In case you are wondering about the title it is a sincere prayer to the Lord. I have what is known as faith and I believe in God and his Son Jesus Christ. I try to abide by Christian values and often fail to do so. I still try though. I believe in the loving nature of Jesus and his teachings – not for me all that fundamental Old Testament stuff. Fundamentalism is the root of so many evils in our world today. I have faith for many reasons. I can sense a spiritual well being in my soul when I reflect inwardly. I feel an inner peace. I was also inspired to faith by people I have known and still know. My grandmother was one such special source of inspiration. A person who I used to be very close to was another source of my faith. Probably above all was my experience in Lourdes, France some years ago when I received the Sacrament of the Sick. This sacrament is not solely for the afflicted but is also available to those, like me at the time, that are troubled with worries connected with caring for a sick person.

That sacrament led to a wonderful experience for me. I was touched by the Holy Spirit and felt cleansed. My soul was taken back to my time as a baby and I was renewed in spirit and soul. I have no idea how long this experience lasted, I only know it has left an indelible mark not only on my personae but my whole being both physical and spiritual.

Please do not read anything in to these comments. Like all others, I suffer human frailties and my fault lines run deep. I have done some things in my life that I am ashamed of. I am also not keen on ‘Bible-basher’ types so I hope you don’t see me as one of those either. I’m just an ordinary guy enjoying life and at peace with myself and the Lord.

The following is what drove me to write this post. I was sat alone earlier today with just my thoughts and a morning coffee for company. I looked at my lettuce that I am nurturing and the other plants that form part of my new roof top terrace garden. I was aware the bright blue sky and the warmth of the early Sun. I heard the birds singing and felt at one with nature. A white butterfly floated past me to remind me about the wonder of nature.

My thoughts then turned to my life now in retirement in the Philippines. I am so blessed to have Zabrina in my life. She makes it possible for me to have a peace of mind. She has created an environment where I can work at my writing. Zabrina is a caring and a very honest person. She also, like many in the Philippines, has faith. Two added bonuses are that she is a very good cook and makes me laugh! She is also a very good mother to two great boys.

As I said, Zabrina possesses faith and like the majority of the population here she would say she is Roman Catholic. The apostolic visit of the present Pope to this archipelago brought out the fervent crowds and spread happiness throughout the country. The Philippines has been touched by many natural disasters. Pope Francis visited Tacloban on his apostolic visit earlier in 2015. Tacloban was one of the places worst affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

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He also had some things to say about corruption in the Philippines. I refrain from further comment on that subject as it is best left to Filipinos to write about and expose.

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This country is full of contradictions. Many people including Filipinos describe it as a third world country. I know what they mean but I don’t fully agree. Yes you are able to witness the luxury cars and Beverly Hills style homes in exclusive sub divisions in Manila. They sit cheek by jowl alongside the homeless and penniless. It is only a third world country because of infrastructure deficiencies. The communications industry and all the other public utility companies need a massive shake up to improve upon delivery and quality of service. I am given to understand that the finances to achieve this are in place but obviously the will is not. It is a pity, as with improved infrastructure comes investment; that creates jobs and thus improves the lifestyles of the hard working people of this beautiful country.

No country is perfect. I have no complaints about my life here. I am surrounded by love, companionship and the infectious fun of all my Filipino friends.

With that I return to my prayer – Please Dear Lord don’t let me die today!

Acknowledgement for the Pope Francis images.