Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Where Is God in the Storm?

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Where Is God in the Storm?

Article excerpt

The 37th prayer listed "for special occasions" in the Catholic Sacramentary, the official Catholic worship book, is the prayer "to avert storms." The text reads:

   Father, all the elements of
   nature obey your command.
   Calm the storm that threatens
   And turn our fear of your power
   Into praise of your goodness.

As floodwaters converged on Iowa City in early June, Fr, Jeff Belger, director of the Catholic Student Center, said he started to say the prayer at use that prayer," he said in a story in the Davenport Catholic Messenger.

Tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding hit Iowa hard; taking lives and destroying homes, farmlands and damaging a few churches. Complicating the human need to make sense out of catastrophe is the growing evidence that human activity is one cause for recent weather extremes around the planet.

NCR spoke with two people who know both prayer and storms well. asking: Just what do we expect to happen when we ask God to protect us from weather events?

From 1994 to 2006, Sr. Betty Condon of the Adrian Dominicans lived and served at Sea of Peace House of Prayer on Edisto Island off the coast of South Carolina. She has had 11 hurricane seasons to consider God's role in the weather.

"God always answers our prayers, but not always in the way we want. Good often comes out of disaster, and our faith, even as we feel anger and desperation, can be turned to good," said Condon. now living in Adrian. Mich. "Often we know this in hindsight, but the grace does come.

"I believe God's people who live in poor situations have this faith. …

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