Humility Lesson – An Earthquake, Now a Hurricane Evacuation For Yours Truly

I am writing this post early on a Friday, to automatically post at my usual time. I have been staying at Bethany Beach Delaware,  just north of Ocean City Maryland.

We received a mandatory evacuation order last night due to impending hurricane Irene. SO my vacation ends one day early. Alas.

This evacuation comes two days after an East Coast Earthquake that damaged the beach house where we were staying (not serious). Back in DC the earthquake damaged my parish: cracks in our newly restored frescos on the Church clerestory, and the smokestack at the school was cracked and leaning. It will have to be taken down on Friday before the high winds of the hurricane come.

Ok we’ll survive, but all this is a humility lesson. Message to humanity: you are small, the world as you know it is passing away. In fact we’re so small that we have to run when that point is made obvious. What a sight to see, all the bureaucrats and politicians, in the “most powerful city in the world” running out of buildings and standing on the street. Imagine me now, sitting in a long backup of evacuees fleeing  the beach lest we be crushed or drowned by the power of swirling winds and rain.

From space a hurricane looks so beautiful, so symmetrical. But beneath its beauty terrible destruction awaits things and people in its path.

We are small, and we are contingent. And twice this week many folks on the east coast have had to run for their life. I am mindful of the words of an old hymn:

O tell of God’s might, O sing of God’s grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath, the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is God’s path on the wings of the storm.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
in thee do we trust, nor find thee to fail;
thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend

Yes, humility should make us turn to God who alone can be said to over power the things of this world that make us run. We may be troubled that he allows such destructive things, but his wisdom does permit them.

For our pride is the most deadly thing in our life, it is our greatest enemy. Perhaps the greatest gift God can give us is the gift of humility. Trust God, our maker, defender, redeemer and friend.

Here’s a little video I put together to recall humility

5 Replies to “Humility Lesson – An Earthquake, Now a Hurricane Evacuation For Yours Truly”

  1. praying you are safe while you travel to safer ground. Praying for all in the path.

  2. Bless you, monsignor! Though I am vain, yet I have always enjoyed snowstorms because they celebrate God’s ability at the same time to cover everything with beauty and make all our plans foolish

  3. Epistle 240
    My some thoughts about “the homily” of Msgr. Charles Pope are here below:
    Firstly, in the homily, Msgr. Charles Pope talked about his vacation and humility lesson that he faced an earthquake and a hurricane evacuation.
    Thus, theme of the homily is a lesson.
    Secondly, now permit me to say some my thoughts to relate to the theme of the homily hereafter:
    Most ordinary Vietnamese people have said that God also is Allah, and Allah also is God. Heaven (God) also is Buddha, and Buddha also Heaven.
    For example, people can pray to God (Allah or/and Buddha) that “God forbid that it should rain tomorrow!”
    Likewise, I prayed that “God (Allah and Buddha) give me a His class, and I was entered a class of Mai Khoi Monastery.
    Thus, here God (Allah and Buddha) is God because Mai Khoi Monastery belongs to Roman Catholic Church or God.
    My first lesson in Mai Khoi Monastery is 14 letters of Saint Paul the Apostle and spiritual leading Priest of my class is Paul Nguyen Thai Hop. Now he is Bishop of Vinh Diocese in North Vietnam.
    However, I have thought that I am not a disciple of Saint Paul the Apostle or Paul Nguyen Thai Hop because I didn’t want to give up my Communist Party as a convert.
    Furthermore, Mai Khoi Monastery belongs to Dominican Order. And I want Dominican Priests, my teachers, must convince me so that I give up my Communist Party. But they didn’t so.
    Finally, on April 2010, just my Communist Party deleted my name from its party-list.
    Therefore, I have thought that just God caused Vietnamese Communists decided so.
    If now my Party convince me to rejoin it, then I will answer that it is no, no, and never./.

  4. When I was 15, I and my family stayed with friends about 8 miles from the southern shore of the Gulf of Mexico when the eye of Hurricane Frederick came right over us (our home was on the Island which was about 4 miles farther out beyond the shore and some friends took us in to their brick home on the mainland). As the eye of the storm approached with 140 mph winds, we worried and went around the house checking as if we could control what was happening – many trees snapping and falling around us, chimney breaking in half and rolling down the roof, water coming in around the window frames, windows violently shaking, building shaking and so on. When the eye came, we were amazed at the calm. When the winds began picking up minutes later as the southern eye wall approached, I thought to myself, “What can I do? Absolutely nothing. I pray that God will take care of me. He is the only one who can do anything.” And then I went to sleep in the hallway while the raging winds came once again.

    When I woke up, the hurricane had subsided quite a bit and we were okay. We were without power for almost 30 days and there were 40 trees down all around us but not on us.

    I will always remember this – that faith in God protects us.

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