Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Power of Belief and Hope Shining in Chile

As other Catholic bloggers, as well as journalists and millions of TV and computer viewers worldwide have observed and commented upon, it is inspiring and awesome to view the Chilean miners emerging from two months of confinement underground, to pray, to hug loved ones, to see the sunshine. We take a lot for granted each day, but every moment of life is precious. 
I think of Jesus' words, "I have come that you might have life and have it to the full."
The father of one of the miners said, "I'm so overcome with emotion now, as if I've been touched by God." His son, Forencio Avalos, 31 years old, was the first miner to exit the rescue capsule, named the Phoenix, that brought him to the surface. That capsule brought him to freedom, to love, to the realization that with belief comes the fulfillment of hope, determination and courage that is beyond human understanding. 
As was printed in the New York Times, on the front page today, "The perserverance of the miners, trapped so far underground in a lightless, dank space, has transfixed the globe with a universal story of human struggle and the enormously complex operation to rescue them." But faith, deep belief in God and prayer were very much a part of the story too. Because in that lightless entombment were also Bibles, rosaries and endless prayers to God, filled with hope and possibility.  
The President of the proud country of Chile, Sebastian Pinera said before the successful rescue began, "We hope that with the help of God this epic will end in a happy way." With the help of God. I wonder how many prayers, how many Masses, prayer services and rosaries, were said for those trapped men. It's another example of people of faith, relying on their faith, in a time of crisis. That's one of the best things about faith, as far as I'm concerned, when you need it, it's there for you. That's why having faith and a relationship with God is so crucial in life, you never know when you will have to depend upon it. When you have it, when it's been nurtured in your life, it gives you courage and inner strength in difficult and trying times. It's a great gift. Faith is an anchor, providing courage and an openess to God's help, that's necessary and important,  as we've witnessed this time and at so many other times as well.  
We are seeing that being played out in Chile in countless ways, in emotional excitement and in gratitude to God. I've studied faith and the positive benefits of belief in God but watching the rescued miners, filled with faith, emerging from their crisis, waving small Bibles, dropping to their knees in thanksgiving to God, raising their hands in prayer, is what deep faith is all about. It's very visible and real, for the world to see, that the power of belief and hope is shining in Chile and it's a good thing. 

FYI-As mentioned above--dank space- damp, moist, humid