Hurricane Harvey

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As of this writing, Hurricane Harvey is bearing down on the Texas coast, about 180 miles southwest of Galveston. It is currently a Category 2 storm, expected to strengthen to Category 3 by landfall. Because of the steering currents, what happens after that is at this point unknown. The storm might move back over the Gulf before traveling north and making landfall again, or it may stall out over land for up to a week. Current estimates put rainfall in some areas at over 30". By all accounts, Harvey is likely to be one of the worst and most destructive storms in a long, long time. Areas hit directly are likely to be uninhabitable for weeks or even months to come.

I bid your prayers for all those in the path of the storm and for all those who will labor to help protect others affected by Harvey. I commend to you this prayer by Fr. James Martin, SJ: 

God of the Universe, at the dawn of creation, your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness. You created the oceans and rivers, and all that dwell within them, and at your word the wind and the waves were born. The seasons follow your plan, and the tides rise and fall on your command. In both calm and storm, you are with us. 

On the Sea of Galilee, even when the disciples began to fear, Jesus showed that he was Lord over the waters by rebuking the storms, so that all would know that even the wind and the waves obey him. 

Creator God, we ask you to calm the wind and the waves of  Hurricane Harvey, and spare those in its path from harm. Help those who are in its way to reach safety. Open our hearts in generosity to all who need help in the coming days. In all things and in all times, help us to remember that even when life seems dark and stormy, you are in the boat with us, guiding us to safety. Amen.

In addition to offering our prayers, we can help in other ways. The single most effective response any of us can make is to send money to reputable institutions that can help. The American Red Cross is certainly one of those; I also wholeheartedly recommend the Episcopal Church's organization for such emergencies, Episcopal Relief and Development. Their website is here:

In any case, please remember the people of the Texas Gulf Coast in your prayers over the coming days.