Thursday, November 01, 2012

After the Storm

Hurricane Sandy has rained misery and destruction upon millions of Americans in 18 states and the District of Columbia. It's difficult to conceptualize the chaos and hardship people are enduring in the densely populated metropolitan areas of the Northeast. I can't begin to imagine it, and I grew up there.

Statue of the Blessed Mother - Breezy Point, Queens NY
Today is the Feast of All Saints on the Catholic calendar. The patron saint of the U.S.A. is the Immaculate Conception, better known as Mary, Mother of Jesus. I found it amazing that her image survived the raging inferno in Breezy Point, Queens. Her statue stands among the ashes of the neighborhood that burned to dust.

Is this a random coincidence, or a promise of hope? There is no way to know. But our neighbors who were devastated by the storm need more than human help. They need heaven's, too.

So I think a prayer is in order for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. In disastrous circumstances such as these, I favor the Memorare. The name is Latin for "remember." Appropriately enough, this prayer is addressed to Mary, the Blessed Mother:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
As Christians will recall from the gospel story of the Miracle at Cana, when Mary asks something of the Lord, he listens. It may take a long time on a rough and rugged road to arrive at the answer. But at some point after the storm, morning will come.