Posted tagged ‘Natural Disasters’

Perspectives: PRETTY IN PINK

October 4, 2016

I think this five week period of superlative personal demands are finally passing,  and it’s good to look outward again.     Almost all the “superlatives” have been good –  but they were personal.     I’m eager to write about things we have in common.

One of which is “Matthew.”      A  not so good “superlative,”  and that puts the recent “demands” on me into perspective.   The affected region is so huge, that it’s possible you know someone who is going to be greatly troubled by the coming of this hurricane.

My own sister, for one:

pretty-in-pink-and-red

She lives under those pink lines – where Florida used to be.

Specifically:

fl-in-circles

My sister lives on the coast,  right in the middle of that smallest blue circle,  the bull’s eye, so to speak.       She’s ten miles or so south of Cape Canaveral, where that little V-shaped  piece of land juts out into the ocean.

One time, about ten years ago a big hurricane was passing over the house where my  parents and sister lived together.  My sister called me up during the worst of it and I could hear banging and crashing in the background.      So exciting!

Then she said “You ought to hear the wind!”   So she opened a window and stuck her cell phone outside.      Unbelievable roaring — until I heard a little scream –  “Part of our neighbor’s roof just tore off and blew across our back yard!”   

Technology!   Puts you right there in the action!!

water

I’m being flippant.   It isn’t our way to “evacuate”  (apparently)  and my parents and sister had a difficult few weeks following that hurricane.    Water and cleaning supplies were very hard to come by in the hot, humid, flooded aftermath.

And many this week will wish that Matthew had never come by.

sign-know-where-youre-going

 

When I travel down to Florida I see these in the driving lanes,  signs, symbols,  necessary to know what they mean.

 

I must be getting old.   The longer I watch the development and the movement of Matthew,  the more I think evacuation is a good idea.

sign-fl-evac-route

For those who can.

Pink is not so pretty when it aims a hurricane at you.     They need our prayers.    Miracles can happen even within a Natural Disaster.

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A LONG WAY TO JAPAN

March 11, 2011

Once, long ago, it was a “long way” to Japan:

The arduous voyage of St. Francis Xavier in the 16th century brought the knowledge of Japan to the Western World and the knowledge of the Western World to Japan.     It was to be only the slightest of acquaintances.     Christianity took hold and began to spread among the Japanese, but it was fiercely persecuted and nearly wiped out.

We can remember this time through the eyes of The 26 Martyrs of Tagosama:

No further missionaries or priests from the West arrived for nearly two centuries.   An interesting note:    When missionaries again began arriving in the 19th century, they found a few small bands of Catholic Japanese who had retained the Faith as best they could.  

They were able to pass  down the Faith from one generation to the next for two centuries, without the help of priests for one reason.   They did not sing or pray or learn the Creed in the vernacular;   they had used the language of  the Christian Faith – Latin.    Unlike spoken Japanese which changed slowly as the centuries passed,  the Latin stayed the same;  the words of the prayers and songs and creed carried the constant and unchanged meaning against which the changing usage of the Japanese language could be measured against.

Although Christianity remained a very small minority in Japan,  by the 20th century two cities were known to have large populations of Catholic-Christians:   Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

St. Francis Xavier and his companions, the 26 Martyrs, and  the unnamed saints  of their beloved  Nippon, Land of Beauty,  all  remain in the Communion of Saints with us.   May they look down with compassion and concern on Japan today and join with our prayers to petition Our Lord  for relief and comfort and mercy. . . . .   

We humans are so small on this planet and our needs our so great.