Remembering Haiti and Victims of Other Natural Disasters (2013)

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On Jan. 12, 2010, people of the world turned their eyes to Haiti, one of the world's poorest countries. In disbelief, we listened to reports of the devastating earthquake and the increasing death toll. We saw the devastation, we heard the cries of the Haitian people and we felt their suffering — suffering that has not ended. Today, let us reflect on not only the Haitian people, but also, the victims of all natural disasters whose suffering continues long after the immediate shock of the event has passed.

God tells us that even in times of complete despair, God is present in our suffering and offers hope for the future. With this promise, we ask God to give all victims of natural disasters the strength to continue onward with faith in God's loving protection. We also ask for strength for those persons who offer victims and these devastated communities hope and help.

A Prayer for all Haitians: Gracious father, be with our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Comfort them with your presence. Help those who have lost hope and feel abandoned to know that you are with them. Help those who continue to struggle with the loss of family and friends as they work to rebuild their lives. Most of all, help the worldwide community remember that the Haitian people continue to need our love and prayers today and in the future.

Quietly pause for a moment of reflection on the people of Haiti.

A Prayer for Haiti's Continued Aid: God of healing, watch over the men and women who continue to work for Haiti's reconstruction today. There is still a great amount of work to be done. You work through the gifted men and women who, tirelessly, stand as examples of the hope you promise. We ask for your continued protection of the Haitian people, who with their international partners, are working to strengthen Haiti's health system, rebuild homes, cure disease and create safe and clean environments. We also pray for the leaders of Haiti. May you give them the courage to make decisions that are beneficial for the Haitian community and guided by a conviction of love.

Quietly pause to reflect on all those involved in the rebuilding of Haiti.

A Prayer for Victims of all Natural Disasters: God of all Creation, as we reflect on the Haitian earthquake, please bless all those affected by natural disaster. Help each victim to have eyes that see progress, strength to start each day and find comfort in times of loneliness and peace in your presence. Please also bless those who, like the foundresses and founders of Catholic health care, see the needs of the communities affected, and respond.

Quietly pause to reflect on all the victims of natural disasters.

May we all be signs of God's presence in our world today.


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