DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     September 24-26, 1999     vol. 10, no. 182

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

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SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE
    INTRODUCTION
    "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

    This weekend Sister reminds us that these "natural" disasters are a reminder of Supernatural Mercy in which God is trying to warn His children all over the world, give them a wake-up call to return to Him just as He did in Old Testament times. That is the lesson she imparts in looking ahead to times that could get a lot rockier for all. This is the gist of her column this week, entitled What to learn from natural disasters.

    Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.

WHAT TO LEARN FROM NATURAL DISASTERS

        Turkey, Greece, and Taiwan! Thousands of lives lost in very big earthquakes! Floods, huge forest fires, mud slides, hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms! All per chance? All usual? All normal?

        According to meteorologists, the world has had more devastating disasters in the last 10 years than what was had accumlatively in the previous eighty years. Coincidence? El Nino? El Nina?

        Science always tries to find a logical and natural reason. People who live by Faith and know that God has control of everything look beyond mere human reason. They look to God; they look for spiritual reasons. Afterall, it is God Who made the climates, the seasons, the wind, the earth, the oceans, the sun. NOTHING HAPPENS BY ACCIDENT. All is within the Providence of God and is either His direct Will or within His permissive Will.

        So what should a Christian see in all of the disasters that are occurring? Strange as it may seem, they should first of all see the MERCY of God.

        Once when Mother Teresa was asked why God took so many lives in a certain earthquake (I think in India), she replied: “Because they were ready!”

        It may seem unbelievable that what appears to be terrible to us, may be an act of God’s Mercy. This will be shown to us clearly when we ourselves are in eternity.

        A spiritual person sees and hears God in everything about him. He sees God in the beauty of a flower, in the sweet kiss of a cool breeze, in the strong wind of a hurricane and in the shaking of the earthquake.

        As the world of today grows increasingly away from God by sin, apostasy, self-complacence and self-deification, God may well “speak” louder to be heard. The God of 1999 is the same God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. He is intricately and intimately involved in our lives and wants to be. He is not a way out in the clouds somewhere looking down on us from afar. God is a loving Father, Who cares about each one of His children and their salvation. Sometimes a good parent must do unpleasant things to TEACH his children.

        In the Old Testament the Israelites were faithful to God for a time, fell into sin, were punished by God, became faithful again (for awhile) and then the cycle occurred again and again.

        I remember reading the whole Bible when I was in high school. I couldn’t understand why the Israelites never seemed to learn by this cycle. I think we continue this history.

        How can the world grow increasingly away from God without God’s intervening to wake the world up as to its evil? Our God is a Good God! He goes after the sheep that are lost. He doesn’t rest until He has found His lost sheep.

        I think we shall continue to see more disasters. That is my opinion. They may well grow in severity and extensiveness.

        Our role is to remain faithful to God, receive the Sacraments frequently, remain in His Grace and pray for ourselves and others. But not to be afraid! God is in control. And He loves us!

        May He bless you!

September 24-26, 1999       volume 10, no. 182
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

DAILY CATHOLIC

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