Bishops in Prayer (CBCPNews File Photo)

Bishops in Prayer (CBCPNews File Photo)

MANILA, Feb. 23, 2015–As the country is still reeling from the Mamasapano clash, the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) released a prayer for peace.

The “Oratio Imperata for Peace” was issued on Monday, and will be distributed to dioceses and parishes nationwide.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP President, said the situation, not just of the country but of the world, now calls on all bishops “to turn to the Lord in humble supplication and gather our people to pray”.

“As the nation continues to grieve over the tragedy in Mamasapano and the family of nations is threatened by war and terror from extremist groups, our best contribution to the nation and to the world is to encourage people to pray,” Villegas said in a letter to the all the ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the Philippines.

While the sole prerogative of issuing an Oratio Imperata is of the individual dioceses, the CBCP head requested that bishops issue such prayer and gave a proposed formulary of the prayer to be prayed from March 1 to March 28, 2015 before the post-communion prayer in every Mass.

The whole text of the prayer is as follows:

Oratio Imperata for Peace

Lord of Peace, we come to You in our need
Create in us an awareness
of the massive forces of violence and terrorism
that threaten our world today.

Grant us a sense of urgency
to activate the forces of goodness, of justice,
of love and of peace in our communities.

Where there is armed conflict,
let us stretch out our arms to our
brothers and sisters.

Where there is abundance and luxury,
let there be simple lifestyle and sharing.

Where there is poverty and misery,
let there be dignified living and constant striving for just structures.

Where there is selfish ambition, let there be humble service.
Where there is injustice, let there be humble atonement.
Where there is despair, let there be hope in the Good News.
Where there are wounds of division, let there be unity and wholeness.
Where there are lies and deceit, let your Truth set us all of us free.
Where there are thoughts of vengeance, let there be healing and forgiveness.

Help us to be committed to the Gospel of peace.
In spite of our differences in faith traditions and ethnic roots,
Teach us Your spirit of mercy and compassion.

For it is only in loving imitation of you, Lord of Peace,
that we can discover the healing springs of life
that will bring about new birth to our earth
a new era of peace
and a new harmony among all
Forever and ever. Amen.

“I respectfully propose that we the bishops of the Philippines encourage our people to pray the following Oratio Imperata for Peace. Hopefully this prayer can calm the anxieties of our long suffering people and touch the hearts of the enemies of peace,” Villegas said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)