Monday morning, and a sick child at home. Please keep “ME” in your prayers.
Todays reflection is about Haiti. Very interesting, and reflective thoughts about what is happening there. Agree, or disagree? Post a comment on the blog site and let me know
Quote or Joke of the Day:
“The more we are afflicted in this world, the greater is our assurance in the next; the more sorrow in the present, the greater will be our joy in the future” ~St. Isadore of Seville
For you are a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in distress; Shelter from the rain, shade from the heat. As with the cold rain (NAB Is 25:4)
It has been 20 days since the tragic events that destroyed a large part of an already devastated country located in an otherwise gorgeous area of this earth. Haiti is depressed by a corrupt government, has squalled living conditions, and a near total unemployment rate for many, many years. I cannot even picture a country or landscape with literally no trees left; as the wood had been scavaged to provide fuel to cook and heat with.
I have a few friends that regularly go to Haiti to help with building projects, such as schools and water wells. It makes me sick to think that a large percentage of the population has no access to clean water. They are forced to use water contaminated with animal and human feces for their drinking water, and for cleaning the few rags of clothes they own. Meanwhile, government leaders eat well, and (til recently) lived in air-conditioned quarters just a few feet away, with little if any discomfort.
The earthquake, and subsequent aftershocks, have killed an unknown amount of people, and has devastated nearly all Haitians, there and abroad in one way or another. The little they did have, is gone! Relief is spoiling on the tarmac of the airport because it can’t get to the people easily. Crime and unrest is happening throughout the capital city itself. And the government of Haiti is basically non-existent.
Things there certainly can’t get worse. Even an infamous Evangelist has said that the Haitians are being punished by God for selling their souls to the devil, hundreds of years ago.
Surprisingly; in my observations of this tragedy, I have seen the entire world come to their aid. Pope Benedict XVI was the first to call for his relief system to immediately be activated, and the next day CRS (Catholic Relief Services) was on the ground in Haiti. Monies are being collected, and supplies are being bundled, and sent to the capital city for distribution to the various areas affected. The U.S. military are ‘in country’ repairing the infrastructure, finding and burying the dead, manning needed airport and storage facilities, and helping security forces to keep order. There is a long way to go, but there is hope of betterment for the Haitians future.
Something else I have noticed. The Haitians themselves are always seen praying or singing religious songs in news releases. Even while searching for, or dealing with, the dead; it is done with an obvious love and respect for that person. To me, the Haitians have a strong religious belief, and a strong love for mankind. I don’t believe the Haitians themselves have lost hope. They have maintained their love for God throughout this trial. God is their refuge and shelter, and they know it. Can we have that strong of a faith?
“Lord Christ, please be with these people, and with all that are helping them. Your commandment to love one another as we love you is being shown in this poor country. You have always said that you are with the meek. The meek of Haiti are giving us an example of how to love you in times of distress. Please help me to love you, and all others, regardless of how pathetic some may appear to me. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. Veridiana
St. Veridiana was born at Castelfiorentino in Tuscany, Italy (on the outskirts of Florence) in 1182 to an impoverished noble family. At age 12 she went to live with an uncle. She performed housekeeping duties and admistrative work in his grain business. Later, she abandoned all she had and dedicated her life to religion. Then she went on a pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Santiago in Compostela, Spain. After visiting Rome and the tombs of Peter and Paul, she returned home and, thereafter, lived as a recluse in a hermitage near the Vallumbrosan Abbey about 20 miles from Florence. Her cell is said to have been next to a chapel dedicated to Saint Anthony. Here, she led a life of great austerity until her death 34 years later in the year 1242. St. Francis of Assisi visited her in 1211, at which time she is said to have become a Franciscan tertiary. Devotion to Saint Veridiana was approved by Pope Clement VII in 1533.
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #1:
The Franciscan family, as one among many spiritual families raised up by the Holy Spirit in the Church, unites all members of the people of God — laity, religious, and priests – who recognize that they are called to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi. In various ways and forms but in life-giving union with each other, they intend to make present the charism of their common Seraphic Father in the life and mission of the Church.