The Deacon's Bench

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The prayer below was sent to me by a friend. It was composed by Rose Marie Berger, who writes in Sojourners magazine. — Dcn. G.

Most Holy Creator God, Lord of heaven and earth,
we bring before you today your people of Haiti.

It is you who set in motion the stars and seas, you who
raised up the mountains of the Massif de la Hotte and Pic La Selle.

It is you who made her people in your very image:
Their gregarious hearts, generous spirits,
their hunger and thirst for righteousness and liberty.

It is you, O Lord, who planted the rhythms of konpa, Twoubadou,
and zouk in the streets of Cite-Soleil. You who walk the paths
outside of Jacmel and Hinche. Your people, O Lord, cry out to you.

Haiti, O Haiti: the world’s oldest black republic,
the second-oldest republic in the Western world.

You are a God who answers the cries of the suffering.

You are a God who sees, frees, and redeems your people.

“I too have heard the moaning of my people,” you spoke to Moses.
Now, Lord, speak to Chanté, Agwe, Nadege, and Jean Joseph.
Speak now, O Lord, and comfort Antoine, Jean-Baptiste,
Toto, and Djakout. Raise up your people from the ash heap
of destruction and give them strong hearts and hands,
shore up their minds and spirits. Help them to bear this new burden.

As for us, Lord, we who are far away from the rubble and the dust,
the sobbing and the moans, but who hold them close in our hearts,
imbue us with the strength of Simon the Cyrene.

Help us to carry the Haitian cross; show us how to lighten the yoke
with our prayers, our aid, our resources.

Teach us to work harder for justice in our own country and dignity in Haiti,
so that we may stand with integrity when we hold our Haitian families in our arms once again.

We ask this in the name of Jezikri, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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