We share the following prayer against disasters in view of the recent events in Japan, China, and New Zealand, which brought death and misery to thousands of our fellow human beings… (The following is reposted with modifications from our earlier post “Prayer for Disaster Victims; Against Calamities“.)
We share the following prayer against disasters/calamities in view of the recent disasters in Japan, China, New Zealand, which brought death and misery to thousands of our fellow human beings, and in obedience to Pope Benedict XVI’s call to pray for the victims. The prayer had been ordained by a Christian community after the loss of life caused by tropical storm Ondoy/Ketsana in northern Philippines*, and is text is reproduced thus from the weblog of Pinoy Catholic:
Oh God our Father:
In faith we acknowledge Your paternal care over us, Your sons, daughters and children. In hope we trust in Your divine providence of giving us wisdom and courage as we face the challenges in life. In love we invoke Your help and guidance during these difficult days of death and destruction in our dear country.
Our is a prayer of thanksgiving for once again reminding us that ours is an imperfect world, that heaven is not on earth, and that nature every now and then tells us not to abuse her. Ours too is a prayer of repentance for calling upon You when we are in need and desperation but forgetting You in favourable times and pleasing occasions. Ours as well is a prayer of petition as we say:
Grant eternal peace to those who lost their lives. Embrace the children who died in their innocence. Help those who are hurt and cure those who are sick.
Encourage those who suffer the destruction of their homes and properties, and to once again stand up and rebuild their future.
Bless all those who extend their helping hands to those in need of food, shelter and clothing, who share their time, talents and resources with others.
Inspire more people to be men and women for their neighbors, convinced that the more they are for others, the taller they stand before you.
Spare us please from other natural disasters and devastations if this be according to Your will and for our own spiritual good and growth.
[Through Christ our Lord. Amen]
As quoted by the Catholic News Service, the bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI, has called thus for prayers and for solidarity with the victims:
“May the bereaved and injured be comforted and may the rescue workers be strengthened in their efforts to assist the courageous Japanese people… I want to renew my spiritual closeness to that country’s dear people, who with dignity and courage are dealing with the consequences of the calamity. I pray for the victims and their families and for all who are suffering because of these terrible events. I encourage all those who, with laudable speed, are working to bring help. Let us remain united in prayer.”
Therefore, let us all pray for the victims of the disasters in Japan, China, and New Zealand, and for the brave men and women who are helping them, particularly the fifty anonymous heroes who struggled for days amid fluctuating radiation levels to stop the ongoing nuclear malfunction in Japan. Let us pray that the nuclear malfunction may end without further casualties; and let us do so in faith, for, as the angel assured our Blessed Mother, “with God nothing is impossible” (St. Luke 1:37). And let us not forget to pray for the victims when we assist in the most holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where Christ becomes truly present to unite us to Himself as one body, and where our prayers are united in the offering of His love.
Let us also give what aid we can to those who lost family and friends, especially the newly orphaned children, those whose homes and means of livelihood were destroyed, and those who are even now in danger from new threats. Already the Pope has given aid through the Japanese bishops’ conference, despite the Roman see’s own dependence on (essentially uncertain) donations and its years-long budget deficit, joined by Christians throughout Asia. As members of the one true Church, baptized into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), we are called in grace to love as Christ loved us (St. John 13:34), and to aid the needy through whom we serve our suffering Lord (St. Matthew 25:31–46).
May God bless us all.
*Background on the prayer: The outgoing Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop enjoined his flock to pray this oratio imperata for the victims of the Ondoy/Ketsana disaster. ‘Oratio imperata’ literally means an ‘ordained/commanded prayer’ (from the Latin oratio, ‘prayer’ and imperare, ‘to command’); in the usage of the one true Church (cf. Catholic Culture, citing John A. Hardon, S.J.), an oratio imperata is a special prayer, not otherwise included in the liturgy, that the Pope or the local ordinary may direct to be said at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is therefore not an official prayer of the one true Church, except in the diocese or eparchy where its praying is ordained by the bishop, but it remains a prayer of faith, especially when Christians offer it together.