Watching the devastation sweep over Japan has convinced me of a few things: that we are sheltered, comfortable and safe. As our brothers and sisters have their houses ripped away from them, we have ours still, and likely heated to the temperatures we want them to be. This dichotomy is no fault of our own, but our response to the gaping gap of comfort is entirely our responsibility. So, in the same vein of what we discussed earlier, let’s become earthquake victims.

So much food has been lost; let us fast from our own. Beds and blankets have been destroyed; let us sleep on our floors. They have been made poor; let us give alms. The Japanese Church flies to her God in desperation; let us do the same.

This virtue of solidarity is what separates Christian charity from secular charity. I can guarantee that atheist organizations will start their “giving-money-without-believing-in-God” fund drives quite soon, while Christians will just continue giving, as they always have. What separates the two is not amount, but the Christian belief that all suffering can be united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world; that suffering is something worth taking part in. So please, let’s become earthquake victims, if just for a day or two. And let us pray that supernatural good will come from natural evil, that from tsunamis great faith will flourish.

It really is Lent.

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