In the USA, Memorial Day ushers in the summer season even though summer does not officially begin untill June 21. In Boston the temperature right now feels like autumn: the air has a chill, even though the flowers and lush greenery deceptively look like summer.
My heart goes out to all those suffering the effects of tornadoes as far east of Massachusetts. As a teenager, I was home from school once when the sky turned an ominous yellow, and a funnel cloud passed over our house. By then my mother and I were in the basement. The tornado passed over us without touching down. It sounded like a freight train at terrifically high speed as it sped away. In the late 1980's another Sister and I were in Texas scheduled to give a workshop on catechetics in parish about 250 miles north of us. We watched in dismay as a TV newscast showed the remnants of homes, churches and businesses destroyed by a Sunday tornado. Our workshop was set for the next day, Monday evening. We called ahead and the pastor said to come anyway, even though there were some casualties in his parish too.
A powerful tornado had traveled over 300 miles dipping down, rising up and churning everything in its path to bits and pieces.
As Sister and I guided our van to our destination we saw alongside our route what tornado devastation looked like. Some areas were unscathed, others were totally destroyed. Sheet metal walls were twirled around sign posts like so much ribbon. A small wooden church lay on its side, all the pews pushed up again one another. Remnants of trailer homes lay scattered in fields ready for harvest. Pink sheets of fiberglass insulation clung to trees, and volunteer emergency personnel were already doling out food and water to survivors. We were following the tornado's path. It seems to have followed the same route we drove. It swept through some towns and ignored others. We saw debris for mile-after-mile: a memory I hold even now as very impressive. When we arrived at the parish, the Benedictine nuns there told us how a young mother whose husband worked in the rose industry, lost her baby to the tornado.
Why does God allow such violent storms? As St. Paul says in Romans 8:28: "For those who love God all things work together for the good." It takes time to clean-up, much more time to heal lossesater, and healing of memories requires God's tender mercy. For those of you who can afford it, please give to the causes collecting for tornado and flood relief.
May this month of June bring many graces through the Sacred Heart of Jesus Master. and, may St. Paul whose feast day is at the end of June intercede for all of u.