Hope against Hurricanes

Hurricane Joaquin’s recent sudden change of direction and subsequent severe damage reminded me of Hurricane Charley. The track forecast for both hurricanes shifted significantly eastward.

Hurricane Charley was headed to our apostolate’s small mobile home office in Nokomis, Florida, while we were at our center in St. Albans, Vermont. It was the hour of mercy and my staff and myself adjourned to our chapel and fell on our knees begging Jesus King of All Nations for His protection and to spare the office.

Jesus King of All Nations promises us His protection and to mitigate the severity of the chastisements upon our country. He said, “Each time you say these prayers, I will mitigate the severity of the chastisements upon your country. Whenever there is the threat of severe weather, recite these prayers along with the prayers I will later teach you, and no harm will come to you or to those you pray for.” ( 41-42). He also promises “mercy, pardon, and protection in times of severe weather and plagues.” (Journal 54).  You can see the Journal here.

As we prayed for His mercy during the hour of mercy, Hurricane Charley took a sharp turn away from Nokomis and headed directly for its landfall in Punta Gorda. This sharp  turn, in response to our prayers, occurred at 3:48 PM, spared our office and baffled scientists.

Hurricane Charley was traveling at 258 kilometers per hour, but suddenly changed direction within minutes of the coast. “There was a sudden intensification and a veering to the right of track, and we’re all trying to work out why,” said Mark Saunders, a tropical storm expert from Benfield Hazard Centre at University College London, UK. We believe that Jesus King of All Nations fulfilled His promised protection.

Here is a formula for protection, endurance and survival of chastisements:

God’s Survival Kit: Faith in God’s Protection, Prayer for Protection, Thanksgiving for Protection, Acts of Mercy for Victims and Hope for the Future. As Jesus King of All Nations requested, we should embrace His devotion, pray His prayers, wear His medal of protection, rely on His promises of protection, enthrone and venerate His image everywhere and pray through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel and Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace.

Hurricane Charley Survivors gave us by their examples this formula for protection, endurance and survival of chastisements.

Faith in God’s Protection. Jesus King of All Nations said, I have come to entrust to you a message of great importance for the world. I tell you…the days are coming when Mankind will cry out to Me for mercy.  I tell you, My child, only one thing will be given as a remedy. I Myself AM that remedy! Let souls give devotion to Me through My Most Holy Mother, who mediates to Me on their behalf, as ‘Jesus King of All Nations.’ ”  (Journal 14).

“If you had faith before the hurricane, this just made it stronger,” said a volunteer coordinator for an emergency relief center in Punta Gorda, Florida, the epicenter of Hurricane Charley. “If you didn’t have faith, well, it probably made it worse,” he added.

“Some people only turn to God when they want something,” said a survivor. “But faith shouldn’t be a once-in-a-while thing. We need to live it every day.”

Prayer for Protection. He and his wife recited Psalm 23 at the height of the storm, while they held pillows over their heads. They were scared, but the Psalm gave them comfort.

Another survivor recited the Rosary the night before the storm to calm her nerves. When Hurricane Charley bore down on them the next day, she and her husband, their two dogs and a neighbor squeezed into a closet in their home.

As the wind roared and chunks of their house began flying away, she shut her eyes and invoked St. Jude, the patron saint of desperate situations and hopeless causes. “Help us survive this!” she pleaded. They did, and so did eight other family members who live in the area.

Thanksgiving for Protection. A minister greeted visitors to the heavily damaged sanctuary at his church. “I never saw any anger,” he said. “But, I heard a lot of ‘Thank you, Lord, for a new day to serve you.’ ”

Acts of Mercy for the Victims. A survivor directed the flow of cars into his church’s parking lot for a week. They unloaded cartons of food, water and ice dropped off by strangers, and helped victims choose badly needed items to get them through the crisis.

He gave hugs, offered prayers and handed bottles of cold water to motorists stuck in traffic jams on the adjoining street.

His house escaped damage. The way that he saw it was that if God had spared him, it was his responsibility to heed Jesus who said, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.” “I know how blessed I am,” he said, “so I want to give back.”

Husband and wife survivors, who owned a contracting business, gave temporary work to local Mexicans left jobless by the closures of so many area restaurants.

“Give me one can of spaghetti sauce and I’ll feed 50,” said another survivor. He and his wife suffered storm damage, but they knew pretty much everyone else did as well. So, he volunteered to cook meals for the hungry on a propane camp stove in their church kitchen.

“Right now, there are so many holes in the dikes, and just so many fingers to plug them,” he said. “But God hasn’t abandoned us. If anything, this will give us a chance to see His grace more clearly in our lives.”

Hope for the Future. A victim of the hurricane said, “We’re looking at this as God giving us a new direction in life.”

She donated the inventory salvaged from their destroyed bakery business to a local church. She and her husband resolve that as soon as they picked up the salvage of their lives, they would go on with hope in some new business.

“We got a message and we intend to listen to it,” she said.

A survivor understood why some homeless victims were angry, frustrated and without hope. But, for those who told him so, he had a ready answer.

“I told them that there’s a force stronger than Hurricane Charley that can change their life for the positive,” he says.  It’s hope!

“We feel blessed and absolutely grateful,” another survivor said. “Every day we wake up is a good one, even if things are a little difficult right now. Life is beautiful.”

You may see my book, Chastisements, Preparation and Protection against Them, here.

“Let us move forward steadfastly together into the storm…keep calm and carry on!” (Winston Churchill).

“In the shadow of your wings I take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by.” (Psalm 57).

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