Peace After the Storm?

“God is the life of all free beings. He is the salvation of all, of believers or unbelievers, of the just or the unjust, of the pious or the impious, of those freed from passions or those caught up in them, of monks or those living in the world, of the educated or the illiterate, of the healthy or the sick, of the young or of the very old. He is like the outpouring of the light, the glimpses of the sun, or the changes of the weather, which are the same for everyone without exception” (Sr. Benedicta Ward).

10 thoughts on “Peace After the Storm?

  1. Thank you for this picture Fr. Neo.
    I live across the street from my church, which as I have mentioned before is a beautiful Old Gothic structure. I go there before work in the mornings to pray. As I was in prayer this morning I looked around the sanctuary and as on numerous occassions I admired its beauty. But this morning I began to contemplate the churches of New Orleans and wondered how they had survived the storm the storm. I thought about how I would feel if the sanctuary I have used almost daily for prayer for many years now was destroyed, or even severely damaged. Or even how I would feel if the Faith Community I now consider my family had to be evacuated and were separated and torn apart. I guess the impact of Hurricane Katrina will be felt in more ways than anyone could hope to contemplate.

  2. I know that many churches are now gone and their flocks scattered. I cannot even imagine what that must be like. I know two priests who are now homeless and churchless…They are safe and have a place to stay, though, unlike so many others who do not.

  3. Thank you for this photograph and these words of hope in this world that is so hostile to Christianity…Tonight I tasted of despair…Lord have mercy on us all.

  4. Lord,
    For the just and unjust,
    for our brother’s and sisters and our fellow man,
    we seek your best for them through trials and triumph.
    amen

  5. It’s interesting to me that given the right level of pain, or the right level of vision of God at work in the world in tangible, incarnate ways, the squabbles and bickerings between postures and traditions fall to prayers, gratitude, and a craving for community.

    Could it be that the squabbles and bickering that trip us so much of the time are evidence of lives spent in less than honest intercession, less than yielded listening, less than trusting faith?

    I’ve noticed the same sorts of responses when God is visible in joyful ways as well.

    It seems that the only times pettiness wins the day come when this big, majestic God’s presence somehow feels commonplace instead of enduring.

    If joy and pain drive out squabbles between traditions who each fall back to Christ in times of joy or pain, do the squabbles matter? Does all of the discussion about one tradition versus another here matter, or are those discussions just time fillers while we wait for moments of joy and pain and our reminders of the Jesus we love?

    A real question, that. Do the squabbles matter?

  6. Good point Mr. Gall. I have been thinkning about all the destroyed churches in New Orleans and have been reflecting on our discussions here about the relevance of the Church. It will be interesting to see how the (Episcopal) Diocese reacts to this in Louisiana. Will they reopen? Will they disband? Will they ever see each other again?

    The mission and even identity of what constitutes the ‘church’ will have to be radically redefined in New Orleans. I guess we’ll find out if ‘churches’ are necessary or not. What they will be asking in New Orleans perhaps is what we should have been asking all along…

  7. Listen to this Quote from Johnny C:

    “You honor the altar in church, because the Body of Christ rests upon it; but those who are themselves the very Body of Christ you treat with contempt, and you remain indifferent when you see them perishing. This living altar you can see everywhere, lying in the street and market places, and at any hour you can offer sacrifice upon it.”

  8. “Healing hands of God, have mercy on our unclean souls once again. Freedom means love without condition; without a beginning or an end. Here’s my heart, let it be forever Yours. Only you can make every new day seem so new.” ~Five Iron Frenzy, may they rest in Reese’s pieces.

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