Friday, December 26, 2014

“LORD, PATAWAD”



Thus reads the title of a relatively new song apparently quite recently composed, well sung by a man and heard over the radio every now and then. It is rather clear that the over-all theme of the song is the plea for forgiveness – for some misdeeds done by the singer and for which he is sorry: He goes to Church only when he wants to, only when he needs something from God and the like. Hence, his plea for the Lord's forgiveness.

The song acquires a special relevance particularly during this time when the practice of making “New Year's Resolution” is still done by a good number of people – with the thought that the coming of a “New Year” should be accompanied by a “New Life” by way of “New Year's Resolutions”. The substance of the resolve for observance in the coming year usually consists in no longer committing the wrong deeds done in the year that passed, in no longer being a bad person this coming year and the like. Such a resolve is good but it is only one-half of the lofty whole agenda for the year to come.

So is it that as some kind of an opening prayer on the occasion of the celebration of every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is the introductory plea when the Mass goers say “I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters that I have sinned... in what I have done and in what I have failed to do...” The prayer is plain and simple yet profound and extensive in content. Yes, it is along the spirit and intent of the song “Lord, Patawad”. But the forgiveness sought at the start of the Holy Mass goes much farther in seeking God's pardon. Thus:

For what I have done”: This has reference to bad – offensive, disgusting and/or vicious things – done. These could be many and serious. God's forgiveness is certainly needed for such misdeeds or sins of commission.

For what I failed to do”: This has reference to good things – kind, helpful and/or virtuous things – left undone. These could be much more in number and gravity. God's forgiveness is definitely more needed for such inactions or sins of omission. These could be much more in number and gravity. God's forgiveness is definitely more needed for such inactions or sins of omission. These could be much more in number as well as much more serious in nature. This category of sinfulness – when what is good is disregarded, when what is needed is purposely overlooked, when what is imperative is deliberately shunned – is more common and censurable. In other words, while there are many vices that someone can readily engage in, there are much more virtues that the same can actually practice. So is it that it is in this case that the song-prayer “Lord, Patawad” is much more relevant and thus also much more needed.

Truth to tell and reality to admit, there are so many people in this Country who have nothing to eat, nothing to wear, no place to sleep. This is not to mention those who are victims of injustice, greed, lust, who are seriously damaged by destructive natural disasters as well as man-made atrocities. Not to do anything for them but instead to look the other way, “Lord, Patawad”.

There is so much need for mercy and compassion.