LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Pray for Haiti and its People

The terrible news from Haiti of the earthquake there has shocked us all; and you may know that the Archbishop is amongst the dead.

Rorate Caeli has a photo of what I presume is the Cathedral in ruins, which gives some idea of the scale of the disaster.

On a more personal note, though, I also received an email a short time ago asking for prayers for the members of the Dominican Secular Institute in Haiti :

'There are five of them, and we will be very anxious until we have heard what has happened to them. They are all in key situations, working with children mostly. Much will be asked of them in these tragic circumstances; we just pray that they will find the strength once more to respond to others, and that the world will help them. They need our support badly.'

If you've never been in an earthquake, I can only say that it is truly a unique experience. I've been in several - none of them particularly serious - in California and Japan, and I've seen a tarmac road ripple before my eyes like the surface of water; in a severe one, such as that in Haiti, the earth can literally tear apart, change shape, and then close again - all in a few seconds. As you may imagine, such an experience can be tremendously psychologically damaging; not only because of the obvious physical effects of the earthquake, but also because you are suddenly faced with the unarguable fact that the most basic of all premises - the idea that we live on 'solid ground' - is baseless, and that the earth is not actually stable at all; an experience which must, certainly in traumatic circumstances, be something of a challenge to one's faith in the whole order of things.

Please pray for the people of Haiti : not only for the dead, that they may rest in peace, but also for the living, that God may help them at this terrible time, and that they may not lose their faith in His love and mercy through the experience which they have suffered.


  1. It's not the same thing at all of course, but panic attacks can seem a little like caving in on oneself, and feel physically like that, as well. That's about the closest identification I can muster regarding earthquakes. I didn't realise the Archbishop had been killed, God rest his soul and all the other innocent victims.

  2. shadowlands;

    I'm grateful never to have had one, but a friend who has suffered them for many years has actually said much the same thing to me.

    I suppose the only thing which might make an earthquake worse is that it affects everyone, so there can be no-one 'outside' the experience to help you cope with it.

  3. An extreme leveler, of everything. What it exposes, is what is always true, (our true nakedness and vulnerability) but in such a devastating way. As you say, it is worse than other sufferings which are endured individually or in smaller groups, allowing for outside help to be the larger commodity. I hadn't thought of it like that before, but it's so very obvious really.