By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Over the last few days I've watched the heartbreaking scenes of the devastation caused in Haiti by Hurricane Matthew. It brings back memories of my visit to that country two years after the destruction wrought by an earthquake. Great hardship and suffering. As it did in the wake of the earthquake, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, the Canadian member of Caritas International, is receiving donations for emergency relief. I know many will be generous in response to this appeal.

The timing coincides with Thanksgiving weekend. As I watched on TV scenes of people carrying others across flood waters to safety, I knew those helped would feel deep gratitude in their hearts for having been rescued. This is a provocative image that can speak to all of us. We are continually being carried to safety by the love of God. Do we acknowledge this, give thanks for this, especially when the "carrying" happens in ways we do not see?

Sometimes the figurative hurricanes of our lives can leave more "damage" in their wake than the real ones. Sudden terminal illness of a loved one, family breakdown, loss of employment, betrayal and abandonment, and the like; when these crash in on us it can feel like all we have held onto for security has been taken away. We, too, need to be carried across the flood.

And we are! God does not abandon! He blesses and helps. In short, he carries us to safety. There is no need to fear. We may not see it as it happens. Often it is only in retrospect that we recognize how God has been walking with us. But let us not wait to give thanks. The time to give thanks to God for his loving help and mercy is now, because it is now that we are being carried, even though we may not now have the eyes to see it.