San Francisco 1906

Japan - 2011

Tsunami - Japan - 2011 - Video - 1
Tsunami - Japan - 2011 - Video - 2

Lord God Almighty,

Creator of the heavens and the earth,
help me to understand and put into perspective the terrifying tragedies, sufferings and deaths
caused by natural disasters.

I do not believe, as people did in times past, that these calamities are brought down
on particular countries or communities
as divine vengeance
against modern-day
Sodom and Gomorrahs.

Rather I see them as reminders
to all God's people of Your power,
Your wrath against general sins of the world and Your admonition that we not lay up
for ourselves treasures here on earth,
where the thief breaks in
and the moth consumes.

Let me always pray, dear God,
for the people affected by these blows
of Nature, and let me be quick
to offer what aid and succor I can.

Let me understand these seemingly heartless
and inscrutable events in the perspective
of eternity. Those who suffer and those
who die, may merit eternal life
through the particular salvific merit
of having endured and triumphed over these tragedies, while remaining faithful to You.

Let me not blame some cruel or wrathful deity for I know that You love all your creatures, while Your ways, Lord, are mysterious
and cannot be fully comprehended by me
in this mortal life.

Certainly I can see that in time the fires are quenched, the floods recede, the shaken buildings are repaired and the plagues
and long-suffering illnesses come to an end.

I am confident that all sorrows will be easily forgotten if eternal happiness
is gained.

Help me then, God, Master,
Lord of the Universe,
to accept with grace the trials
of my own life as well as the abundant blessings You have bestowed on me.

I know that ultimately all of us are always in Your constant loving care.
We will believe.
We will trust.
We will carry on.

One of the most memorable photographs
I remember from a flood not so long ago
in New Orleans was of an elderly smiling volunteer: She was passing out groceries
at a Red Cross station, although, her home had just been destroyed by the waters.

Help me have her resilience, her confidence, her charity, and her faith.

I believe, oh Lord. Help me in my unbelief!



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