God Was With Tsunami Victims, Says Cardinal Sodano

During a Mass for Repose of the Souls of the Deceased

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 24, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Angelo Sodano proposed an answer to a question that has been on the minds of many people: Where was God during the tsunami?

The Vatican secretary of state offered a response today, almost a month after the Dec. 26 tragedy, during a Mass for the repose of the souls of the victims of the Southeast Asian tidal wave.

«God is always by our side!» exclaimed the cardinal, who presided at the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. «He became man to share our existence, in the happy and sad moments of life.»

The tsunami disaster claimed between 157,000 and 221,000 lives, according to varying government counts.

«Once again man has experienced his littleness before the complexity of the world in which we live,» Cardinal Sodano said in his homily. «So, there arose spontaneously in us the inner drive to look at heaven, seeking answers to so many questions that come in such moments of confusion.»

«Some have even asked how it is possible that man, who has been able to go to the moon, and to send a probe to Titan, more than 1 billion kilometers from the earth, is so impotent before these disasters,» he continued.

«Many have wondered, moreover, if the Christian faith has a clarifying answer to the enigma of pain,» the cardinal noted.

Cardinal Sodano answered: «Yes. God always loves people, and is always by their side with a Father’s love!

«In this connection, expressive is the answer that a well-known writer put on the lips of Christ, when replying to a question posed by a poor wayfarer who fell into the mud. ‘Where are you, my God?’ the pilgrim cried out as he sank into the mud. But he immediately heard a mysterious voice that responded from on high: ‘I am with you in the mud!'»

«This is the lesson of faith: God accompanies man in every instant of his life,» said Cardinal Sodano, who also told of John Paul II’s commitment to help those affected by the disaster.

The Vicar of Christ, the cardinal said, continues to invite all «to solidarity in favor of these brothers and sisters of ours, reminding us of the well-known words of a saint: ‘At the end of life, we will be judged on love.’"

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