Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pray and Donate

The death toll and reports of destruction from Haiti are getting worse and worse.  Please offer many prayers, penances, and money if you can.  Haiti is the poorest country in our hemisphere and this isn't going to help.  We have a moral obligation to help these brothers and sisters in their time of need.  Please give to Catholic Relief Services or other organizations helping (the Anchoress lists multiple ways you can donate).  A vast majority of Haitians are Catholic.  To see a visualization of the disaster, the Boston Globe has pics that will rock you.

This is one of the worst natural disasters of our lifetime:
Archbishop Auza stated his observations of the situation in the capital to Fides, saying, "Port-au-Prince is totally devastated. The cathedral, the archbishop's office, all of the big churches, all of the seminaries have been reduced to rubble."

The nuncio said that the resident priest at that cathedral had informed him of the likely death of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot as he was buried under rubble along with hundreds of priests and seminarians. Other news reports confirmed that the archbishop did pass away in the earthquake.

Auza reported that many government buildings had been razed. All of the Ministry buildings but one were on the ground, as were the Presidential Palace and the schools.
Then Pat Robertson does the unthinkable and says the reason this happened is because Haiti struck a deal with the devil. Unfortunately, I am not kidding.  Pray for him as well.


bilbannon said...

On Pat Robertson...Bible expert... and other possibles that he is neglecting in scripture:

1. Notice he is blaming current people for distant ancestors' alleged agreement.

Neglected passage Ezekiel 18:20 "The son shall not be charged with the guilt of his father, nor shall the father be charged with the guilt of his son. The virtuous man's virtue shall be his own, as the wicked man's wickedness shall be his own."

2. Pat is seeing 100% of Haiti as great sinners and yet there are many foreign workers there too who have been killed and thus he sees God as having bad aim because God spared no one in Sodom after He removed the few just..

Neglected passage Genesis 18
"But he (Abram) still persisted: "Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?" "For the sake of those ten," he replied, "I will not destroy it."

3. Robertson thinks only God can produce natural disasters.

Neglected passage Satan kills Job's relatives with a storm Job 1:18
"While he was yet speaking, another came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother,
when suddenly a great wind came across the desert and smote the four corners of the house. It fell upon the young people and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you."
Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair. He cast himself prostrate upon the ground,"

Kevin said...

would you consider trying to "unpack" the making the deal with the devil statement and offering the Catholic perspective of a merciful God and not a vengeful God.

bilbannon said...

I won't address the pact since I think it absurd and probably the result of rumor rather than credible witnesses. Why would credible witnesses witness such a thing?

As to God as merciful or God as vengeful, first a side bar: Aquinas held that terms like wrath and vengeance are analogous in God not literal. He has no wrath or anger since He is always Joyful and at Peace and wrath would imply change within His being away from that Peace and Scripture several times says there is no change in Him...."I am the Lord and I change not" psalms..."in Him there is no change nor shadow of alteration" James. But Aquinas noted that the analogy refers not to emotions in God but to His will and that in willing a just universe, God indirectly willed hell in his willing of justice...not in itself but as a consequence of His willing justice and His willing of eternal not temporary souls to man. Aquinas further explained that in mortal sin, two turnings happen within an immortal soul: a turning from God// and a turning toward other things. Eternal punishment comes from the first turning not the second. The degree of that punishment comes from the second turning. But the eternal nature of hell comes from turning from God...the first turning. But God did not will all this directly and as an end in itself but willed it indirectly in willing a just universe.

Haiti. In willing paradise to the original humans and all their descendants based on their faithfulness to His few but deep commands, God indirectly wills as a consequence the lack of paradise if they broke faith and they did that and what you see in Haiti now is the anti paradise in a manner of speaking... but because God "delights in mercy" as Micah 7:18 noted... such disasters are not the rule even after the original sin and are rare. In justice the earth could have been constant horrors as a rule. But it is not. People being murdered is not the rule but is relatively rare. People dying in a fire or an earthquake is not the rule. You or I could die in our cars in a crash but yet as a rule, people do not die that way but die in old age and expectedly.

The most horrible thing about the Haiti situation is that this is happening to people whose lives were already hard pressed by poverty and how could God permit this to them while Bernard Madoff lived luxuriously and now has doctors tending his health in prison? Well Madoff if he does not repent prior to death will be going to an eternal earthquake as it were. And if he does repent, it is reasonable to guess that he will face awful time within Purgatory... all other things being equal. He will have knowledge there that all will be well one day but he will have knowledge there also that he is in great sorrow which is cleansing him of every last shred of selfishness which in his case can take the equivalent of centuries.

Some of these poor in Haiti may have made up for all their purgatory in the manner of how they lived and died already. And hence some of them in the long scheme of things maybe were richer than Madoff or Tiger Woods not in this life corporally but in all of life eternally.
"The first shall be last and the last shall be first" can apply here in that other sense. Seen from the afterlife, this life and whether it is one of poverty or riches is still so small in itself. It is like the vestibule of a large mansion that goes on for acres and acres....hopefully a mansion.