Many Parishes in the US had a second collection this weekend (and/or last weekend) to aid Catholic Relief efforts in Japan. May the Lord bless all those who are helping relief efforts through donations.
Lord, watch over our brothers and sisters of Japan as they cling to life, and fight the anxiety of aftershocks and potential nuclear fallout. Grant them the grace of Your Presence so that their wounds may begin to heal. In Your mercy, hear us, O Lord.
Naturally, many of us have been raising our prayers for the people of Japan so severely hit by earthquake, tsunami, aftershocks, potential nuclear disaster, and now an erupting volcano. It is not a time of festivity, as this Japanese doll suggests. It is a time of solidarity with the suffering. This photo was sent to me from one of our Sisters in Japan, after her return there some years ago. I post it as a reminder of hope, that again the Japanese people may have their mourning turned into dancing (Psalm 30):
“I praise you, LORD, for you raised me up and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, my God, I cried out to you and you healed me.
LORD, you brought me up from Sheol; you kept me from going down to the pit.
Sing praise to the LORD, you faithful; give thanks to God’s holy name.
For divine anger lasts but a moment; divine favor lasts a lifetime. At dusk weeping comes for the night; but at dawn there is rejoicing.
Complacent, I once said, “I shall never be shaken.” LORD, when you showed me favor I stood like the mighty mountains. But when you hid your face I was struck with terror.
To you, LORD, I cried out; with the Lord I pleaded for mercy: “What gain is there from my lifeblood, from my going down to the grave? Does dust give you thanks or declare your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing; you took off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.
With my whole being I sing endless praise to you. O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.”
Our Sister’s houses in Japan are scattered from Tokyo to the south. With one in proximity to the latest volcano eruption. I sent a communication to the one who sent the photo of the Japanese doll, letting her know we are praying for them and the people they serve, since all of Japan is suffering. And so do others from around the world.
After Mass, I met a woman who is not yet sure about the whereabouts of her uncle, who was on one of the bullet trains at the time of the tsunami. She has not yet heard as to his safety. And so, I offer this page for prayer. Feel free to add a prayer for them in the comments section. And my community and I will be adding them to our evening prayer in our chapel.