Natural Disasters and Human Anxieties

What we know is that we have been shaken and continue to be pushed out of our comfort zone by the series of natural disasters that have shook Houston/ Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico in Chiapas and Mexico City. We have forest fires in California. As well as those disasters we have the mass hooting and killing of innocent people in Las Vegas. We have the ongoing worry about what can happen in the standoff between North Korea and the United States. We have the debate about the national anthem, respect for the flag and athletes taking the knee following Colin Kaepernick. What are we to do? What are we to think? How do we make sense of all of this?

In terms of natural disasters we can say that they are beyond us, that that is the way our world and universe works; we will have hurricanes, storms, and earthquakes and they will come in those places where they have always come. People say that they are more severe now because of climate change. We will surely receive more information and studies that will confirm this.

Some thing that we can do, as human beings, is prepare better. How? Better construction and infrastructure. Better communication and anticipation. If the roads on Puerto Rico are impassable where are the helicopters? The Cargo planes flying out of from the mainland? The construction standards in Mexico City were not adequate to withstand the size of an earthquake that would test any type of construction. Also, we know that poor people in all of these places suffer most from natural disasters. Infrastructure plans have to improve housing for poor people, and have better access to water and energy and communication for communities where they live.

We hope that the people will put so much pressure on Washington and state legislatures to make sane gun laws and limit the power of the gun lobby. We hope that dialog and communication will ease the situation with North Korea. We know that we have to deal with the issues of racism in our society and world that Colin Kaepernick raises. We have social teaching that we are to follow to do this. We have passed out hundreds of copies of the main points in the Catholic Social Teaching that we are to follow and implement in our world. We have the teaching of Pope Francis and our patron, St. Francis of Assisi to challenge us and guide us.

Finally we have the word of God as in today’s second reading where St. Paul says

Have no Anxiety at all, but in everything,

By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving

Make your requests known to God.

When we are anxious about anything we can turn to Him for comfort, strength, and direction and He will calm our fears and show us the path that we are to take.

Glory and Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.