesus. At the beginning of Lent, we are reminded that each of us is empowered to make the same difference, we just need to choose our exemplar between the two. What difference can we make? To see this, we need to reflect on what will happen to humanity if our life will be multiplied to the population of the world, of our country, of our community, of our family.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus showed that the difference between him and Adam is dependence on God. In the three temptations of Jesus, he depended not on himself nor the rest of creation but on God. He chose to live by every word that comes from His mouth. He decided to fully trust Him and never to test Him. Finally, he depended on Him by giving Him the worship that He is due. The Council of Trent taught that Final Perseverance is such a great gift of God that we can never merit it but only to receive it as a gratuitous gift. Nonetheless, St. Augustine added that God grants it to all who seek it and they will infallibly obtain it if they commit themselves to it.

We only live once. Life is indeed short. Hence, we must do it right or else we may not be there to share in the ‘true’ life to come. Life on earth is indeed a drudgery and so many give up, and on the pretense of living to the full by enjoying the world, lose it. Though life is a warfare, it is also a gift from the Father. We may oftentimes fall, be defeated and grow tired. But we can always find rest on the fact that we are His children. And there find the strength to fight again, to live life, to smile and enjoy, to never give up, and finally to triumph.

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