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Tragedy is chance to show love

09:41 PM November 21, 2013

This refers to the article titled “Faith stronger than storm” (Front Page, 11/18/13).

“My faith is stronger than Yolanda. I didn’t fear Yolanda. She should fear my God,” Anita Carillo told the Inquirer after a Mass. This reminded me of what Fr. Paul Cashen of the Adelaide Cathedral said during last Sunday’s Mass—that we never blamed God for the storm; the storm never made us waver in our faith. Hearing that made me so proud to be a Filipino. When there is nothing left to hold on to, we hold on to our faith.

During these trying times the best and the worst in us come out. It is never enough to help sincerely, give unconditionally and pray fervently. But despite seeing the most glaring and most evident tragedy in front of us, we still find time to criticize and lash out at each other. I am not only referring to people lambasting the administration but also to small groups arguing about how to help or what to give, and who is in charge. It is heartbreaking to see that while people desperately in need of our strength depend on us, we are busy arguing among ourselves, putting each other down, finding fault with what they do or do not do.

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Now is not the time for distrust. Now is the time to trust one another and help each other get things done. Now is not the time for division. Now is the time for unity.

“But this is not God’s punishment. I have told them that God still loves us. Because God is a compassionate God. He will not abandon us.” This a firm affirmation of trust that we will get through this crisis together. Our destitute brothers do not have the luxury of time and the means to wait for us to figure things out and, worse, they may not have another moment at all. Now is the time for action and not for words. If there are words to be said, they should be words of love and encouragement to keep everyone’s spirits high.

“We’re now homeless. But I’m very thankful I was able to save the two most important people in my life, my grandsons.” These words of gratitude and faith should also resound in our hearts, and may this tragedy make us a better person.

We who are not affected by this destruction are spared for a purpose. God trusts us to be the strength, the support, for the “fortunate” to show our best. And for our suffering brothers, it is quite hard to see God’s love under the rubble, among the dead, inside empty pockets; but keep the faith because we have your backs. “The Lord has strengthened our faith and made us stronger in order for us to survive and start off all over again,” Belen Curila said.

While the world witnessed a great tragedy, I see this experience as proof that we love and care for one another. We have shown God the right response to this devastation. God has seen that we are still one and He has shown his presence once more. He also made us realize the value of life over possessions: “They learned their lesson … to save their lives rather than their material possessions,” Fr. Michael Vasquez said.

All the nations are focused and are coming to our country to give their most precious contribution, LOVE. For us who are recipients of this love, let us be thankful and share the goodness that “strangers” are giving unconditionally. Indeed, this is a time for faith, hope, love and thankfulness.

—KATRINA ISABEL SUZARA,

katsuzara@yahoo.com

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TAGS: Fr. Paul Cashen, supertyphoon ‘yolanda’, Yolanda aid, Yolanda Survivors, Yolanda Victims
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