On things wrought by prayer

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Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Had we known how our readers would react to the return of the DAILY STAR,  we would have gone on publishing it even if we had to sell the shirts off our backs, to cite a hackneyed quotation. We did not reckon with the people who had been silently supporting us with their subscriptions and constant readership, who would also step in to back us up, no strings attached! The Good Lord must have approved of what we had been doing, hence the unexpected support. God bless them, and God bless the DAILY STAR!

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          It was heartwarming to know that our province has extended help to the ravaged areas in Albay and Catanduanes in their time of calamity. Those were the places so damaged by strong winds and heavy floods that were so unimaginable in this day and age. But there they were, as graphically shown on TV, for all the world to sympathize with. One can only wonder what sins this generation is paying for with such calamities occurring now. Is the Lord reminding us of what He did to punish the sinners in Sodom and Gomorrah?

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          Sometimes my imagination runs wild and I think of those comic strip characters who go around with placards on their backs and fronts carrying the messages: “REPENT! THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR!” Do those reports so vividly shown on television of fires, floods, famine and pandemics bring  you back to the Biblical times when God showed His might in punishing sinners? Is He doing it now with floods, fires and pandemics? Non-believers may pooh-pooh the idea, but those who know their Bible history will not easily reject such possibilities.

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          As if struggling with COVID restrictions and fears of infection were not enough to paralyze both business and social activities, we also have cases of soldiers and even policemen who get into trouble by going against the law themselves. Is it because of the power they feel when vested with the authority to carry a gun? They say the law should be equal for all, but I hope there will be a different penalty, a stricter one, for the so-called protectors of the people and the country who themselves disobey the law. A recent report in this paper told of two soldiers now facing murder charges.

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          What can help the people of the provinces of Isabela, Cagayan and Tuguegarao need to drain their towns and cities of the neck-deep floodwaters that refuse to ebb away? Experts say they need the machine called backhoe to do so. The problem is that neither the province, or maybe even the country, is not in a position to acquire them. And, the dredging machines that could make the water go back to the sea costs $500 MILLION per unit, of which at least SIX are needed for this particular job!

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          I don’t think we can look to the United States for help in this, unless they, too, have experienced similar calamities and have equipment for it. But the U.S. is also deep in its own problems, not only with the still raging COVID cases, but also political ones. So it’s every man for himself, as the saying goes, only this time it is every country on its own. These days, even families are suffering from separation from their kin who have been stranded in other countries and even provinces because of the pandemic.

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          The saddest cases are those of COVID victims who die in countries or even towns and cities not their own, and whose families could not even see their bodies because  such victims are immediately cremated. How does one mourn over a small sack of ashes? That is just one of the tragedies that COVID has brought. By the way there are Filipinos, myself included, who believe our medical people are dealing better with this plague than those of other, wealthier countries. Could it be because we are more prayerful and trusting in the benevolence of God?

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          “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”. Was it St. Augustine who said that first? I am not sure, but I have always firmly believed in that. I know that if the Lord does not grant what we ask, it is because He knows better what is ultimately for our own good. I know it is not Sunday and no time for Twinkling to preach, but, believe me, truer words were never spoken!*

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