Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina and God!

I am well aware as a beginning ‘blogger’ that many post daily and as well that it takes a long time to become a frequently visited blog.

That said I should also point out that as a priest-hermit the prime duty of the moment in my vocation is prayer.

So over these many days of the immense tragedy of Katrina and the aftermath prayer for the suffering people, for those seeking to save them and support them has occupied the bulk of my time.

At the same time something has been moving in my heart, forming itself into these reflections.

Some totally misguided persons of more than one religious tradition have tried to make this an active and punitive action of the All-loving and All-merciful God.

I am no scientist nor expert on disaster procedures and certainly aware God can, and in the past according to the Scriptures, and in more recent history through marvels such as the miracle of the sun at Fatima, order ‘nature’ to manifest His authority.

The Beloved Pope John Paul wrote in his encyclical CENTESIMUS ANNUS how we human beings do bear within us the wound of original sin and therefore because we are capable of evil we are in “constant need of redemption.”

In paragraph 31.1 he teaches:  “Man thinks that he can man arbitrary use of the earth, subjecting it without restraint to his will, as though the earth did not have its own requisites and a prior God-given purpose, which man can indeed develop but must not betray. Instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature, which is more tyrannized than governed by him.”

Once as Jesus tells us to we have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, [Mt. 25:35ff] and, as post 9/11, the necessary review of the entire tragedy takes place, I pray we look at not only “systems” but how we care for one another, or not, and how we treat the earth.

Obviously first and foremost we must rescue, care for, love our suffering brothers and sisters and help them rebuild their shattered lives.

I read a report today wherein the Archbishop of New Orleans speaks of the grace of purification which comes through suffering.

My heart agrees and believes the grace the entire world is being offered through the Divine Mercy of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is a grace through which we can re-discover the sacredness of all human life from conception to natural death.

Speaking about human suffering and the fear which grips human hearts because of catastrophes from terrorism to everything which causes us to be afraid, the Servant of God Catherine Doherty has reminds us that: “With fear comes doubt: look at all the destruction! How can I believe in a God who would permit such things? We forget that God is tender, compassionate, understanding, forgiving……We have a tendency to blame God….begotten, perhaps, by the fears and near-madness that surround us today.

Fear is also the child of hate and of ignorance and of prejudice. It cannot stand the light of love, of peace and of truth.

We belong to God who is perfect love.

Our first step should be to gather together in prayer…..” {from Pass It On #32 available at: ]

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