It is known as the island of mysteries, but also an island of great promise. An island of strange folk tales, but also of poetic sunsets. An island with a tiny land area and poor vegetation, but with people who have huge hearts and rich souls, thirsting for God. Siquijor is one of the smallest islands in the Philippine archipelago. A very quiet, seemingly undisturbed place that reveals the simplicity and beauty of God’s creation.
Last April 30 – May 4, 2019, Fr. John Louis Marie, csj, Br. Samuel Mary, csj, and Sr. Maria Goretti, assj, with a team of evangelizers, went to visit Siquijor for a few days of mission. They encountered several young people who came in batches to join a day of recollection. The theme of the event was: “Lord, teach us how to pray.” This encounter was so moving, as the youth discovered the great value of prayer in their lives. Prayer is not a mere utterance of words. It is really an intimate encounter with God who loves us. It is not only about saying our prayers, but also listening to God who speaks to our hearts. The participants discovered that we can also pray with the Word of God. Surely, God speaks to us through His words in the Bible. But also, He speaks in loving silence, when we go to Him in Adoration. The youth in Siquijor discovered, that prayer is not just an activity, but a lifestyle. It is not just a work of the mind, but a work of the heart.
The new mission house of the Brothers of St. John, which will be built in Taboan, Cebu, will surely be a house of prayer. A place of intimate encounter. Not just with anybody, but with Jesus Himself, the ardent lover of our souls.
At the end of the day, we can always say, “Lord, teach us how to pray.” For sure our good Lord cannot refuse such a request…