I think it is in the Max Ehrmann poem Desiderata where he says, “therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.” There are 7 billion people in the world, all with their own dreams and wishes; each praying to their gods as dictated by their beliefs. Some believe in no god, and yet in their hearts are whispers of their hopes and aspirations.
I was raised Catholic. Born in the Philippines, an almost 80% Catholic country, I grew up believing in all things that came with this faith. So during our most recent trip out of the States in November of last year, it felt almost surreal to be stepping foot at what was believed to have been the Virgin Mary’s House.
In Catholic school growing up, every October we used to have rosary month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and I remember saying a lot of Hail Mary’s, with “pray for us” being one of the things we said to her in our prayers, over and over. This was what was going through my mind as I saw the Wall of Wishes, thousands of scraps of paper left by visitors who wrote their wishes, asking the Virgin Mother to pray for them.
What do people ask for in their most silent prayers? In their simplest form, don’t we all wish for the same things, amidst all our differences aren’t our hearts’ desires at their very core very much the same?
Footnote to a post: As I got older and got to learn to form my own beliefs, breaking away from the Catholic school girl — I can say that I, like most people am in search of what’s real. I do believe in the goodness in people, in love, that there is one great thing that binds us all, perhaps I am working towards spirituality than religion; and try my absolute hardest to respect those who believe in something greater than themselves, different they may be from what the other holds true, for it’s better to believe in something than nothing at all.