|This is where I am spending my days...|
|Me, aiming a note at Sr Julia.|
I saw that the US bishops are calling for a special collection on Sunday to help with the Louisiana recovery. While I was on retreat, the flood waters found their way into my youngest sister's house. The flooding in her neighborhood was not catastrophic (only three feet of water overall, and about 6 inches in my sister's house), but (as with Hurricane Katrina) that still requires pulling up floors, tossing upholstery and other furnishings that bathed in that muddy stew and cutting out drywall up to three feet past the flood line. For the first few nights, my sister and her husband waded through a hip-deep lake of flood water to a hotel about a mile from their house (where luckier locals delivered gumbo and barbecue for the flood victims) and are now in a rental. (To give you a hint of what things are like, just yesterday we siblings learned that one of my sister's cats is suffering from stress-related cystitis.) People in the flood zones have not only lost their homes (or the use of them): compounding the loss is the fact that local businesses were damaged or destroyed too, putting many flood victims out of work. Sis is a social worker. She has plenty of work these days, processing food stamp requests for thousands more households than the state could have anticipated.
And in our studio, we keep singing Christmas songs. We added a prayer for peace to our Christmas lineup this year, strongly suspecting that by the first week of December people will be feeling that need for "peace that surpasses understanding." (Yesterday's news about the murder of two religious sisters in Mississippi only confirms the need for an unceasing prayer for peace.) Please join us in that prayer.