Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on August 25, 2017. Since that day, more than forty inches of water have flooded southeast Texas – and weather forecasters predict that fifty inches of rain will fall before the storm is finished. At least thirty people have died in the wake of the tropical storm, and many more are stranded as the flood waters continue to rise.
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, is calling the storm “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced.” So what can we do to help our brothers and sisters in Texas who are threatened by Hurricane Harvey, and face an incredible amount of recovery after the storm passes?
You can find a list of legitimate organizations who are collecting donations to the relief effort here. But we cannot forget to pray for those affected by this storm. Prayer is not a last resort effort; it’s the first and most effective response when tragedy strikes. Here is a prayer for those affected by Hurricane Harvey:
O God, Master of this passing world,
hear the humble voices of your children.
The Sea of Galilee obeyed Your order
and returned to its former quietude.
You are still the Master of land and sea.
We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control:
the Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant,
can awake from its seeming lethargy,
overstep its conventional boundaries,
invade our land, and spread chaos and disaster.
During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving Father.
Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid
and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with passing of time.
O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our beloved Mother, we ask you
to plead with your Son on our behalf,
so that spared from the calamities common to this area
and animated with a true spirit of gratitude,
we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son
to reach the heavenly Jerusalem,
where a storm-less eternity awaits us. Amen.
[Composed by Most Rev. Maurice Schexnayder (1895-1981),
Second Bishop of Lafayette (1956-1973), following Hurricane Audrey in 1957]