The department of Pyrénées-Orientales has been suffering from an unprecedented drought for several months, which is hurting crops. A farmer remembered that in May 1896, after long weeks of drought, the peasants around Perpignan had appealed to the bishop to ask him to prescribe “public prayers to obtain the benefits of rain “. A request to which the prelate had responded favorably, rejoicing that his flock had “remembered the Christian practices of their ancestors”. Prayers and processions had been organized and the relics of Saint Gauderique had been exhibited in the cathedral. This Saturday, March 18, the diocese of Perpignan will therefore reconnect with this ancestral tradition by organizing a procession around the relics of the patron saint of Catalan farmers to ask for rain.
This may give rise to laughter… But this neglects the power of the prayer of petition and forgets that the liturgy foresees prayers for the various circumstances of life, of joy or suffering, including the lack of rain: “God, to whom we owe to be born, to live, and to grow, we depend on you in all things: grant us the rains that we need, so that, being reassured for the fruits of the earth, we can better seek the goods of eternity. »
To pray with such words is to ask more than rain for the earth. It is above all asking God to let the generous rain of his grace fall on our interior lands which need to be irrigated. To be comforted in our ability to rely totally on him and to be more attentive to the blessings he already fills us with, when we often live like ungrateful people. Praying for rain, and many other things, is a way of showing our trust in the one who is at the origin of everything and who knows, even before we ask him, what we need.
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