48 hours later

Sep 5, 2010

It is 48 hours since the earthquake hit Christchurch. While the visible effects are noticeable with many buildings destroyed or damaged, there are other less obvious consequences of the quake.

In the twenty-four hours since my return, I have noticed a significant level of anxiety around the city. The regular aftershocks (there have been three in the last two hours) prevent us from forgetting what has happened. At Mass last night many people overlooked their own losses to express concern for those who live alone and for the elderly.

Several people have commented that we are very lucky to live in New Zealand. A smaller earthquake in a poorer country results in tens of thousands of deaths.

Most of all, in the midst of the sadness and uncertainty, I notice a deep gratitude that there was no loss of life. Many people in our city express this in simple terms of gratefulness. But many others are very specific about where our gratitude belongs.

As one 16 year old boy expressed it in this morning’s Press: “Something was definitely protecting my Dad and I – the hand of God, definitely.”

It is Monday morning as I write. In a few moments we will celebrate our Monday morning Mass. We will offer this Mass in gratitude to God for His care of us, an mostly that he safeguarded the lives of the citizens of Canterbury over these days.

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