Caritas India, the social work arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India for social concern and human development organized an inter religious prayer gathering in association with Kerala Social Service Forum for the flood victims in Kerala, on August 31, 2018 at Pastoral Orientation Center, Kochi.
The religious leaders from known leading religions in Kerala attended the prayer gathering and showed their solidarity for the poor people affected by the flood on the eve of World Day of Prayer for the Care of the Creation”.
“The people in Kerala should consider the flood and the disaster as the nature given opportunity to up bring the human divinity sidelining egocentric and self – centered thoughts”, said Cardinal Mar. George Alanchery, Major Arch Bishop of Syro-Malabar Church. He also added, “We should consider the occasion of disaster response and rebuilding process and activities as an occasion to praise God and we should offer our prayers to the affected people”. Bishop Susaipakiam, President of Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference pointed out that “it is an unexpected opportunity to learn and lead more qualified life. It is the punishment of nature to the human being who forgets God and Nature when he is more comforted”. He added, “our time has come to work together for justice keeping away the wickedness.”
“The great thought of Communion, a feeling of true brotherhood, Survival with God are the three lessons which were taught by the flood” pointed out Rev. Fr. Paul, Ex. Director, Caritas India. Selfless Service upholding the divine thought of siding with the people is the need of time also added Fr. Paul.
“When God created the world He appreciated his creation, we as humans have never appreciated the creation. God asked the man to till the earth and to serve the earth, also to conserve the earth. We have been using and misusing the nature which has resulted in this flood. It was not just human lives which have been lost during these floods but also the animals and livestock have been destroyed. All creations have value, all creation is interconnected, we can’t breathe without trees, God is the part of this earth, according to Hindu theology all Hindu gods have lived on this Earth with normal people. The Earth is a goddess, Agni is the god of Fire, Varuna is the god of oceans, Vayu is god of wind, Indra is the god of rain, Aranyani is god of forest, which means every element has a godly touch, every atom has a part of God and so only if you respect nature, our prayer would be meaningful” said by Mar. Abraham Mar Julious, Bishop, Muvattupuzha Diocese.
“We should also extend our prayers for nature. We should retreat to nature and instead of insisting upon nature resisting approach we must focus on nature-friendly developmental approach” said Acharya Sachidananda Bharathi, Dharma Bharathy Mission.
“It is the incessant duty of the people to help the flood-affected people without any file. The huge waste deposited in the river and roadside is the symbolic representation of human sins in mind and the flood commemorates us to wash and clean our mindsets” said Mar. Joseph Karikkassery, Bishop, Kottapuram Diocese.
When a gentile prepared to face the disaster with heartfelt prayer, a new culture of co-operation has emerged. It is this which re-strengthened the reality ‘We are One’ said by Swami Bodhendra Theertha. He also added the relief camps witnessed the beauty of equality among people which any religion and science cannot bring forth.
Mar. Mathew Moolakkattil, Bishop of Kottayam Diocese, Fr. Marian Arackal, Cochin Social Service Society Director, Fr. George Vettikkattil, KSSF Director also delivered their prayers in the gathering. Fr. Varghese Vallikkatt, Deputy Secretary, KCBE recited the nature protection pledge. The inter-religious prayer gathering also honoured the tireless service of the fisherman community who saved thousands of lives during the flood.
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