At Catholic Vote I saw an entry about how the bishops of California are praying for rain. It’s pretty dry out out there on the Left Coast.
SACRAMENTO Catholic bishops called for divine intervention Tuesday as California endures what appears to be its third straight dry winter.
The California Conference of Catholic Bishops asked people of all faiths to join in prayers for rain as reservoirs in the state dipped to historic lows after one of the driest calendar years on record.
Some cities already are restricting water use, while prospects for another dry summer have raised alarm about agriculture and wildfires.
The first Sierra Nevada snow survey of the winter last week found the water content in the statewide snowpack to be just 20 percent of average for this time of year. Without relief, state water managers said they will be able to deliver just 5 percent of the water sought by agencies that supply more than 25 million Californians and nearly a million acres of irrigated farmland.
Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto, president of the bishops conference, suggested a prayer for God to “open the heavens and let His mercy rain down upon our fields and mountains.”
I don’t know about asking “people of all faiths” to pray for rain, but I do know that in the Rituale Romanum there are prayers for same. In the older Missale Romanum there are prayers for rain.
God, in whom we live and move and have our being, grant us rain in plenty, so that as we amply experience your gifts of the present time we may all the more confidently desire those of eternity.
Grant, we beg you, almighty God, that we who put our trust in you in this affliction may ever be shielded from all adversities.
Lord, give us, we pray, a plentiful rainfall, and graciously pour out on the parched earth moisture from the heavenly vaults; through Christ our Lord.
Let the bishops of California organize public processions to pray for rain.
And don’t just make it up: use the Church’s time honored rites! They have already been composed. Just Say The Black and Do The Red.
In the older Missale Romanum there are prayers to be used in Mass to beg for rain, Ad petendam pluviam. Here’s the Post Communion: Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine, pluviam salutarem: et arideam terrae faciem fluentis caelestibus dignanter infunde. (Yes, I know that there are also prayers in the newer, Novus Ordo book. I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday. I say: Use the older books!)
Were I a diocesan bishop I would bring back the custom of the Oratio Imperata, obligatory prayers to be added to Mass having specific petitions in time of great need. Time of drought was such an occasion.
Let us not fall into the trap being set for us by the secularist and liberal enemies of religion in the public square and, more specifically and virulently, of the Catholic Church.
Sure, ask people to pray for rain. That’s nice and private. Ask them even to pray together in churches. That’s okay. What more? Take it to the streets. Take it to the fields, as our forbears did. Watch the public groundswell that follows. Your Excellencies, in California, with your large Hispanic population dependent on the growth of crops, wouldn’t there be a turn out in vast numbers with you on the highways and byways?
Do it the old way. And make a little lío while you’re at it.