Swimming in Solidarity
The deluging rain that has drowned several cities and towns in Texas, including Houston and Corpus Christi, compels many to react with compassion and empathy. Such reactions come from the best within us. As a nation seemingly divided by politics and ideologies, this natural disaster appears to evoke a supernatural response of care and kindness. We are reminded that our nature is grounded in goodness and grace.
Matthew 25 calls us to care for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey: They are thirsty and hungry, as they have been ripped from their kitchens; they are naked and vulnerable to illness because they have waded through dirty, disease-laden water; they are homeless strangers in need of a strong roof and soft bed; they are imprisoned by weather-induced poverty that subjects them to fighting for insurance monies, if only they had relevant policies.
This passage from Matthew’s gospel further inspires solidarity, one of the seven themes of Catholic social teaching, that calls us to a certain oneness with others who struggle or suffer. Prayer is a clear way to realize this solidarity. Another is behavior that prompts a certain mindfulness. In light of the plight of our southern neighbors that stems from water, our own use of water and other daily activities might provide a point access to remember and pray for them when we:
- wash our hands, shower, launder our clothes, brush our teeth, cook our food, and drink fresh water;
- rest well in comfortable beds with clean sheets and tend to our personal needs in our own private bathrooms;
- enter our safe, clean, dry house, roof still intact;
- enjoy the many appointments of our homes, especially family photos, cherished gifts, and tasteful furniture; and
- drive cars with that are parked in our driveway, not floating down the street.
Indeed, our prayers and solidarity are essential. So is any sort of gift we can provide. The Catholic Charities USA Hurricane Harvey Response campaign is a trusted resource to ensure donations are directed appropriately.
Let us serve and pray for our neighbors in need.