From the Pastor's Desk

Cordial greetings to all of you, as we now find ourselves on the other side of Hurricane Irma! Providential it is that we were spared from a more severe impact. The forecasts, as you know, suggested a potentially worse result. We may have recently lost many trees. We may have suffered the temporary inconveniences of electrical, phone, and internet outages. But, we have our lives! Thanks be to God!

Before the powerful effects of nature, in many ways, we have been humbled. Confronted with the recent natural disasters of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornados, volcanos, wide fires, and even the inspiring spectacular recent solar eclipse, the human family has been brought to an awareness that life, in its mystery, is very much beyond our control. We stand before the providence of God’s designs with empty hands. Maybe moments, like our current experience, can make us more reliant on the Lord. Perhaps our sight can be lifted heavenward. Perhaps, with new wisdom, we might conclude the importance of seeing everything in proper perspective. Houses and trees may pass away, “but my word” (my love) “will never pass away,” says the Lord. So often, our lives are consumed by things that are secondary matter. In moments like the present, we have an occasion to get our focus back onto the primary.

Admittedly, I felt the same pangs, as many of you, of discomfort and inconvenience during these recent days. Yet, where there is darkness, Christ’s light is all the more strong. The neighborliness, the generosity, the togetherness in suffering, the lending of helping hands, kindly words of encouragement, fervent prayers of gratitude, as well as prayerful hopes for new beginnings, are only the first evidences of the grace of this moment.

In the back yard of the priest house residence is the Grotto of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Annually, we have an outdoor candlelight rosary on the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. You will recall that we also begin the Marian month of May with a similar custom. During the recent hurricane, while looking out the back window of my room, I kept looking at the statue of the Blessed Mother that was situated, as always, in its prominent placement in the Grotto. Truthfully, I had always presumed that is was made of a ceramic plaster, cement, or even marble. Certainly a heavy substance that anchored it onto the platform on which it stands. While trees and limbs and other things were flying by during the 80 mile-an-hour winds of the recent storm, I was just waiting for the Grotto and its statue to be damaged. Peering out the window of my room time and time again, I noticed that nothing happened to the statue. Following the storm, as I walked throughout the property to do a damage assessment, I walked by the Grotto and decided to go inside to touch and examine the statue for damage. To my amazement, the statue, which is made of nothing more than Tupperware plastic, and is NOT anchored to anything on the platform, had remained standing in its same position, unmoved, during the entire storm! The discovery gave me pause to reflect on the providence and protection we were given in the present moment. Even our Saint Therese Grotto on Sevilla Avenue was virtually untouched. We have much for which to be thankful.

Going forward, with grateful hearts, may we not get caught up in the secondary matter of life, but ground ourselves, with empty hands, in the providence and love of God.

Father Davis