Japan’s devastation this week from the earthquake and the resulting tsunami have left thousands dead. Now, the Japanese are beset with damage to six nuclear reactors. We must give our brothers and sisters in Japan our prayers and assistance. It is also a very good time to recall that in the Seventies of the last century Japan was the scene of the best authenticated Marian apparition since Fatima, and which has been deemed worthy of belief by the Vatican. The message of Our Lady of Akita is a stern one, and a call for repentance and a turning to God. Here at the beginning of Lent we have a graphic reminder that in this world, as well as in the next, our only sure reliance is in God.