A Prayer for Safety from the Storm

O Good and Loving God, you so loved the world you sent your only Son to live among us and to experience the fullness of humanity in all things except sin. As we wait for the approaching storm, we experience the full range of human emotion, sure and certain, that Jesus our Savior knows our anxiety, our fear, and our trepidations. And so we pray:

God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.
Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken
and mountains quake to the depths of the sea,
Though waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging
God will help at the break of day (Psalm 46)

In the days and hours to come, O heavenly Father, as you have revealed yourself to us in your Son, be near to us now in this time of pending harm. Save us from the tempests and waves, draw us ever closer to you as we confidently seek your protection from the destructive force of this storm.

May the Lord bless us and keep us;
May He show His face to us and have mercy.
May He turn His countenance to us and give us peace.


Irma Comes A Calling

Sacred Heart is a traditionally beautiful church – not too far off the path of Hurricane Irma. We are located in Tampa, right there in the middle of the “cone of uncertainty.”

As you might imagine, we celebrate lots of weddings. We had four scheduled for this weekend. Then Irma came a calling. Bridal party reservations for receptions were being cancelled, hotels were closing, wedding guests asked to evacuate, and it was just becoming a bride worst nightmare on the most special day of their lives.

If we are anything, we are adaptable. Thanks to the great staff here at the parish, we moved everything to Friday – all four weddings. As I write we have celebrated two of them and have two more to go. Here was the gospel the couple had picked for the next wedding. Rather appropriate don’t you think?

Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” (Mt 7:26-28)

By tonight the newly married couples and their guests will start evacuating to other places. I am glad we could help them celebrate.  May God bless them and the staff of Sacred Heart.