As we approach the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on August 29th, I shared a few of my reflections in an article published in the Clarion Herald Catholic newspaper, the Catholic paper for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, on Wednesday, July 16th.
When Hurricane Katrina made its way into the Gulf of Mexico five years ago, I clearly remember the book that I was using for daily meditation: “Finding God in All Things” by William A. Barry S.J.
In this classic rendering of St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises, Barry reminds us of a central truth of our Christian faith:that God is present in EVERY event, in EVERY moment and in EVERY aspect of our life.
With a Category 5 storm bearing down on the Louisiana coastline, I was struck by the irony of this intersection between my faith and its practice; along with the immediate invitation to, indeed, BE a person of faith during such a time of adversity.
Do I really believe that God is present in this storm? If so, where is God present in the storm? Not knowing if loved ones, including my parents and members of our religious community were safe, faith was not at a distance; and, surely not an abstraction.
Living without certainly and control moved my prayer to a new intensity, a new yearning and, eventually, a new awareness of God’s presence–quite literally, in the midst of a storm. Immediately after the storm but before the flood, my parents evacuated to stay in our religious community in Baton Rouge for the week’s following the disaster.Each day brought with it new invitations to trust God in the darkness of uncertainty and without assurances of planned outcomes.
Looking back, this time of my life with my parents during this time of such adversity for so many has become one God’s special graces revealing to me a hidden treasure lying in wait for those seek: the treasure of discovering God—present in ALL moments, in all events and in all times, even in the midst of the storm.
Here is the link to the article on line: http://clarionherald.info/clarion/index.php/special-sections/back-to-school/3549-new-ash-headmistress-gods-faithfulness-anchor-in-katrina