Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Prayer for Rain

In a number of earlier posts, I've mentioned the drought currently ravaging many areas of the Philippines. In the province where we live, Negros Oriental, April is typically the driest month of the year. This month has been especially dry, thanks to El Niño, which many are saying is being made worse by the increase in global temperatures.

This past Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 (Fourth Sunday of Easter) was Good Shepherd Sunday. Many of the priest's remarks dealt with our responsibility to be "good shepherds" by taking care of the environment. A final prayer after Mass focused on our failure to take care of the home God has given us. It was stated that the prayer came from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find a copy of the prayer. Part of the prayer made reference to mankind disobeying God by cutting down trees. I was shaking my head at that. Over cutting of trees and deforestation is sinful, but there should have been a distinction made between deforestation and the proper use of lumber.

In another section of the prayer, it was stated that El Niño was brought on by human activity. I'll admit that El Niño could be worsened by Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), but El Niño is a natural phenomenon. It isn't productive to exaggerate mankind's involvement in the creation of El Niño.

At The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news website, a prayer for rain vs El Niño issued by the CBCP was published online. The "Oratio Imperata" for rain was released by the CBCP Secretariat for consideration of the dioceses because only bishops can mandate prayers in their respective pastoral jurisdictions.

Nowhere in the "Oratio Imperata" was mankind mentioned as the cause of El Niño.

The English version of the prayer issued by the CBCP can be found at the above link, but I will include it in this post as well:

“Most Gracious and Most Merciful God,
Creator, Source and Giver of all things,
Most powerful in heaven and on earth,
We give You honor and glory.”
“We thank You
For our home – the earth;
For our light – the sun, moon and stars;
For our solace – our family and friends, our community, our neighbors.”
“United as Your children, we come to You, pleading,
Shower us with rain, provide us with water that we need.
Father, Your children are begging to survive,
Hear us, we desire to live.”
“Prolonged drought is depriving us of the fruits of our toil;
Low water supply means hunger and thirst for most of us;
El Niño continues to threaten our relationship with one another.
O Lord, this is a very hostile phenomenon that we beg for You to end.”
“At this time of looming catastrophe, dear Lord, dwell in our hearts.
Teach us to be more generous; bring out the best in us;
Turn our eyes and ears toward the needs of others, especially the poor.
Move us to share more, care more, serve more and love more.”
“Holy God, You sanctify this earth to be our sacred abode.
Grant us courage to take in hand the sufferings of the environment;
Grant us might to save and protect the beauty of nature.
Grant us wisdom to restore whatever we have destroyed.”
“O Loving God, behold on us, Your beloved children
Feel us, feel for us;
Let heaven cry and its tears be our blessed rain.
Have mercy on us Lord, have mercy.”
“We beg you,
Most Gracious and Merciful God,
Please, let it rain.

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