As I write this, the death count of the Oklahoma tornado is at 91. My and your prayers are, I am sure, with the deceased and their love ones.
As this is a Catholic blog, though, I would like to share some of the very politically incorrect thought that went through my mind as I heard the news. How many of the deceased believed in God? Did they have time to prepare themselves? How many of them are now saved, and how many condemned?
“But Mundabor, how can you have such insensitive thoughts when so many have died? How can you even think that this is the time to think about hell? How can you, come to that, think that God would send to hell even one of those whom he deprived of life in such a way? And the children, the children! How can you imagine God would send even one of them to hell??!!”.
Well, I have insensitive thoughts because I think the thought of salvation and damnation is not only never out of place, but actually very salutary in situations like this, reminding us in a very media effective way that in the midst of life we are in death. I also think that every day is the right day to think about hell, and that a day without a single thought of hell was probably a day that could have been better employed. I also, being a Catholic, do not think that dead people become heroes, or saints, just for being dead. Actually, I think the reality is far more sobering: after death the judgment.
Being a Catholic I also know that the cards of those children who died unbaptised are rather bad, with limbo to be generally expected for the little ones, and hell for many of the not so little anymore. It is important to be baptised. Actually, it is vital. Our forefathers knew these things, we are the only one who are so stupid to think we know better, and extend baptism by desire to pretty much everyone, probably including the cat and the dog if at all possible.
In the midst of life, we are in death. And if we didn't care two straws for God's laws in life, we will be very probably screwed forever in death. It's as insensitive as that.
You may think it cynical, or even wicked, to think (and remind others) of the fact that a number of those who died are probably in hell already. You may want to ask St. Thomas about the probability of damnation rates of less than 1%, but I won't insult your intelligence with such V II rubbish. Personally, I agree with Garrigou-Lagrange and many before him, whose tentative count would look rather different. Insensitive thoughts. But very salutary ones.
In your charity, pray for the dead; but as you pray, keep in mind there is one life, and after that the judgment. If you ask me, these are the days that can do most for us and the ones we love.