Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Haiti is a horrible place on a normal day with ghastly poverty, corruption and voodoo-- the real kind, not the stuff college girls play with but now, oh now it must indescribable. The Anchoress blog has a good round up of charities to give to. I picked Mercy Corps. They do good work and are prudent with their money.
Our Lady of Prompt Succour, pray for Haiti.
I read a comment on another blog, someone, a young person I hope, asked how this earthquake could happen and said he'd question God about it when they meet. I sighed at the arrogance and almost wrote in to say that when this person meets God at the Judgement seat he won't be asking for anything but mercy.
Christians so often make the mistake of thinking that nothing bad should ever happen. Maybe it's the influence of the Protestant proseperity gospel. Jesus never said life in this world would be peachy keen for believers. In fact, He said quite the contrary. We live in a fallen world. There is disease, there are earthquakes, fires, floods, and blizzards and Christians are not immune. The difference between us and pagans is how we deal with this world.
St. Therese had TB-- one of the cruelest deaths known to mankind. St. Bernadette suffered horribly. St. Pio was in pain for 50 years. St. Alphonsus had arthritis so bad that his back was bent and his chin rested on his chest. St. Josephine was tortured by slave owners. St. Damian was a leper. St. Lyndwine had a condition so ghastly that I got shivers just reading her story. And let's not forget the Roman martrys-- some were ripped to pieces by animals, some were covered in tar and set afire, some were hacked to death, some were beheaded, some were disembowled. This life is not one of ease and never has been.


LarryD said...

The world groans in anticipation.

Good post, Dymphna.

R J said...

After World War II there was a fashion among Jewish pseudo-intellectuals (or pseudo-intellectuals who claimed to be Jewish) for publicly asking, when millions of innocent Jews had died at the hands of Nazis, how that happened without any obvious sign of protest from God. From which it was only a step to them saying "We don't believe God could have let millions of innocent Jews be murdered by the Nazis, therefore GOD DOESN'T EXIST." Anyone who thinks that extermination of whole peoples is a 20th-century invention might like to start reading about the fate of the Canaanites in Deuteronomy.

I've just been reading about the Cure of Ars, BTW. He seems never to have enjoyed as an adult a single day of ordinary adequate health let alone the modern privileges of clergy. He eked out his life on a starvation diet in a dirt poor part of France for most of his adulthood. Since he lived to 73 years he must have done something right.

patrice said...

My money is going to the Haitian Health Foundation, which was begun by Dr. Jeremiah Lowney of Norwich, CT. He is a dentist who has been going to Haiti for over 20 years. He established a clinic in Jeremie about 100 miles from Port-au-Prince. Haiti is the main mission of the Diocese of Norwich, and many of our parishes are twinned with Haitian parishes. HHF is a Four Star Charity Navigator charity, so I know the money will be put to good use.

Lola said...

Excellent post.

Even under such serious topic as this one you made me laugh:
"... when this person meets God at the Judgement seat he won't be asking for anything but mercy"

I had to go look up St. Lydwine.

Thank you for edifying my day!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Excellent Post!

M said...

Haiti can seem like a horrible place, but I think that is a bit harsh. I visited there as a college student for a week and a half about 10 years ago, and I was struck by the faith and generosity of the people. Every morning, they woke to the ringing of the bells for daily Mass, with the village coming to the parish to pray. I had a little girl ask me if I wanted her shirt for a gift because I said I liked it. I had a priest offer Mass in English for us while we were there. The cook for the priest made us special gruel the whole time we were there because we loved it so much. I saw the Missionaries of Charity caring for the children and dying with love and compassion. On the feast day of the parish, I saw hundreds of people walk miles to come to celebrate, with each person dressed in their very best clothing. I met the parish priest who worked with the Diocese of Richmond to build a fresh, clean water supply for his village.

I say this not to belittle or gloss over in any way Haiti's troubles. But I do say it to say that they are a hopeful people, living in a reality which for most of us would seem like hell. But they choose to make the best of it with what they do have. And many (not all, just like anywhere, unfortunately) do praise God daily for the blessings they do have. I realize voodoo is practiced there. Father talked with us for a long time one night about it, and how he does his best to stop the practice. However, I would say many practice the religion of Oprah, ESPN, and MTV, which is, in practice, about the equivalent.