Without a Mother’s Love
Fr. Shay Cullen
15 May 2020
In many places, people are enjoying the freedom of release from lock-down and so they should in safety and with great care so that they do not infect anyone else if they are asymptomatic. Our lives are changed and our lifestyle has to adapt, adjust and all in the name of staying healthy and virus-free and they need to survive. With the number of infections going down in some places and going up in others, we can never be too careful as we all want to survive.
On Mother’s Day, we celebrated the love of our good loving mothers. But some children forget the love their mother had for them and I share with you a poem below. The audio of it can be found on www.preda.org by this link https://www.preda.org/2020/the-prayer-of-the-prodigal/
The Prayer of the Prodigal
She bore me in her womb, a mother as good as gold
She nurtured me with mother’s milk as I grew so big and strong
And then the years were passing and she was growing weak and old,
I forgot her love and care and I know I was truly wrong
I lost my way and traveled far and still I see her hair
Once a shiny brown that had slowly turned to gray,
I saw her wrinkled features and there was nothing I could say
But to mourn her sudden passing and wish I had been there.
Mother, listen to me cry, my voice is in this song
The corona came and took you and we knew it was so wrong
They didn’t have the things you need, and you were lost to me and all.
The medics tried to save you and risked their very lives
The corona got them too and still the virus spreads and thrives.
I felt so helpless and so alone and wished there was more I could have done,
but all I had was pain and there was nowhere I could run.
Now I see the value of living, good and true,
I promise now to change my ways and take your good advice
Lord, hear me too and forgive me not only once but thrice.
The days have passed me by and peace I now have found.
I kneel and pray and kiss your grave and bless the Holy ground.
Together we will overcome the suffering and the fear
May life return to normal and may your presence be close and near.
Such is the great value of life and yet through neglect and wanton incompetence so many good beautiful people have died because of Coronavirus. They could indeed have been saved but government officials were to slow to respond and react to order immediate lock-downs and provide testing kits and protective gear for the medics. Their first duty is to protect the people. Hundreds of doctors and nurses have given their lives to help and protect the sick and heal them but fell victims of the deadly virus.
Many families have lost their loving parents and to be young and alone without parents is a traumatic experience. The thousands or so children locked inside the Philippines’ children’s jails and youth detention centers, called Bahay Pagasa (House of Hope) have no hope for freedom or a better life. They are arrested and jailed without evidence, trial or hearing for no crime but for breaking curfew or taking food because they were hungry. They suffer imprisonment and physical and sexual abuse in filthy disease-ridden cells behind bars. Now the threat of Coronavirus is waiting on the doorstep and there will be no escape from it. These are the children that we are campaigning for to be released to the parents if they have any alive or to the NGOs that care for such abandoned children.
Added to this long-term, hopeless lock-down is the misery of not seeing their parents. Without a mother’s love children are distraught, lonely and damaged for life. These children long for their mother’s care, support and embrace. Some are as young as 10 to 15 and are victims of abuse inside the jail cells.
Recently, we were able to coordinate with Fresh Start Media in the UK in the making of a FYI report for Skynews children’s channel on the situation of the Filipino children in jails. The impact of the report is that it is presented by children for children. The TV report will surely awaken and release all the more the goodness and compassion that we believe lies buried in the hearts of the Philippine politicians responsible for the children. They will see the truth and reality for the first time when they view this story. We can all help to bring this truth to their attention by sending the link to the Mayors of Metro Manila: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_96Du7MWaE
People ask what can I do to help? Here is a draft letter of appeal that any reader can copy and reword and send in an email to the officials. “Dear. . . There are hundreds of children in jail cells behind bars in overcrowded Bahay Pagasa and Youth Detention Centres suffering hardship and deprivation and in danger of the Coronavirus. We appeal to you to instruct your local social worker to release those children 15 years and younger to the custody of their parents or competent NGOs that will care for them in safety. Please view the video report at this link that shows the situation in some government facilities. Urgent action is needed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_96Du7MWaE
To any of the good active mayors:
Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan , Philippines, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, Philippines, email@example.com
Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, Philippines, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pasig City Mayor Victor Ma. Reghis Sotto, Philippines, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
They are surely good people and strong leaders willing and able to help the children. They need your support and concern to do good. You can do your share to help the children by joining the campaign “Free the Children Now.”