Rescuing the Miners

In Chile they have started drilling operations to rescue thirty-three miners trapped after the August 5th collapse of the main exit tunnel of the San Jose gold and copper mine.

Thirty-three, 33.

Sometimes the Holy Trinity is very subtle.

This is not one of those times.

The entire world watches with interest, hoping. Because we know they are there.

We don’t know they are there because we can directly see them. No one can see through the 2,200 feet of rock that covers them.   But we know they are there because we can see and hear them through electronic instruments.

Other miners who have been trapped say that upon rescue the miners will feel “born again” and in a sense, if the rescue is successful, they will be born from “the depth of the earth” to begin the rest of their lives.  That is, anyway, what their loved ones and the whole watching world hope for.  That is what we pray, “[f]or the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also” (Psalm 95: 3-4).

With compassionate imagination we wonder how we would react to such an awesome predicament, to the impending horror they faced in those first few silent weeks, to the anticipation of rescue, still many weeks away.  Our hearts go out to them even though it is hard to fully comprehend what they are facing because we have not been there, under the rock.

Still, their humanity calls to us. We know they are there.

The same way we know the unborn are there. Even though we cannot see them except through electronic instruments — we know. We know their humanity, their just claim upon the resources of society, the urgency of their plight.

How strange that the world turns away from the impending horror so many of them face, will not enfold them in its compassionate imagination.  How can we ignore them? How can we deny them the rescue that would allow them to be born to begin the rest of their lives? How, when, after all, we were there?

“I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth” (Psalm 139: 14-15).

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  • ccr1333

    I also noticed the “33” a number that reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice.

    They were trapped on August 5. The Day of Our Lady of the Snow (St. Mary Major)

    The mine where they are trapped is called “San José” (St. Joseph)

    The Sacred Family is all there, symbolically.

    The media has not informed this but I know that the Holy Father sent them 33 Rosaries blessed by himself. The miners already received them.

  • Genevieve S. Kineke

    Thank you, Mary. I hadn’t considered the parallel with the unborn–beautiful. I did see a rosary around one fellow’s neck. Our Lady is there with her dear sons, and I don’t doubt that they will turn to God in their predicament.

  • elkabrikir

    Mary, what a poignant and beautiful reflection.


  • jmtfh

    This reminds me of the Space Shuttle explosion in the 80s.

    The world grieved for those whose lives were lost so violently as they were supposedly protected in their life capsule…some recognized the tragic parallel–a nation horrified by that loss of life but so oblivious to the millions whose lives were being violently ended in the life capsule of the womb!

  • Pingback: | Pray for the trapped Chilean miners()

  • Lori Watson

    Beautiful, Mary. Absolutely beautiful and very thought-provoking. Thank you for writing it!

  • Carol Lloyd

    Thank you, Mary. Poignant and profound connection.