Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Be their rock when the earth refuses to stand still...

In the wake of the Haiti Earthquake last January, Diana Macalintal - a colleague of mine from our work with the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, wrote a beautiful prayer. Like a master painter, she used scriptural allusions like so many brushstrokes upon a canvas. Little did she know that a year later, and half a world away, those words would be used to call upon God to comfort those affected by another tragedy.

According to ElesiProductions's (The producer of the video below) YouTube Channel, "The Arch Bishop of Wellington [New Zealand] had sent out a letter to be read out during the liturgy which included a prayer titled "A Prayer After The Earthquake" by Diana Macalintal."

Take a moment (or four) to join your voice in prayer with all those who continue to recover - be it in Haiti, New Zealand, or wherever the "earth refuses to stand still and ... homes no longer exist." Then, take a moment to join with me as I give thanks for people like Diana who give us the words to say when there are no words to say.

A Prayer After the Earthquake in Haiti

Lord, at times such as this,
when we realize that the ground beneath our feet
is not as solid as we had imagined,
we plead for your mercy.

As the things we have built crumble about us,
we know too well how small we truly are
on this ever-changing, ever-moving,
fragile planet we call home.
Yet you have promised never to forget us.

Do not forget us now.

Today, so many people are afraid.
They wait in fear of the next tremor.
They hear the cries of the injured amid the rubble.
They roam the streets in shock at what they see.
And they fill the dusty air with wails of grief
and the names of missing dead.

Comfort them, Lord, in this disaster.
Be their rock when the earth refuses to stand still,
and shelter them under your wings when homes no longer exist.

Embrace in your arms those who died so suddenly this day.
Console the hearts of those who mourn,
and ease the pain of bodies on the brink of death.

Pierce, too, our hearts with compassion,
we who watch from afar,
as the poorest on this side of the earth
find only misery upon misery.
Move us to act swiftly this day,
to give generously every day,
to work for justice always,
and to pray unceasingly for those without hope.

And once the shaking has ceased,
the images of destruction have stopped filling the news,
and our thoughts return to life’s daily rumblings,
let us not forget that we are all your children
and they, our brothers and sisters.
We are all the work of your hands.

For though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be tossed to the ground,
your love shall never leave us,
and your promise of peace will never be shaken.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Blessed be the name of the Lord,
now and forever. Amen.

Copyright © 2010, Diana Macalintal. Permission is given to reprint for non-commercial use.

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