I've noticed in myself that every time there is bad weather in the forecast, I start asking myself about God's Providence. I admit that part of it is my own primal fear of severe weather, but mostly it is because of what I hear people say on the news after a storm devistates a town.
My great aunt was in Joplin, MO, when it was blown off the face of the earth. She was picked up, thrown across the lawn into a tree. She survived, and the family all said that God was with her, or her guardian angel saved her.
I believe in guardian angels, and I believe that God can intervene in extraordinary situations, but I am not sure that situations like this should be held up as signs of God's Providential Protection, because it begs the questions:
- Why didn't God spare the others?
- Why didn't the victim's guardian angels help them?
Why would God protect some and not others?
The rote answers are trite and meaningless.
- Because God has a plan for them
- Grace is undiserved
- They had stronger faith
- They had better morals
Give me a break. None of these answers help us out at all. They are as helpful as, "God works in mysterious ways."
All of these explainations rob God of his aspect of Justice, which has to be unbiased. So why do bad things happen to good people or bad people?
What did Jesus say:
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down (Luke 13:1-9).
In other words, everybody dies, and after death the Judgement.
I love the simplicity of that, bad things sometimes happen, what you should concern yourself with is the type of life you have lived, not how it might end.
What about the power of prayer?
I believe in the power of prayer, and I am NOT saying that our prayers avail nothing. Prayer is a very interesting topic, and I am not sure if I have the space here to go into the why prayers may or may not be answered. I don't even think that is on topic.
Jesus says that we will be judged by the fruit of our actions. In other words, what kind of person we are. So should we pray when severe weather is in the forecast or a national or personal tragedy happens? Should we pray for a desired outcome of events we have no power over?
YES! This goes directly to the question of what kind of person are you. Are you the kind of person who intercedes for the welfare of others? I hope you are.
The first power of prayer is to conform our spirits to the ideal we wish to be.
When we pray under these circumstances we are conforming ourselves to the image of our Blessed Mother who pondered all things in her heart, and to our Precious Lord, who intercedes unceasingly on behalf of the world.
With a strong faith in God, we rebuke the winds, and ask for God's angels to stand between all beings and harm, knowing that we live in a world where the perfect will of God is not yet manifest. We work continually to build the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places where you must walk.(Ancient Egyptian Blessing or Harlan Ellison)