Monday, 26 November 2007

Something I wrote...

A friend recently asked me to rewrite her letter talking about Catholic prayer to her Buddhist friend. Here is the rewritten letter (with names deleted for privacy reasons):

Dearest _____,

How are you? _____ here. I’m writing this letter to tell you about some common Catholic prayers. It’s my hope that you will find them beautiful and worthy of learning.

Catholic common prayer 1#: Our Father

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the test,
but deliver us from evil. Amen

In Mandarin it sounds like this:

我們的天父,
願祢的名受顯揚,
願祢的國降臨,
願祢的旨意奉行在人間,
如同在天上。
求祢今天賞給我們日用的食糧,
求祢寬恕我們的罪惡,如同我們寬恕別人一樣,
不要讓我們陷於誘惑,
但救我們免於兇惡,

In Bahasa Melayu it sounds like this:

Bapa kami yang ada di syurga
Dimuliakanlah nama-Mu
Datanglah Kerajaan-Mu
Jadilah kehendak-Mu
Di atas bumi seperti di dalam surga
Berilah kami rezeki pada hari ini
Dan ampunilah kesalahan kami
seperti kami pun mengampuni yang bersalah kepada kami
Dan janganlah masukkan kami ke dalam percubaan
Tetapi bebaskanlah kami dari yang jahat. Amin

Catholic common prayer 2#: Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

In Mandarin it sounds like this:

萬福馬利亞,你充滿聖寵,
主與你同在,你在婦女中受讚頌,
你的親生子耶穌同受讚頌。
天主聖母馬利亞,
求你現在和我們臨終時,
為我們罪人祈求天主。亞孟。

In Bahasa Melayu it sounds like this:

Salam Maria, penuh rahmat.
Tuhan sertamu.
Terpujilah Engkau di antara wanita,
dan terpujilah buah tubuh-Mu, Yesus.
Santa Maria bonda Allah,
doakanlah kami yang berdosa ini,
sekarang dan waktu kami mati. Amin.

Catholic common prayer 3#: Glory Be

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Catholic common prayer 4#: I Believe

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Catholic common prayer 4#: Prayer before eating

Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts,
which we are about to receive from your generosity,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Catholic common prayer 5#: Prayer after eating

We give you thanks, almighty God, for all your gifts,
you who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Catholic common prayer 6#: Prayer before sleeping

Dear Lord I ask you to protect me against all harm and evil that may attack me tonight.
Into Your hands dear Lord I commend my body, mind, soul and spirit. Amen.


Catholic common prayer 6#: Prayer after sleeping

Good morning Lord, it's great to be with You again today.
I'm glad You are going to walk with me today.
Help me in all I do and say today, bring a smile to my lips for everyone I meet today,
place on my tongue kind and gentle words for everyone I speak with today.
And when my work is over grant me a safe journey home. Amen.

You may ask who is this Lord I’m taking about. Basically Lord means ‘boss’ and one of the ways of naming God. Like we call our parents Pa or Ma, so we Catholics call our God Lord.

You can also create your own prayer. After all, God wants to be our friend, so we should talk to him like we talk to our friends. Here is the formula:

1. Stop thinking of other things. One way to do this is to close your eyes and think of God.
2. Present yourself to God by bowing your head, putting your hands together, and/or making the sign of the cross
3. Talk to God- you can thank him for something, talk about how good he is, and/or ask him for something.
4. Invoking the name, glory or life of Jesus, e.g. “in the most holy and precious name of Jesus I pray”
5. Closing your prayer, often with ‘Amen’ (which means ‘Let it be so’)

It’s good to pray for your friends and family. This way you not only help them by asking God to do something for them but also allow God to work through you and in this way helping you too. Why don’t you start by praying for me? And don’t worry: I’ll pray for you too.

Please do visit me anytime. Take care of yourself. I miss you and can’t wait to see you.
May God bless you always.
Love,

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