Saturday, October 3, 2009

Indonesia: Lots of Earthquakes, Lots of People Killed; Lots More Needing Help

A piece from BERNAMA, the Malaysian News Agency, was a refreshing change of pace. Instead of a litany of complaints, accusations, and finger-pointing, the reporter wrote about how much help was coming to Indonesia from around the world. ("World Shows Solidarity Over West Sumatra Earthquake" BERNAMA (October 3, 2009))

That's nice to see. The article focuses on government efforts: naturally enough, since they're fairly easy to track. Generally, the national government is only too happy to send a press release or two, showing how much they care. I'm not being cynical - that's part of the officials' job. And national governments are in a position to allocate significant resources to relief.

Non-governmental help happens - but that doesn't get as much attention, it seems.

Just a Thought: Prayer Wouldn't Hurt

My family, when we got the news about the situation in Indonesia, prayed for the survivors - the dead - and the folks who are helping the survivors deal with what's happened.

Sure 'it isn't practical.' But it doesn't hurt. And I think it does make sense to ask God for help - and to ask others to pray with me. I don't know where I ran into this, but remember reading something like 'God knows - but He likes to be asked.'

There's something to that.

Prayer and the Pope

In a way, I'm just doing 'follow the leader.' Pope "Benedict XVI is offering his prayers for earthquake victims in Indonesia, and is encouraging aid workers in their efforts to help the survivors...." (Zenit)

Catholics Doing More than 'Just' Pray

After a little digging, I found this press release: "TrĂ³caire arrives in Padang in response to quake."

"...TrĂ³caire is part of a worldwide confederation of Catholic development agencies called Caritas...."

Never heard of either? No big surprise there, unless you're among the many who have been helped by them.

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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.