Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Earthquake in Ziarat: I Have to Care

As a Catholic, I'm required to 'love my neighbor as myself.' Some neighbors are easier to love than others. Like most people, I find it easiest to love those who are most like me.

Like the people in and around Ziarat.

It's a town in Pakistan's Ziarat District.

Disaster Hits the Neighborhood: Earthquake in Ziarat

Like most out-of-the way places, outlying districts in Pakistan only get in the news when something awful happens. For Ziarat this week, it was an earthquake. It looks like upwards of 150 people were killed, and 10,000 can't go home: not yet.

One source says that Zirat, the town, is (or was) home to 733 people, another says that about 2,900 live within 7 kilometers (about four and a third miles). That makes it a bit smaller than the town I live in, here in Minnesota (about 4,000 in town, another 1,000 in the township).

Wikipedia's article on Ziarat makes the place sound a lot like home: "...The weather is really pleasant during summer time and the local people are hospitable, but in winter the weather is severe and it is more difficult to survive...."

There are differences, of course: Minnesota has more lakes, the Ziarat District has mountains, and about 99% of the people there follow Islam.

Still, it's easier for me to identify with someone like Raz Mohammed, than many Americans who live in places like Los Angeles or New York.

"I rushed toward them but the roof of my own room collapsed and the main iron support hit me," he said to an AP reporter. "That thing broke my back and I am in severe pain but thank God my children and relatives are safe."

With a broken back and severe pain, it's "thank God my children and relatives are safe."

So, What am I Doing About Ziarat?

Individually, not all that much. I live on the other side of the planet, was laid off over two years ago, can't divert shipments of food and medical supplies to Pakistan, and wouldn't be that much help if I found a way to travel there.

I have, however, given to Missionaries of Charity in the past, and, God willing, will do so again. Mother Teresa of Calcutta's outfit isn't as high-profile as some, but they get the job done.

Missionaries of Charity, Dominican Sisters, and Getting the Job Done

After the big earthquake in 2005, sisters of the Missionaries of Charity took care of the wounded in Rawalpindi's Holy Family Hospital. So many people were hurt, the order re-assigned an additional three sisters to that unit.

The Missionaries of Charity weren't the only ones helping Faisalabad, of course. "Catholics in the poorest areas of Faisalabad diocese have given 'food, quilts and a little money' to Mgr Coutts, bishop and national Caritas director. For the bishop, this is a 'magnificent example of generosity'. " (

South and west of Faisalabad, Dominicans of the convent of Santa Maria of Sahiwal wound up with a room in the cathedral that looked like a storeroom. Human Development Net had done a collection drive. Getting so many supplies to the right people, ASAP, was a major logistics operation. So, the Dominican sisters were asked to help. That way, donors knew that what was given would get distributed "as quickly as possible and to those in most need." (

And, of course, there's Catholic Relief Services

That's the Catholic Church in America's 800-pound gorilla of relief services. Big. Official. Pretty well-funded. And, as far as I can tell, effective.

Me? Well, I Can Pray

Obviously effective? Maybe not. That's not the point. It's something I can do, and have done.

On a related matter: I don't pray to change God's mind: to make Him see things my way. I pray to conform my mind to His will. I'm not very good at that, but I try. I have to: it's in the rules.

Helping People: In the news:

No comments:

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.