ROUGH CUTS| The last words we would want to hear

WHATEVER little vacant time we have we spend it reading so as to broaden our perspective on things or issues that are worth taking up in this daily column of ours.

     We did the Sunday series of opening prayers delivered by Senators on the Senate Floor during the third regular session that ran during the period January 3 to June 7, 1990. We culled it from a compilation prepared by the Senate Publication and Editorial Division, a copy of which was given to us by then Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., the father of the presumptive Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

     Other than the prayers we were struck by the candidness of the foreword on the compilation given by Fr. Antonio B. Lambino, S.J. which runs as follow:

     “If media reports were to be the only basis for forming an image of the Senators, one might think that the legislature is inhabited by men and women whose thoughts and aspirations are set on little else than public affairs and secular matters. The present collection of prayers largely intended to open sessions of the Senate belies such an impression and gives us a glimpse (fleeting though it may be) of the religious faith which inspires the hearts of our Senators. ‘God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but God looks at the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7).

     “May these prayers help us to see the more warmly human side of our Senators and lead us to effective solidarity with them. May we all be involved with the spirit of prayer in every moment of our lives for ‘we are taller when we kneel.’

     And may the loving God in His compassion listen to our prayers and grant our people wisdom, courage and consolation especially in these critical times of our national history.”

     On July 25, 2016 the 17th Congress will be assembled for the first time in session. The newly elected members of both the Senate and House of Representatives will be attending their first session day with fidgety moments. The reelected ones will most likely be in their comfort zone as they have been there for years.

     Each one of them, neophytes and old-timers, will have the chance to deliver a session day’s opening prayer.

     We are looking forward that those fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to lead the prayer will say it with deepest sincerity in their hearts and with the intention to practice what they implore God.


     Another book we read rather cursorily because of limited time is the one written by evangelist Bailey F. Smith titled: “Nothing But the Blood” the theme of which is Christ crucified, buried, resurrected, ascended and coming again.

     An excerpt we like most of the book is that about the words Jesus spoke from the cross when he was about to die. We find it very relevant and worth reading this Sunday. A portion of that excerpt of evangelist Bailey’s book says:

     “Then said Jesus, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do’… referring to the Roman soldiers and the Jews who parted His raiment, and cast lots; and the people who stood beholding; and the rulers who derided Him for failing to save himself, if He be Christ.

     ‘Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’ (Luke 23:34-43)…to one of two criminals who were nailed beside Him who asked the dying Christ ‘Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.’

     “And to His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene, He saith unto his mother, ‘Woman, behold thy son!’ Then saith to the disciple standing by, whom He loved, ‘Behold thy mother!’

     “Many times when someone has departed this life, the question will come, ‘Did he say anything before he died?’

     “One such example was Voltaire, a French atheist who predicted the demise of Christianity. However, as he was dying, Voltaire screamed, ‘I have been a fool! The hell that I never believed in now awaits me!’

     “And the last words of this wealthy man enshrined in his Last Will and Testament. His attorney gathered the dying man’s family together whose faces look sad. The attorney read, ‘I ______________ , having made a large fortune, being of a sound mind and proper judgment, want to reveal to my family that I spent it all’!”

     This Sunday would we rather think to have that kind of last words as exampled? Or would we prefer to keep in our ears and our hearts the last words said by Christ while he was hanging on the cross dying?


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