Creator of the heavens and the earth,
help me to understand and put into perspective the terrifying
tragedies, sufferings and deaths
by natural disasters.
do not believe, as people did in times past, that these
calamities are brought down
on particular countries or communities
as divine vengeance against
Sodom and Gomorrahs.
Rather I see them as reminders
to all God's people of Your power,
Your wrath against general sins of the world and Your
admonition that we not lay up
for ourselves treasures here on earth,
where the thief breaks in
and the moth consumes.
Let me always
pray, dear God,
for the people affected by these blows
of Nature, and let me be quick
to offer what aid and succor I can.
Let me understand these seemingly heartless
and inscrutable events in the perspective
of eternity. Those who suffer and those
who die, may merit eternal life
through the particular salvific merit
of having endured and triumphed over these tragedies,
while remaining faithful to You.
Let me not blame some cruel or wrathful deity for I know
that You love all your creatures, while Your ways, Lord,
and cannot be fully comprehended by me
in this mortal life.
can see that in time the fires are quenched, the floods
recede, the shaken buildings are repaired and the plagues
and long-suffering illnesses come to an end.
I am confident that all sorrows will be easily forgotten
if eternal happiness
Help me then,
Lord of the Universe,
to accept with grace the trials
of my own life as well as the abundant blessings You have
bestowed on me.
I know that ultimately
all of us are always in Your constant loving care.
We will trust.
We will carry on.
One of the most memorable photographs
I remember from a flood not so long ago
in New Orleans was of an elderly smiling volunteer: She
was passing out groceries
at a Red Cross station, although, her home had just been
destroyed by the waters.
Help me have her resilience, her confidence, her charity,
and her faith.
I believe, oh Lord. Help me in my unbelief!
2011 - Donn B. Murphy
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