>On Haiti

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Photo by Reuters/Jorge Silva, courtesy www.alertnet.org
We are all – in our homes, across the blogosphere, around the world – praying and watching and agonizing over Haiti and the incomprehensible anguish there.  
It weighs down our hearts and minds.  So little, it seems to be done.
However, for what it’s worth, here is a great organization:  
They are on the ground in Haiti, intact.  They have had offices there for a long time and have a history of great work, around the world, but even more pertinent now, in Haiti.  
Their offices are intact.  They are there, front lines, now.

 CRS staff load a truck with meals-ready-to eat for medical staff 
at St. Francois de Sales hospital on Friday, January 15. 
The hospital is supported by CRS’ AidsRelief program. Photo by Lane Hartill/CRS

[First responders, working NOW, reputable, well respected, well managed organization.  The money doesn’t go to administration costs, it goes to NEED.]

You can trust that the donation (any amount helps) will be put to the best of use by the folks who are there and know the needs and how to make it happen.
Every little bit is needed.

Another way to help is, of course, to pray. I firmly and deeply believe, I know, it makes a difference.  We are connected.  Prayer helps, in ways we cannot fathom.

So, if you have a mind towards it, please keep Haiti in your prayers.
From our Pope Benedict:

I would now like to make an appeal regarding the dramatic situation in Haiti. My thoughts go out in particular to the people severely afflicted, just a few hours ago, by a devastating earthquake that has caused massive loss of human life, left a great number of people homeless, and left widespread tremendous material devastation. I invite everyone to unite themselves to my prayer to the Lord for the victims of this catastrophe and for those who mourn the dead. Be assured of my spiritual closeness to those who have lost their homes and to all people suffering in any way from this grave calamity, as I ask God to grant them consolation and relief amidst their suffering. I call upon the generosity of all so that our brothers and sisters living in this time of need and pain may not lack our concrete solidarity and the effective support of the International Community. The Catholic Church will not fail to take immediate action through her charitable institutions to meet the most pressing needs of the people.” — Pope Benedict XV 
{h/t to Curt Jester
Update:
Go, HERE, to read the Zenit article/interview with Cardinal Cores on the Haiti Crisis.
All Eyes on Haiti.”  A thoughtful interview, good information and things to think about as well.

>Prayer: Memoriam: 9/11

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painting by Deacon Bernard Deschler

It is, of course, the anniversary of 9/11. How do you remember such a horrific event? How do you honor the memory of those who died, who suffered, who suffer still? I don’t know, except you don’t forget and keep them, all, in your prayer. When I see the tributes, they make the tears stream. Of course I remember exactly where I was, where my family was, that whole morning and day is seared into my memory. It is a somber day. So, for me, there is prayer: one provides the best example, below. (h/t Whispers in the Loggia)
From our dear Pope Benedict XVI, servant of servants:

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths

and traditions,

who gather today at this site,

the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,

we seek your light and guidance

as we confront such terrible events.

Grant that those whose lives were spared

may live so that the lives lost here

may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

–Pope Benedict XVI
Prayer at Ground Zero
New York, 20 April 2008

>I love happy endings

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Freed French-Colombian hostage
Ingrid Betancourt hugged Pope Benedict on Monday

I have been following this story over the past few months, and it’s riveting. This is a wonderful, happy ending. It makes me smile, when she talks of hugging the Pope and protocol…somehow, I don’t think he minded. I think I would end up doing the same thing, I do it every time with our dear Bishop. Lastly, the Pope points out that her prayer was the right kind, the kind it’s so easy to forget:

‘He heard you because you knew how to ask. You didn’t ask for a miracle to be
freed yourself, instead you asked to understand what was His will.’

Just a nice read to start to the day. Again, at Deacon’s Bench, go read.