Thinking Aloud about the Philippines

Most of us are probably still too stunned to take in the magnitude of the disaster that has overtaken the Philippines. The numbers alone make the mind boggle. The earliest reports suggested, if you remember, just four people known to have died, and there was some modest congratulation of the Government for its excellent evacuation and  response plans. But then reports began to come in of whole cities destroyed and millions of people affected. The latest figures suggest many thousands dead and more at risk as the struggle to provide food, water, shelter and medical aid becomes a race against time. The Government, too, appears to outsiders too traumatised to act effectively.

Those who have Filippino friends will know something of the anguish they are experiencing, and true friends know how to give comfort. For the rest of us, the best we can do is to muster an imaginative sympathy, dig deep in our pockets and pray. And we must be content with that. Every human life matters; every dead body we see  in the news reports is an individual, with a being and a history as precious as our own. The fact that we do not ‘understand’ is a reminder, albeit painful, that we are not as in control as we like to think we are. For now, however, our business is to help in whatever way we can — and do not underestimate the power of prayer in that.

There are many aid agencies that have set up appeals for the people of the Philippines. Please support them if you are able to do so.


4 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud about the Philippines”

  1. I understand that feeling of not being able to take in the enormity of what has happened and the suffering in unimaginable, but the graphic pictures and news coverage is graphic enough.

    We can all help in small ways, by our united prayers and giving where practicable to those agencies working to alleviate the terrible conditions people are trying to survive in.

  2. I am praying daily for all people affected by this terrible disaster. Have donated the little I was able to and am trying to raise more funds.
    It’s too difficult to take it all in and to really understand the scale of it all.

  3. It is just too big to even imagine – overwhelming even for us who are safe. I am praying, saying Mass for the dead and looking around my dry house with a grateful heart – and yes, please everyone, donate and pray for those on the ground working in appalling – unspeakable conditions to comfort confused and grieving people and to recover the dead. Thank you Sister for helping us to focus our prayers and actions today.

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