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 and 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.
God, You are the One 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 again 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,
from the sobbing and 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
their 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.
Rose Marie Berger
Note from the author: Please support the people of Haiti who have suffered a devastating earthquake with your prayers and donations. We owe them a debt of gratitude. I recommend Catholic Relief Services and the Mennonite Central Committee, both of whom have a long history in Haiti.
Rose Marie Berger, an associate editor at Sojourners magazine, is a Catholic peace activist and poet.