Nov, 2018

Praying the “Our Father” as a Filipino Church

Dr. José M. de Mesa
An Abstract
For Christians, praying is a form of believing. No other prayer shows this than praying the Lord’s Prayer as church. The renewal ushered by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) is premised on rendering the Faith culturally intelligible (aggiornamento) coupled with a renewed fidelity to its sources (ad fontes). As an example, the presentation attends to a version of the “Ama Namin” (Our Father) found in the Doctrina Christiana of 1593, the first book printed in the Philippines. The text demonstrates the respect and sensitivity of the early Christian missionaries to the Filipino culture. One discovers in the text the listening-learning attitude of the pastoral agents which led to the explicit use of meaningful vocabulary and indigenous thought patterns.
The “Ama Namin” of 1593 has a part showing God’s unconditional love for us and a section presenting effects of God’s love and its challenges to us. As a whole, it highlights the primacy of divine initiative in the God-human relations, the use of the central and relation oriented Filipino notion of loob (the most authentic relational self), and its connection with familiar Filipino experiences related to rice, returning home, being together and mother. The indigenous text illustrates a meaningful articulation of Filipino faith experience, especially of prayer.

Dr. José M. de Mesa, PhD
      He is a married lay theologian, is a University Fellow at De La Salle University. His academic career includes deanship at Maryhill School of Theology, a resident professorship at the East Asian Pastoral Institute, and a full professorship at De La Salle University. He also served as the Visiting Luzbetak professor of Mission and Culture at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago from 2003-2013.
      Dr. de Mesa currently teaches systematic theology at the Inter-Congregational Theological Center (ICTC), the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies (IFRS) and Maryhill School of Theology (MST). He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.