“And There Was A Great Calm”
Category : Reflections For The Heart
“Then he got into the boat followed by his disciples. Suddenly a storm broke over the lake, so violent that the boat was being swamped by the waves. But he was asleep. So they went to him and woke him saying, ‘Save us, Lord, we are lost!’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened, you who have so little faith?’ And then he stood up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
Matthew 8:23-27 NJB
For the last several months, we have tried to follow where the Lord has led us, and we have felt ‘swamped by the waves’; the waves of moving, ministering, growing as individuals and a community, and simply learning to live a fraternal life. It has been chaotic, stressful, overwhelming, and all the while, a true blessing. We started the summer out visiting our families, speaking at parishes, and taking time for fellowship. We bounced around Western New York assisting with different ministries and making new relationships with the beautiful families and people in this Diocese. We went to the Erie County fair, slipped down to Georgia, spent time in Allegheny and Olean, popped into Philly to see the Holy Father, and swung out to New Hampshire. We had countless people over for dinner, meetings, and visits, and on the flip side we were invited out to meet and eat with many new friends and benefactors. We celebrated our first Thanksgiving together as a community and returned to our families for the Christmas Season. It really was a wonderful time.
As the New Year rang in, we found ourselves resting in Adoration of Our Lord, reflecting on the adventure we had just undergone. Fireworks were booming, bells were chiming, and we were prayerfully sleeping – or sleepfully praying! Throughout all these travels and ministries we underwent many physical illnesses and injuries. We cried, we laughed, we stayed up through the night, and we overslept through numerous alarms. God truly stretched and purified us in so many ways. We felt like the disciples in this passage crying out “Save us, Lord, we are lost!”. We began to feel like we had taken on too much, that we weren’t cut out for all that we had prayed about doing. Although we felt lost and as if we were surely perishing, we never were. Just like Jesus remained with his disciples in this scripture, so He has remained with us. In the midst of the ‘go, go, go’ lifestyle we now live, we have come to realize something: the more we ‘go, go, go’, the more we must ‘pray, pray, pray’. The moment we pray is the moment Our Savior calms the storm. He may not calm it exactly how we see best or would like Him to, but He calms it none the less.
As we all continue to follow where Our Lord leads us through this new year, may we always remember that everything is grace. Everything is an opportunity for greater love. Everything is a chance to take a step closer to the Cross. Every time the storm clouds roll across the horizon of our lives and the great thunder roars its mighty bellow, just fall to your knees in prayer and surrender. Remember that no matter how chaotic things seem to get, or actually do become, that the Good Shepherd is always tending to His sheep.