Spiritual fiction written in Tagalog is enormously underrepresented in my opinion (or am I just not too exposed?). It’s very seldom that I could come across this genre, and I should say that 13th Prayer is a breath of fresh air for me, if you know what I mean. It’s just a short read for me, but it effectively quenched the thirst of my soul I didn’t realize was already screaming for attention.
What Is It About?
Eiffel is an 18-year-old girl who just didn’t want to go to church. Attending the mass, receiving first communion and involvement in other church acrivities are just not in her priority list. This is despite the fact that her parents are both active church servers. Until she met her first communion catechist, Bro. Jem, a postulant who came in the parish for 6-month immersion. Eiffel might not just learn how accept Christ in her life.
What I Think About It
The story served as a time machine that brought me back to my younger years. I served my parish as a youth minister and there were moments when I saw myself in Eiffel’s shoes. But then it was a long time ago, and though I should say I sometimes miss what we used to do, I am also glad that it also became part of my history.
What I don’t really understand about most teenagers these days is their intolerance of religion. I used to be a kid as well, and used to think it was way too corny to attend bible studies, and I just couldn’t explain myself why. I don’t know if that also how Eiffel felt, but it sure has something to do with her still being in her teens. But then again, not all of them are like that. I could still see a lot of kids in the youth ministry in our parish so that’s saying something.
Some Catholic Practices Explained
The holy rosary, confession and bible sharing – some of the major practices of the Catholics that other Christian denominations are questioning about, especially the first two. I think the book has become a good avenue to explain why Catholics have to pray the rosary, or why Catholics should go to a priest to confess their sins and receive absolution. Although, there are some things that are also mentioned in the book which were not exactly explained, things that ordinary parishioners won’t fully understand like postulants, charism and congregation, because believe me. I used to have colleagues who asked me what the heck are they.
My 13 Prayers
Yes, after reading the book I came up with my own 13 prayers.
- I pray that my country achieves peace and unity.
- I pray that there would be more compassion on earth.
- I pray not just for myasthenia gravis remission, but for total healing.
- I pray for the total healing of all the MG patients in the world.
- I pray for the doctors and other medical professionals who treat people like us.
- I pray for all of the sick people in the world.
- I pray for the well-being of my family.
- I pray for my ultimate happiness.
- I pray that the world never runs out of chocolates.
- I pray for my friends who think and pray for me.
- I pray for the lost souls, especially the souls of my two friends who left the earth all too suddenly and without notice.
- I pray for the heartbroken and the grieving.
- I pray for the answers of somebody else’s prayers.
It felt too easy to ask for these things, but then, maybe I should also listen to what is being said to me by God.
13th Prayer is a short read that is full of spirituality and life lessons from a teenager who’s unaware of her own struggles of finding herself. I think more books like this should be written.
I got my copy from Kim Derla‘s book signing at the MIBF. You can get yours at any St. Paul’s branch (not sure if available in some other bookstores) or you can order directly from the author by visiting her blog.
Let’s not forget about our spiritual life.