There was an item on the news tonight saying that a Mass is going to be said in Rome for the flood victims. That is great news.
But I think what we really need to consider now is serious intercessory prayer - and perhaps some repentance - seeking an end to the dreadful weather pattern that has Australia in its grip.
More to come
The flood continues to take a toll of homes in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and elsewhere, with some towns hit two or even three times over the last few weeks, cleaning up only to find themselves underwater again.
And at the entirely self-interested level there was a worrying report today in The Canberra Times that noted that the pattern of flooding experienced in Australia to date has so far eerily followed long-term meteorological predictions. And that on that basis, the nation's capital Canberra, where I live can expect to be battered by relentless storms starting shortly and continuing for the next two months, and face bad flooding.
Like much of the surrounding region we've had an abnormal amount of rain over the last several months (today was our first day of actual sun in more than a week), coupled with abnormally low temperatures for summer, so that the ground is absolutely saturated. Our dams went from half full and strict water restrictions this time last year, to 100% full in November last year. And we've already had one round of flooding that cut our satellite-town Queanbeyan, in two, blocking one of the main roads out of town.
So how should we respond?
Taking its toll but pulling together
Well obviously there are practical things Canberrans and others can do to prepare - mentally, physically and spiritually.
In that light, it has been wonderful to see the great surge of volunteer effort in the clean-up of Brisbane today, where thousands of volunteers from unaffected areas poured in to help clean-up the CBD and individual homes.
But events such as these call, I think, for more.
A call to repentance?
It would be only too easy to suggest a very long list of the possible reasons why Australia (and many other countries that are quickly secularising) might have earned God's ire at the moment. So I won't construct a list.
Nope, I certainly won't blame the recent election of the Greens and collaborators to the Federal Parliament, and their relentless campaign for euthanasia and other evils.
And I certainly wouldn't want to suggest that the floods may have rather put paid to the Greens' demand that MPs conduct a summer consultation with their constituents over gay 'marriage' legislation!
Nope, because that would be way too simplistic....
Yes, I actually do mean that. Well, maybe. After all, we could, I suppose be be the righteous suffering Job-like for reasons to do with God's greater plan.
Bring back those intercessory prayers!
But, still, whatever the reasons for the disasters, when God sends tribulations our way, the correct response is surely to turn to him and acknowledge our dependence on him. To examine our consciences and repent, and try and persuade others to do likewise.
So please, pray very hard indeed that God might spare us more of this.
In Canberra, perhaps we should be praying particularly hard, and lobbying once again, for our MPs and Senators to reject the 'Territory rights' argument and vote against the Euthanasia Bill when the Parliament resumes.
Would a general 'Dear MP, I'm a Canberran and I don't want the Federal Parliament to allow our House of Assembly to have the power to legislate on euthanasia' campaign be of any use?
And maybe our bishops and priests could consider introducing intercessory prayers at Mass and introducing devotions for the alleviation of the floods, just as we did only a short time ago, asking for an end to the drought....