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Hearts grateful to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

By: Sofia Aliño Logarta November 23,2016 - 08:49 PM

This Thanksgiving Day, let me share the thank you notes of devotees addressed to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Posted beside the image at the back of the Redemptorist Church is a two-page letter of gratitude. It is practically a life story, for indeed, Our Mother of Perpetual Help has been a faithful assisting presence in this person’s life. One can imagine the sense of abundance this flow of graces has given her, for as Sarah Ban Breathnach has asserted that when we are grateful and aware of our many blessings, we experience a sense of abundance.

From a big box of prayer petitions and thanks, I thank the Redemptorists for sharing these heartfelt expressions of gratitude.

“Magpasalamat ako sa akon mother bisan tuod wala kami amahan kami sa akong usa ka igsoon naningkamot lang jud me og panarbaho aron lang me maka human sa among pag-skwela aron puhon- puhon og kaloy-an kami sa among pag-ampo kanimo para maka balos sad me og hatag sa among ginikanan. Amen.” This caught my attention because the devotee is praying at the same time actually persevering in her studies. At the same time, the exerting of effort is also an expression of gratitude — wanting to pay back for the efforts exerted by the parents.

Many ask for Mama Mary’s intercession for good health. And there are very specific thank yous — Under the Heading “Buot Pasalamatan Kang Nanay Maria”: “for the blessing, sa mass sa akong breast nigamay”; “Salamat nikopos akong breast tumor.” I totally connected to those because in the recent past, two of my close friends had biopsies on their breasts. So I prayed for negative results. I was very much relieved and enormously grateful that the results turned out to be negative.

Many devotees petition for success in examinations because these lead to good jobs. “Daghan salamat Mama Mary, nakapasar akong anak sa Board Exam, salamat nakatrabaho na siya. Salamat nakasakay na akong kamanghurang anak. Daghang salamat nakabayad mi sa among utang. Salamat dunay nagpautang namo.” Other mother to Mother thanks: stated under favors granted; approval of immigrant visa; “recovery of my son Reneil from depression,” “safety of my daughter during the hurricane in Florida.”

Big letters reveal the immense gratefulness of the writer: Good Employment! And she declares: “Pasalamat ko sa akong nadawat nga blessing. Early in January this year nakatrabaho ko sa maayong companya. Nadawat ko sa nindot nga boss/napunta ko kung asa mas makat-on ko sa maayong kinaiya sa akong boss.”

Devotees also entrust to Mama Mary the success of their business. In relation to this, thanks are extended for the “release of the title of land.”

Together with the request of blessings for the expansion of a business came a unique favor granted: “paghatag kay mommy ug maayong bana.”

Much can be learned by going through these thanksgiving notes. From them, I realized how very hard Filipinos try to be independent. As they prayed for assistance, they religiously exert efforts. We also get to encounter their simple aspirations. Filipinos also have a very intense love for their families.

I could almost hear the mothers as they breathlessly prayed for their children. They have faith in their prayers. Filipinos have great sense of gratitude.

How very blessed we are to have this Mother to open our hearts to, to cry over our sorrows before her sacred image and eventually to sigh in relief or even give a big smile as we thank her for our answered prayers.

During the regular novena Mass in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the number of petitions is announced and the thanksgivings received.

Then this beautiful Thanksgiving Prayer follows:

“O Mother of Perpetual Help with grateful hearts we join you in thanking God for all the wonderful things He has done for us, especially for having given us Jesus your Son as our Redeemer.

“O God our Creator we thank you for the gift of life and all the gifts of nature: our senses and faculties, our talents and abilities. We thank you for creating us in your image and likeness and for giving us this earth to use and develop, to respect and cherish. Despite our failures you continue to show your love for us today by increasing the life of your spirit in us.

“Finally, we thank you loving Father for giving us Mary the Mother of your Son to be our Mother of Perpetual Help. We are grateful for all the favors we have received through her intercession. We pray that those past favors may inspire us to greater confidence in your loving mercy and to seek the aid of our Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen.” From the Redemptorist Missionaries.

Saying this prayer regularly is a beautiful and effective way to keep the Filipino value of gratefulness. It is very comprehensive in terms of the many things we need to be grateful for. What a great sense of “abundance” it generates!

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TAGS: Cebu, faith, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Redemptorist Church, religion, values

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