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'By your endurance you will gain your souls.' Sunday Reflections, 33rd Sunday, Ordinary Time

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Nave of the Archbasilica of St John Lateran GospelLuke 21:5-19  When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said,‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’ They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!”and, “The time is near!”Do not go after them. ‘When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. ‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they…

Seven Quick Takes for Friday

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1. It's snowing here. Hard. The Northeast of the United States is expecting a major blizzard. Our home is ready with newly made beeswax candles, food, unread books and for me, some cross-stitch. My husband and I worry we will lose power; Superstorm Sandy showed up the infrastructure here is pretty fragile.

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The Katrina Letters: New York Encounter 2013

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Imagine knowing, really knowing the hearts of your parents as teenagers. Imagine hearing their thoughts and feelings, of being right there with them as they courted one another.

Chris Vath had such a privilege. He is part of a family who discovered, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a duffel bag filled with 500 letters his parents (pictured here at their wedding reception) had exchanged during three years of separation during World War II, beginning when his mom was 16 and still in high school and his father was 18 and serving in the U.S. Navy. Although Katrina flooded his childhood home with nine feet of water, the letters inside the bag survived, still legible. 
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After Hurricane Sandy, My Children Help Me Keep Going

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Yesterday while driving out of the Home Depot parking lot,  I began to tear up. Our 16 year old son's words kept me going.

See, I had checked my facebook before heading into the store. I discovered two CL friends are homeless. The boiler in their apartment building in Manhattan's financial district blew up as Hurricane Sandy plowed through. They are scrambling for a warm place to sleep. (They have temporary lodging in New Jersey).

Then, as we walked into the store, I was puzzled by rows of people sitting in cloth folding chairs by the customer service counter. Some were reading books; one woman was asleep. Why were they sitting there? And then it struck me: they have no heat in their homes thanks to Hurricane Sandy.


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Preparing for "Frankenstorm" with Solzhenitsyn

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Hurricane Sandy, the late-season storm that already has taken 43 souls in the Caribbean, is heading here to the East Coast of the United States. The radio stations are full of advice and warnings about what some forecasters are calling "Frankenstorm," because the cyclone is expected to meet a winter storm sometime close to Halloween. 

I don't know if what happen in New Jersey, though I feel certain we will lose power for several hours, if not days. That happens a lot in our old town with its ancient trees that tend to fall right on power lines. Our power grid is pretty fragile. My next-door neighbor is putting gas in his  generator.

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Reflections Of A Christian After Shopping in Darkness

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This afternoon I headed to a Target discount store with L., our 11-year-old, to pick up some khakis, dress shirts and ties for the boys to wear at a bar mitvah we are attending tomorrow. Imagine our surprise when, halfway through the visit, most of the lights in the store went out. It turns out that Milltown, NJ has been without power since Hurricane Irene. The store never closed, but has been operating with generators ever since. It is slowly trying to ease its way onto the small town's tenuous power grid. Today, managers shut off all but one generator while we were shopping there.

Last week, Hurricane Irene brought tragedies to hundreds of thousands of families: death, the destruction of homes and communities and livelihoods. My inconvenient shopping trip has led me to thinking that the rest of us, those who suffered slightly flooded basements, the temporary loss of electricity or phone service, need to quit complaining. We are, after all more than the sum of our mo…