Obviously, our prayers tonight are with our fellow Americans in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi as they face Gustav. Many of these people are abandoning their lives and homes for the second time in 3 years.
I also ask that we take this opportunity to remember some very courageous nuns, at the turn of the last century, who did not have the benefit of radar but did have the grace of their love in facing a category 5 hurricane. This was posted on VCR in the first week of June of this year. Say a special prayer for their souls tonight, as you will see by reading their story, they have earned our prayers.
Post from June 3, 2008:
"This next post is directed for all those lapsed Catholics out there who think joking about nuns with rulers from their past is a socially acceptable way to take shots at our Faith.
This news piece had a teacher in Sichuan, China, reacting to a natural disaster: “A secondary school teacher has set himself dramatically against the tales of heroism arising from the Sichuan earthquake by describing how he callously abandoned his pupils to their fate. In an act of moral foolhardiness, Fan Meizhong set out on a blog his guiding principle: in matters of life and death, it's every man for himself.”
This story drew stark contrast for me remembering the story of the famous Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Galveston, TX, reacting to their natural disaster. (Please note all the children mentioned were orphans; that these nuns took in when they had no one and as you will see, cared for them as their own.)
“By nightfall, 150 mile an hour [hurricane] winds howled and the sisters took desperate measures. They had cut the clothesline down and each sister had about six or eight children tied to her side like mountain climbers. In this way, they had hoped to hold on to the children and lead them to safety. Their efforts were to no avail.
Eventually, the girls dormitory collapsed, dumping 93 children and 10 sisters into the raging waters. Only three boys, who clung to a tree, survived. When the bodies of the others were discovered, many were still tied together. One of the [surviving] boys remembered a sister tightly holding two small children in her arms, promising not to let go...
Two of the sisters [bodies]were found together across the bay on the mainland. One of them was tightly holding two small children in her arms. Even in death she had kept her promise not to let go.”
So the next time someone breaks out a joke about ruler-toting nuns, asked them if they know all the uses for a clothesline. May these nuns rest in God's mercy, and may God bless all the nuns whose lives center around serving Christ by bringing his love to others.