The Armchair Liturgist: Praying, Preaching, Mentioning Haiti

The tragedy in our Caribbean neighbor’s borders continues to unfold. I’m sure you’re all aware of the avenues in which to assist. We can certainly pray, too.

My hometown’s home parish had a mission there. In the parish where I met my wife, a staff colleague and his family were from Haiti. Nice man with such a lilting accented English. And the kindest and most gracious co-worker one could have.

Our archbishop has authorized a special collection this weekend. What about your diocese?

Despite some news outlets focusing on politicians this week, I’d say that Haiti is very much more on the minds of people I see, including the students. How would you handle this at Sunday Mass?

Certainly a disaster like this merits mention in the general intercessions. Do you preachers find that terrible events always or occasionally merit a weave into the homily? Even for you non-preachers, take the liturgist’s armchair today and pontificate on the circumstances in which you think people need to hear a message of hope from the tragedies that appear to have no cause.

I’ve caught a glimpse of some nonsense floating around the net, blaming Haiti’s pact with the devil for this geological event. Given France’s complicity in keeping the boot of power on this nation’s neck, you have to wonder what worse event could happen in Europe. Oh wait–those Europeans are white people. All’s fine.

Does your parish need a lesson in divine cause and effect, or lack thereof?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Praying, Preaching, Mentioning Haiti

  1. Liam says:

    Well, it is an evergreen issue that the faithful need regularly to engage what our faith teaches regarding God’s deliberate versus permissive will and its interaction with human free will and natural processes. “How/Why does an all-powerful and all-knowing God permit such horrors to happen?” In a not too unsimilar vein “Why do miracles [events that appear to override natural processes and the workings of the merely human will] appear to be selective/arbitrary/capricious?”

    The message of hope here is not an easy one, but hard-edged. If it’s not, it’s not real hope, but false comfort.

  2. David D. says:

    Very well said.

  3. Liam says:

    Here’s an essay from an Orthodox theologian from 5 years ago, after the great tsunami:

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/01/tsunami-and-theodicy–27

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