[Blueboard] University Prayer for the Nation

Vice President for Social Development [VPSD] vpsd at ateneo.edu
Mon Dec 12 09:10:33 PHT 2016

*Filipino and English versions of the PRAYER FOR THE NATION, first recited
during the **9 December 2016** Affirmation and Prayer Service for Human
Rights and the Nation, are attached. They are also available online at the
University's official website http://ateneo.edu/ <http://ateneo.edu/>.  *

*The prayer will be said in all masses in the different campuses of the
University for the remainder of the year.  Please download or otherwise
make a personal copy of the same and recite it on any occasion you are
moved to do so, and wherever you may be. *

*The following, in turn, is the introductory message delivered during the 9
December 2016 service. *



We come together this afternoon to observe, in advance, International Human
Rights Day tomorrow: the 68th anniversary of the adoption, by the United
Nations, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Amidst all that has
come to be and is yet to unfold for our country with regard to the
promotion, observance and protection of such rights and of the rule of law,
we gather for this brief *Affirmation and Prayer Service for Human Rights
and the Nation*.

The United Nations urges the following:

*“This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone's
rights! Many of us are fearful about the way the world is heading.
Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be wide-spread in all parts
of the globe. Extremist movements subject people to horrific violence.
Messages of intolerance and hatred prey on our fears. Humane values are
under attack.*

*“We must reaffirm our common humanity. Wherever we are, we can make a real
difference. In the street, in school, at work, in public transport; in the
voting booth, on social media.*

*“The time for this is now. ‘We the peoples’ can take a stand for rights.
And together, we can take a stand for more humanity.”*

As we here stand, so do we reaffirm.

This is also an occasion for witnessing to what has been happening in the
light of our Faith. In this season of Advent and as Christmas draws near,
when we commemorate Christ's coming into the world as human for the
salvation of humankind, may this gathering allow us to reaffirm
the innate value of, and our firm adherence to, inalienable human rights -
particularly the gift of life which is primordial, divine grace.  We
especially remember, and stand in solidarity with, the thousands who,
whether surviving or killed, have fallen victim to the disregard of the
rule of law and violations of their human rights.

Let this also be an opportunity for us to pray for guidance in grappling
with the many concerns that cry for heavenly assistance: for the just and
equitable resolution of human rights issues, especially of extrajudicial
killings; for the hurdling of other serious challenges to the rule of law
and decency, to good governance and democracy, to truth itself,
particularly the attempt to revise the history of the martial law period.

At the same time, we seek enlightenment regarding our own convictions and
commitments as to all that has been happening and will come to pass in our
country.  Individually and as members of a Philippine institution of higher
education and of our nation, we ask for our Lord’s direction in finding our
places in the “greater scheme of things.”

And just as we pray for ourselves, we pray for everyone else in our beloved
nation, regardless of their statures, heedless of their own convictions, in
all of these challenges and concerns. We pray for healing in our land, and
unity as a people.
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