The Church: Our Shelter in the Storm
An ecumenical council, or a papal encyclical, could not have given a better definition of the Church than the one given last week by a tearful woman on Breezy Point.
She was being interviewed by a TV reporter, standing over the rubble of her leveled home, one of more than 100 homes in this small Queens community that were destroyed by fire in the middle of Superstorm Sandy last week. All around her, nothing of her former cherished neighborhood was standing.
In response to the reporter’s question, between sobs, she recounted her experience of that awful night. As the winds, waves, and drapes of fire came upon her, she obviously fled her little home, looking for safety. But, she could hardly see! The gale, the lashing rain, the smoke, the flames . . . ! And there were no familiar landmarks, because all of them were blown away. She stumbled desperately, calling for help, her voice muted by the roar of Sandy. Her fear was she’d walk right into the ocean, so disoriented was she, so groping for some security.
Let her finish the “narrow escape”:
“Finally, I looked up, and I was in front of the parish church. Now I knew where I was! Now I felt safe! Now I was home! The doors were open, the candles were lit, my neighbors were there, Monsignor Curran was there . . . thank God! I would be okay . . . “
That’s the Church . . . come on in . . . we all need safety in a storm . . . we all need a “home” when our own is gone . . .