Gustav and the Titanic

Gustav appears to have lost some strength yet may still cause much suffering and damage. Is there an optimistic attitude available when disaster strikes?

From the BBC: Hurricane Gustav losing strength “In New Orleans, the city’s levees are holding surging floodwaters, although sea levels could still rise further.”

From the Wall Street Journal: Early Signs Show Gulf’s
Energy Facilities Held Up
“Turbulent weather prevented a damage assessment Monday, and industry officials cautioned that in previous hurricanes, initial optimism soured when operators began to test equipment.”

From Agence France-Presse: US keeps eye on two new storms after Gustav strike “The United States kept a close eye Monday on another hurricane and a new tropical storm that emerged in the Atlantic…”

So Gustav may not kill “too” many. Further storms may or may not kill. Other natural disasters will appear; possibly worse if the climatologists are right.

If you’ve been through disaster, you may have acquired great fear of them.

If you’ve lost a dear one to a disaster, you may remain completely unconsolable.

Is there any condition of heart or attitude of mind that can meet the terror of natural disaster, ride the waves of pain and suffering, yet remain serene?

Today’s Spiritual Quote:

23 April 1912

“Within the last few days a terrible event has happened in the world, an event saddening to every heart and grieving every spirit. I refer to the Titanic disaster, in which many of our fellow human beings were drowned, a number of beautiful souls passed beyond this earthly life. Although such an event is indeed regrettable, we must realize that everything which happens is due to some wisdom and that nothing happens without a reason. Therein is a mystery; but whatever the reason and mystery, it was a very sad occurrence, one which brought tears to many eyes and distress to many souls…when I consider this calamity in another aspect, I am consoled by the realization that the worlds of God are infinite; that though they were deprived of this existence, they have other opportunities in the life beyond…Foregoing the pleasures and comforts of the earthly, they now partake of a joy and happiness far more abiding and real…it is our duty to remember these departed souls in our prayers and supplications that they may draw nearer and nearer to the Source itself….These are the only considerations which can comfort and console those whom they have left behind.

“Furthermore, these events have deeper reasons….These events happen in order that man’s faith may be increased and strengthened…

“Let no one imagine that these words imply that man should not be thorough and careful in his undertakings. God has endowed man with intelligence so that he may safeguard and protect himself. Therefore, he must provide and surround himself with all that scientific skill can produce. He must be deliberate, thoughtful and thorough in his purposes, build the best ship and provide the most experienced captain; yet, withal, let him rely upon God and consider God as the one Keeper. If God protects, nothing can imperil man’s safety; and if it be not His will to safeguard, no amount of preparation and precaution will avail.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 48

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