January 2010

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.

(c) Rose Marie Berger (reprint freely)


This past week before Mother’s Day I was listening to the radioand I heard a local jewerly company’s radio ad. The announcer in a great, booming radio voice projects accross the airwaves… “And this Mother’s Day give her what she has always wanted, give her a Rolex.” A Rolex. Really? Now unless my mother is related to Snoop Dog, (which I can clearly attest that she isn’t), I don’t think a Rolex is really the gift for her.

I want to understand who the advertising execs were who crafted this fine Mother’s day slogan. Now advertising folks are no dummies. They know what sells. And I guess today Rolex for Mother’s day sells. Gone are the days of Mother’s wanting flowers, cards and breakfast in bed.

What does this scream about our culture? About our materialism? About our greed? When my mother is being tempted by a Rolex for her special day, what material tempation is knocking at my front door? What package will this world system take today to induce me into slumber?

Remember, today, there are children and people who are trapped alive in China. As I sit here in my comfortable coffee shop. There are people, real, actual people who are in rubble, dying, bleeding…

I know one thing… that they are not thinking of Rolex’s, they are thinking about living or dying.

Lord, help those people and help me to see the living and dying happening all around me.