This was something I wrote just before I left the Jesuits.

It’s a very special poem for me, not only because of the things I went through when I was writing the poem, but because in many ways, it is something that continues to be true for me today.

We journey through life thinking that we could stand on our own and we could make something of ourselves. And in so many ways that is true. The power of the prodigal son story for me is not in the fact that it is a story of reconciliation–that the son is sinful and decided to come back; but that the Father allowed the son to go away in the first place. This is a Father greater than all our issues, angst and ambitions. This is a Father so secure in Himself that he allows us to make something out of ourselves–even if it means forgetting Him in the process.

Even as we continue to journey life’s highways and byways, let’s not forget that the real and most important journey is the one we are making to find our True Selves. In a very real way, it is the only journey that counts. May we find ourselves Home.

The Prayer of the Prodigal Son

they all thought you were at home
just waiting.
but i got your message the other day-
the one that says you will be here for me-
and realized you knew where i was
and what i was doing.

you watched from a distance
as i wasted my life away.
you gave me time
and space
knowing perhaps that i had to be far from you
to know how precious you really are to me.

(if you had watched more closely
you would have seen our picture
at my bedside table.
i look at it every night
…and remember.)

please wait for me.
and this may take a long time
but i am here too
still on life’s byways and highways
looking for home
looking for you

looking for me.

(draft 3)

Check out the poem from the Elder Son: The Son Who Stayed


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Or if you have 10 minutes, you might want to pray today:

7 thoughts on “Prayer of the Prodigal Son

  1. Hi sir santillan, i dont know if you remember me, but i was a student of yours in CLF class in sacred heart – jesuits. I was researching for lessons and such about the prodigal son and this came up.. what a coincidence.. well i really loved the poem. Hope you’re doing great where ever you may be now!! God bless – Melissa Lu (melai)

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  2. Hello Sir, do you have any recent prayers/poems/inspirational reads? You have such good reads. Just curious, were you a Jesuit priest before? Thank you! God bless!

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  3. Pingback: The Son Who Stayed

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