Or should I say good news from Floridians?
Close to 600 women from across the country gathered in Dallas this week for the annual National Council of Catholic Women convention, including many amazing women from Florida.
All the virtues—like hope, kindness, patience, self-control—grow out of trust in God and his everlasting care for us.
Here’s how three women from Florida responded when I expressed concern for what they’d be facing back home:
“Our house was blown away by Andrew in ’92,” Barbara said with a confident smile. “Today, our shutters are in place. My husband’s there. Our insurance is paid up. That’s all I can do. Irma will be the same whether I’m there or not.” Barbara wasn’t about to give one calorie to worrying.
I had an animated chat with my new friend Marie during dinner last night. When I learned that she lived halfway down the Florida Gulf Coast, I asked what her thoughts were. Smiling broadly with a twinkle in her blue eyes, she said, “It’s in God’s hands.”
And Sharon explained her attitude to me this way: “I’ve gotten to the point where my house and everything in it—it’s just stuff.”
She, like the other women, is grateful she has the means to rebuild no matter what happens and that her loved ones are safe. But unlike some women of means, she has not made a god of her possessions or her plans. Sharon is free to love what’s important.
Jesus says in Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” These women’s hearts are in the Heart of Jesus, who has become their one and only treasure.
These holy women have chosen their pearl of great price and it is God. Like the eye of a hurricane, the ever-loving God is their chosen calm-spot in the midst of the world’s terrifying storms. Everything else is just stuff.
P.S. The National Council of Catholic Women supports the work of local Catholic women’s groups and gives them national and global reach. Join by clicking the membership tab at https://nccw.org/
I am in Tampa Rose. I evacuated my apartment Friday. I expect a 12 foot storm surge there, feet from the bay. My sister and I have been helping my elderly parents prepare their home since. After Hurricane Andrew in 92 wiith a 6 month old baby, we slept in the local high school shelter overnight, and returned to a home that was fine. God has always provided.
Praying for you and yours, Sabrina. And wish you could have been at the convention! Sharon, Olga, Ellen-Jane are here. Stay strong!
My wife and I were very close. We referred to ourselves as “the unit Tom and Sylvia,” a phrase borrowed from Star Trek. Sylvia had a massive stroke with a poor prognosis in 1989. We were coping in clever ways but after ten years despair was taking over. About that time there began to be some “lucky bounces” coming via Catholics. Got to some Masses too (“Would you like to come along?”). Then I thought “There’s a Catholic Church nearby and there’s a Mass at 6:30 in the morning.” So, to make a long story short . . . .
Those three Floridians are indeed very faithful by making Christ our Lord their main focus! Once you do this, then everything else falls right into place. It can be very easy to idolize our possessions without even realizing it.
They also possess (whether they know it or not) the virtue of detachment to worldly things. They are certainly on the right path! St. Paul tells us that we are to be
transformed by earthly things, not to conform to them.