I was just searching through YouTube for a song that was sung during our Church wedding and I came across two old favorites of mine. These are both songs sung by the Bukas Palad Ministry (BPM), a Catholic group in the Philippines that composes and performs religious songs. I'm not sure how accurate I am in saying this, but to my knowledge, the BPM has Jesuit roots and are associated with the Ateneo de Manila University.
I was so pleased to find this YouTube video of Anima Christi (Soul of Christ).
We sang this in highschool during our school masses and since then, I've memorized the words. Then in college, since I joined a Catholic student organization, I was once again 'reunited' with this song. Beyond all the memories it triggers, Anima Christi will always have a special place in my heart merely because the words are so touching and indeed give you all that you may need in a beautiful prayer. For me, it speaks of hope and strength...hope in our salvation, hope that can be found only in and through Christ; and the strength that any sinner desperately needs and thirsts for.
I have to admit though, that there is one other religious song that truly touches my soul like no other. It's called 'Panalangin sa Pagiging Bukas Palad' (Prayer for Generosity).
Every single time I listen to this song and sing with it, it gives me serious goose bumps at first and then eventually brings me to tears. And that's not an exaggeration. There's something about this song that pierces through me and if I were to choose just one prayer, I would choose this in a heartbeat.
Perhaps the reason I get so emotional with this song, this prayer, is because this is my 'calling'. I've been praying and praying and waiting for God to help me figure out my calling in life, to lead me to that which will truly enrich my soul. I've probably spent close to two decades now trying to solve this puzzle, not knowing that the Lord has long answered me. I was just too focused on getting the answer a certain way, in a certain form. Who knew that it would not be anything specific in terms of a certain job or line of work, but instead be about the spirit of the endeavor, that is, generosity or giving. As the song goes, "teach me to be generous, to give unconditionally, without expectation of any return, to give justly, to serve and find fulfillment in knowing that I am serving You."
I have the desire to help. I see the need to offer what I have which others may need. A lot of times though, I'm frustrated for not being able to give more because I don't have much myself. However, those are also times when I need this prayer, this song, the most....to remind myself that it need not be anything material; that generosity transcends the tangible; and that we are ALWAYS capable of giving MORE than what we think we are capable of.
This is why I love this song so much. Because it reminds me that though the number of people in the world needing help and generosity may be overwhelming, our capacity to give, with the grace of God, is also infinite.
Each of us are called. We only need to respond.