Father Jiang Tian Xiang, pastor of the Church of Xiu Shui, which was devastated by the earthquake of last May, stands outside the ruins of his parish every day to help parishioners and tell them, “If you simply have Our Lord in your heart, you will never be afraid of anything!”
The Fides news agency reported this week that on May 12, the day of the earthquake, Father Jiang was in Beijing. After hearing the news of the quake, he began the journey back without knowing if the road would be open. Fr. Jiang arrived at his parish three days later to find it in ruins. He saw an old man who was watching over the church day and night and asked him, “Weren’t you afraid that there would be aftershocks and you would be here alone?”. The man told him: “If you simply have Our Lord in your heart, you will never be afraid of anything.”
Impressed by the man’s words, Fr. Jiang took them as his own motto.
“I am not going anywhere. I should guarantee daily Mass for my people who come from a long-ways away. And it always rains? Well, my clothes dry off from my body heat. What do I eat? Whatever nature provides. I have never felt unwell, thanks be to God,” Fr. Jiang said.
“Fifty days after the earthquake, it was my 43rd birthday, and I thanked the Lord with a Mass, entrusting the reconstruction work to Him,” he continued. “That same day, I was visited by the Jinde Charity volunteers. They brought me food, tents, wood. After loading up everything, wiping the sweat off my face with a tissue, I was suddenly inspired to say, ‘Thank you Lord! What a beautiful birthday gift you have given me! Who said that earthquakes only have negative consequences?’ We should look at the people who never came together and are now coming together, the people who had forgotten the faith and are returning. We owe everything to the Lord,” he said.