Amid the immense devastation left behind in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston assured the people that God is with them in their suffering.

“When we survey the loss and devastation, it is natural to wonder how such calamity fits into God’s plan. The problem of suffering is a mystery that is always with us,” Cardinal DiNardo said in a Sept. 2 opinion piece published in the Houston Chronicle. “However, our Christian faith reminds us that the Lord is never distant from us but is intimately close,” he continued.

Hurricane Harvey tore through the Gulf Coast of Texas late last month, devastating thousands of homes with catastrophic flooding and winds. At least 60 people were killed and more than 30,000 displaced, with billions of dollars reported in property damage. Cardinal DiNardo offered words of comfort to the devastated communities in Texas, saying that God “hears the prayers of His faithful.”

The Texas cardinal quoted Psalm 69:1-3, which says, “Save me, God, for the waters have reached my neck. I have sunk into the mire of the deep, where there is no foothold.” “The cry of the psalmist speaks to the danger and distress of recent days along the Texas coast, which have tested the faith of all of God’s children,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “When it seems that we are on the verge of perishing, we must wake up the Lord in our united prayers for personal need and for all of our brothers and sisters who are suffering.”

While many communities are overwhelmed with the storm’s aftermath, the state has also seen an outpouring of rescue efforts, charitable donations and humanitarian aid. “In the midst of our darkest hour along the Gulf Coast, the people of Texas have shown humanity’s best face as we step up to the challenge before us,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “This already can be verified by the overwhelming response of help and charity from the human family as people of every race, class, religion and way of life have united in assistance for one another.”

Although many families and individuals face a long road ahead, the cardinal voiced confidence that God’s providence will ultimately bring about good, despite the suffering and loss that was caused by the storm. “With the grace of our God, we will run the race before us with energy and joy,” Cardinal DiNardo said, and “we will win.”