Wednesday, 11 December 2013 16:20
LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective…” (James 5:16, the Holy Bible).
FEARLESS FORECAST: SEVILLA TO FAIL, TOO, UNLESS…: Why can’t I shake off the feeling that nothing—absolutely nothing—is going to improve at the Bureau of Customs, even with the impeccable background and extra-ordinary credentials of its new commissioner, John Philip “Sunny” Sevilla?
Well, it might be because, in his first public speech as Customs chief Monday, December 09, 2013, it was clear that Sevilla’s plans for running the Bureau within the two months period given him by President Aquino, though containing every known human formula for success, totally left out God’s role in the efforts to change the rotten and corrupt system in the agency.
In short, Sevilla will not succeed in transforming the Bureau and make it graft and corruption-free, because God is not a part of his strategy. If Sevilla thinks his two months stay in the agency will work wonders because of his own plans, he should think again. Only God has the power to change the dark hearts and evil minds of those who have long profited from the corruption in the Bureau of Customs.
PRAYERS FOR CUSTOMS OFFICIALS: And this is what Sevilla should aspire for. For starters, he can imitate what the Supreme Court did—create an “ecumenical prayer for the courts” which judges, justices, lawyers and litigants and all others present inside courtrooms nationwide must recite before every hearing.
Rejecting arguments that compelling everyone to recite the ecumenical prayer for the courts was a violation of the Constitutional separation of the Church and the State, the Supreme Court insisted on the prayer being recited by everyone. It is a tribute to God’s faithfulness to those who acknowledge and pray to Him that the prayer continues to be recited in the courts, up to now.
Sevilla may want to come up with a similar prayer to be recited everyday in customs’ offices nationwide, to remind customs officials and all persons transacting with them that there is a God who sees everything and who will reward all those who will listen to and obey His commands, and mete out punishment to those who will persist to do evil, such as graft and corruption.
ECUMENICAL PRAYER FOR THE COURTS: For the information of everyone, here is the ecumenical prayer for the courts: “Almighty God, we stand in Your holy presence as our Supreme Judge. We humbly beseech You to bless and inspire us so that what we think, say and do, will be in accordance with Your will.
“Enlighten our minds, strengthen our spirit, and fill our hearts with fraternal love, wisdom and understanding, so that we can be effective channels of truth, justice and peace. In our proceedings today, guide us in the path of righteousness for the fulfillment of your greater glory. Amen!”
Merely reciting this prayer creates a tremendous effect for everyone. If the one who is reciting it believes in God, then he is empowered all the more by the prayer to be more just and compassionate towards others. If the one reciting it does not believe in God or is not sincere in his faith, he is nevertheless compelled to recognize God’s glory even though very briefly.
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By Atty. Batas Mauricio
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