MANILA, Sept. 11, 2015— As the country reels from the effects of the worst drought in two decades, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has urged Catholics to turn to prayer.
The cardinal on Friday issued a mandatory prayer and urged priests to lead the faithful in praying for rain.
In Archdiocese of Manila, parishes started praying the “oratio imperata for the impending drought” last Sunday, Sept. 6.
Appealing to God’s mercy
“This impending situation brings us to the brink of helplessness, but not hopelessness, as we turn to God our Father, to turn His mercy on us and shorten the life of El Niño and bring down the rain to avert the crisis,” said Tagle.
“Let us together storm heavens with our supplications, that God’s mercy be upon us and avert the disaster that a prolonged and intense El Niño threatens us,” he said.
Aside from asking for His compassion and mercy, the cardinal said the faithful should also ask for forgiveness in neglecting their responsibility of caring for the environment.
“In praying to Him for His compassion and benevolence, we also seek His forgiveness for our ecological sins—our neglect and abuse of the environment, our ‘throw-away’ culture, and our failures as stewards of His creation,” Tagle said.
According to him, the oratio imperata should be prayed kneeling after Communion, and before the Post-Communion Prayer.
Two prayer intentions
He also ordered the insertion of two intentions into the daily and Sunday Prayer of the Faithful of the Mass.
“Lord, stay the hand of El Niño so that the drought it brings would not come and we will not have damage to our lands and crops and shortage in our power supply, we pray…
Lord, forgive us our many ecological sins that have brought so much anguish to our mother earth, give us the grace to be wise and conscientious stewards of your creation, so that all may be given life and spirit, we pray…”
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration has warned the public of an intensified effect of the El Niño starting this month.
The dry spell, the state weather bureau said, could affect as many as 79 provinces, which will experience “below normal” amounts of rainfall.
The weather phenomenon, it added, can impact crops and also threatens water supply in Metro Manila. (R. Lagarde / CBCPNews)