Monday, December 19, 2011

Faith Amid the Floods

As a coda to Saturday's brief on Simbang Gabi, thanks to a friend in the Philippines for sending this shot, showing us that not even the aftermath of the typhoon and flooding that struck the islands' southern part over the weekend could keep the Novena Masses from being held, nor the faithful from turning up.

According to estimates yesterday from the local Red Cross, at least 650 people were killed in the tropical storm, with another 900 still missing. Catholic Relief Service additionally reports that some 50,000 people are holed up in evacuation centers among the total population of 125,000 affected.

Beyond high winds and heavy rain, reports indicate that the rapid movement of the floodwater has proven dangerous in many areas, with most of the casualties believed to have been swept away by the storm-induced currents.

At his Sunday Angelus, the Pope noted the disaster, expressing his prayers "for the victims, [who are] largely children, the homeless and the many dispersed."

Of course, may we all back that up. And just as much, especially in this season -- and, this year, the tough times that mark it for many -- may we each do a little more to keep an added eye out for anyone just around us undergoing their own floods or storms in life, to help them feel even more the light, comfort, hope and joy these days are supposed to bring to everyone... but above all, to the ones most in need of its lift.