The recent after-shocks in Christchurch have brought back to mind the terrible damage inflicted on that city by the earthquake in February.
The Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was badly battered by the February quake and stands as a pained memorial to the dead and the hole in the lives of the living, who are unable to re-enter the worst affected part of the city.
Before the quake the Cathedral was a fine looking Renaissance styled building:
The February quake smashed a building that had already been weakened by the bigger quake of September 2010:
The Cathedral is currently considered to be unsafe for people to enter, but the scale of the internal damage can be seen from this remote-controlled camera footage:
For the moment, the future of the Cathedral, as with the rest of the historic centre of Christchurch, is uncertain.
As the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer have already pointed out, even among the rubble, Our Lady has proffered us a sign of her concern for us and a sign of hope for all Christians in adversity:
Please keep the people of Christchurch in your prayers.
Our Lady of Christchurch, pray for us.