Metro Manila, the capital and the heart of the Philippines, is facing a double threat nowadays with the threat of The Big One – the predicted magnitude max-7.2 earthquake along the Valley Fault Line System – as well as the numerous tropical storms coming our way thanks to the start of the (promising-to-be-intense) southwest monsoon this year. While we do all we can to prepare for them – if at all – we must never forget the most important preparation of all.
That said, the Roman Catholic Church has a practice called Oratio Imperata – Latin for “obligatory prayer”. It is a community prayer said – with authority from a higher clergyman – in times of grave need or calamity. We have been saying it in our church for some time now, before the end of a Mass.
I repost here the text of the Oratio Imperata in times of calamities, deluge, and pestilence, as taken from the ubiquitous Filipino Catholic prayer book Straight from the Heart: A Prayer Companion, compiled by the Rev. Fr. Mario Jose C. Ladra. I invite you to pray it in your hearts and ask for God’s favor on us all. Emphases and re-paragraphing are mine.
Almighty Father, we raise our hearts to You in gratitude for the wonders of creation of which we are part, for Your providence in sustaining us in our needs, and for Your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.
We acknowledge our sins against You and the rest of creation. We have not been good stewards of Nature. We have confused Your command to subdue the earth.
The environment is made to suffer by our wrongdoing, and now we reap the harvest of our abuse and indifference. Global warming is upon us. Typhoons, floods, volcanic eruptions, and other natural calamities occur in increasing number and intensity.
We turn to You, our loving Father, and beg forgiveness for our sins. We ask that we, our loved ones and our hard-earned possessions, be spared from the threat of calamities, natural and manmade. We beseech You to inspire us all to grow into responsible stewards of Your creation, and generous neighbors to those in need.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Featured Image by NASA. Taken from its Hurricane Web Page here.