|A photo, taken last night, of the "Thomas Fire" sweeping over|
the hills near Santa Paula and Ventura, in Southern CA.
Last night, a wildfire popped up about a mile south of my Alma Mater, Thomas Aquinas College, in Southern California. The fire exploded overnight, due to extremely heavy winds, and now covers an area of more than 31,000 acres - it is still uncontained. Named after the college, the fire is now being referred to by the media as the "Thomas Fire." There is a giant wall of fire stretching over ten miles from Thomas Aquinas College, in Santa Paula, to the Pacific beaches of the city of Ventura. Thousands of homes have been evacuated, thousands destroyed, thousands of people (including many dear friends of mine) are currently homeless. If you are a prayerful person and you are reading this, your prayers for this wonderful little Catholic, Liberal Arts college, and for the community surrounding it, and for the thousands of people who inhabit Ventura County, would be much appreciated.
I have had a home destroyed by fire once, although in a much less dramatic way than is taking place now in beautiful Ventura County. The current flames which are swallowing up one of the most beautiful areas on the planet are even more potent reminder of the last days, on which I have reflected before. Everything on this earth shall pass away in flames one day. But such will be only a temporal flame, no matter how violently it rages. Everything will be subjected to purgatory on the last day. May God preserve us in that day - and may he preserve the people of Ventura County now.