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.
“Do not be troubled if you do not immediately receive from God what you ask him; for he desires to do something even greater for you, while you cling to him in prayer.”
Evagrius Ponticus, De oratione 34:PG 79,1173 (ref. CCC 2737).
Many are distressed by the situation in Japan, and in a slowly growing way, beginning to worry if such a disaster may be only the first of many. There is growing fear and anxiety of the unknown. To one of my followers on Twitter, I shared:
“I think you share the concern of many who have been shocked by the happenings in Japan. But there is something stronger; more awesome than the power of nature that awaits us. The Lord’s love – this is His greatest power. And it waits for us. Let us trust in Him.”
For this reason, so we might place our hope anew in God, I am posting this candle, waiting for you to light it, and offer your concerns for whatever is on your heart. Clicking on the candle will direct you to gratefulness.org prayer page. Just follow the instructions, and take a moment in prayer.
Behold me, my beloved Jesus,
weighed down under the burden of my trials and sufferings,
I cast myself at Your feet,
that You may renew my strength and my courage,
while I rest here in Your Presence.
Permit me to lay down my cross in Your Sacred Heart,
for only Your infinite goodness can sustain me;
only Your love can help me bear my cross;
only Your powerful hand can lighten its weight.
O Divine King, Jesus,
whose heart is so compassionate to the afflicted,
I wish to live in You;
suffer and die in You.
During my life be to me my model and my support;
At the hour of my death,
be my hope and my refuge.
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.