Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Armageddon-Like Disaster in Haiti

As a believer and a person of deep faith, it's difficult at times like this, to understand why such horrific natural disasters happen in our world. We live in a fallen world, an imperfect world. When tectonic plates shift, collide or slide against each other earthquakes occur. Sometimes these temblors are minor and at other times they occur with catastrophic consequences, as unfortunately is the case in Haiti. And so my husband asks me a question that millions of others are asking, "Why?" "Why does God allow suffering of this magnitude?" "Why doesn't God prevent natural disasters?" Of course, I can't answer those questions, they can only be answered when we enter eternity. These poor Haitian people have endured so much suffering already, so many natural disasters, such poverty and so many are Catholic-80% of the population is Catholic. The Christmas Season just ended, some people still have their decorations up and an end-time scenario, of biblical proportions hit, out of no where. (Some scientists have been predicting a major earthquake would occur along that fault line.) No one knows the answer as to why it happened now. Even people of deep faith cannot make sense of this disaster or others like it. People of deep faith understand that there is mystery woven into our faith and some mysteries cannot be explained or understood. 
The Earth is a magnificent creation, but there are defects, obvious defects in weather and also in the geological make-up of our planet. I sometimes think that creation is so beautiful that it has to have some imperfections, that somehow we can't blame God for that. Perhaps total perfection was not possible, in the order and beauty that was created. Those are just some of my thoughts..............
I have difficulty watching television, the images are too devastating. Real people are living through this horror. How sad that the Archbishop of Haiti, Archbishop Miot died in the rubble. He died alongside his people. He shared their suffering and their fate. The seminarians, religious and priests who ministered in Haiti and who have died are the best of people to minister and serve in such a poor country. These are exemplary Christians and they too died doing Christ-like work. I pray each one is remembered for the sacrifice they made.
Just a couple of weeks ago, people wrote about having hope for the New Year and the new decade and now this. Hopefully, humankind will rise up and through humanitarian and relief efforts help rebuild the country with building materials that can withstand disasters (though we pray this never occurs again). 
I will soon begin receiving letters from organizations I contribute to asking for help for this crisis.  Catholic Relief Services has begun mobilizing, they already have a presence in Haiti and have pledged millions. They are an excellent organization. The Diocese of Richmond, Virginia also has a mission in Haiti. I will find out through their mission newsletter how it was affected. There will be second collections at Masses this weekend and Americans will be generous, as they always are.  I'm going to make a conscious effort in the coming weeks, not to spend money on unnecessary items,  so I can be generous.  And my prayers will continue to join the prayers of all the others being offered as well.