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encountering the storms

From the author, Reason2bCatholic

For those who’ve been to sea, to sea in open water far from land, and who have encountered storms face-to-face with the fury and force of nature, it is then that you recognize how powerless you are in the vast expanse of water that surrounds you.  You are at the mercy of the destructive force of winds and wave.

In the Psalms we read an image of such force that causes men to cry out to their Lord in their distress.  Such is it with the storms of life.  Some storms can be seen from a distance closing in.  Other storms are upon us suddenly, like a fearsome squall.  It’s said the sea can make a man see the face of his God.  In such moments of intense helplessness a man knows he’s entered the limits of his own power and is at the mercy of God.

We see this relationship of Man, God, and Mercy on display in this Edward Hopper poem, and from the Psalmist in the Book of Psalms (Ps 107).  I hope you will enjoy.

Peace be with you!

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

(The Sailor’s Hymn)
by Edward Hopper

Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

While th’Apostles’ fragile bark
Struggled with the billows dark,
On the stormy Galilee,
Thou did walk upon the sea;
And when they beheld thy form,
Safe they glided through the storm.

Though the sea be smooth and bright,
Sparkling with the stars of night,
And my ship’s path be ablaze
With the light of halcyon days,
Still I know my need of Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

When the darkling heavens frown,
And the wrathful winds come down,
And the fierce waves, tossed on high,
Lash themselves against the sky,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea.

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will,
When Thou sayest to them, Be still!
Wondrous sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
’Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on thy breast,
May I hear thee say to me,
“Fear not, I will pilot thee.”

Hopper gra­du­at­ed from New York Un­i­ver­si­ty (1839) and Un­ion The­o­lo­gi­cal Seminary, New York City (1842). He was or­dained a Pres­by­ter­i­an min­is­ter in 1842, and served pas­tor­ates in Green­ville, New York; Sag Har­bor, Long Is­land; and at the Church of the Land and the Sea in New York City.

Even today, human beings have no control over storms at sea, and sometimes very little control over storms in the heart.  Only God has the power to still the tempest without and tempests within.”

From MAGNIFICAT, June 2, 2020; https://us.magnificat.net/

Psalm 107:23-32

Some sailed to the sea in ships
to trade on the mighty waters.
These men have seen the Lord’s deeds,
the wonders he does in the deep.

For he spoke; he summoned the gale,
raising up the waves of the sea.
Tossed up to heaven, then into the deep;
their soul melted away in their distress.

They staggered, reeled like drunken men,
for all their skill was gone.
Then they cried to the Lord in their need
and he rescued them from their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper:
all the waves of the sea were hushed.
They rejoiced because of the calm
and he led them to the haven they desired.

Let them thank the Lord for his love,
the wonders he does for men.
Let them exalt him in the gathering of the people
and praise him in the meeting of the elders.

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt

Jesus, Pilot of my Soul, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family, pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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