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Why is it that sometimes Catholic buildings or objects survive so wondrously after a disaster -- tornado, flood, hurricane, war, earthquake, even a tsunami -- while other times they suffer severe and sometimes catastrophic damage?

You could argue, of course, it's the luck of the draw -- that in any such event some things make it and others don't, although the way religious objects make it through often seems poignant. The examples are too many for a list here. After Hurricane Katrina, we had a series of articles on various churches and objects that made it through. After Hurricane Charley, a church was all in ruins save for its tabernacle (and a candle that remained lit within). In Mostar, Bosnia-Hercegovina, all that stood in a bombed-out cathedral was the altar. This week, there is a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes that survived an earthquake in Maaribojoc, Bohol [see above], while the town's parish church was reduced to rubble in an earthquake this week (10/15/13); elsewhere, at least ten churches were badly damaged, including some of the oldest (dating back to the 1700s). 

Does God shower down graces?

He showers down graces.

Can we prove it?

Of course not.

We can experience it.

We can perceive it.

Most importantly, we believe it.

To be skeptical and skeptical only is to adhere, only, to the standards of the world.

And with that in mind we present a recent note from Andrea and Patrick Walshe of Bellmore on Long Island, New York, who wrote:

"This past August 15, the Blessed Mother's Assumption, when all the waters are blessed, we once again were at Point Lookout for the annual Eucharistic Procession. It always starts with the Rosary in the grotto on the ground of the Miraculous Medal Church. We then proceed with Jesus and sometimes as many as half-a-dozen priests in the streets blessing the whole area straight to the Point at the beach. The priests bless all the waters as well as ask for protection from hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, etcetera. Keep in mind when Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island, many homes at Point Lookout did not even have a drop of water in them, whereas its neighbor Long Beach was devastated. The power of God's blessings! After the procession we have Mass which usually starts around eight p.m., and after Mass we all go down to the beach to bless ourselves in the water. Every year we get these pictures with all these orbs. We just love it. One of the pictures looks like snow or rain. Mind you it was a beautiful evening, clear, cool, and blessed.

"I believe Point Lookout gets a special blessing because they ask for them. Our Lord says, 'Ask and you shall receive, knock and the doors will be open.' Well the residents of this small hamlet are blessed because they ask."

Ah, yes. Sea mist?

And there are also -- elsewhere -- those photos taken of statues...just different lighting, angles?

Drama, anyway. Maybe.

It slides on the edge of perception; nothing quite proven; nothing quite dismissed; all in the eyes of the beholder; in the eyes of faith.

[Above, sent by Kate Callener: a photo of a statue of St Therese, located in St Patrick's church, Bisbee, Arizona. "One of our parishioners took a photo, then when she went home, noticed that 'her' whole demeanor had changed -- angle of head, tears welling in her eyes, slight raise of the Crucifix. The Blessed Mother weeps often in her apparitions - the Saints join in the sorrow of what surrounds them on this planet....."]

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