Calming the Storm

Faced with a wide variety of situations, in which pain and suffering afflict us, often without warning, a gesture of solidarity is essential when providing spiritual and material help for others. Alongside this immediate support, we need to nurture the strength of hope and of Accomplishing Faith, which drive human beings to remain under the protection of the Heavenly Father and encourages them to roll up their sleeves and turn their fair supplications into a reality.

Reprodução BV

Matthew, Mark, and Luke

In the challenges of our existence, let us always remember the words of renewed comfort and courage of Jesus, the Ecumenical Christ, the Divine Statesman, which are found in His Gospel according to Matthew 8:23 to 27; Mark 4:35 to 41; and Luke 8:22 to 25. The following is the text from the Good News that was unified by Wantuil de Freitas:

“It so happened that on one of those days, Jesus got into a boat and His disciples followed Him; and behold, there arose a great storm on the sea that the waves covered the boat, while Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. The disciples woke Him up shouting and saying: Lord, save us! We are going to die!’ And Jesus replied: ‘Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. Frightened and amazed, the disciples said to one another: ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’”

Tela: Rembrandt (1606-1669)

Facing up to and overcoming storms

What has life been for many people if not experiencing turmoils, which we must overcome and not run away from? Let us look at a nautical example. When there is a tempest with billows, the commander points the ship's bow toward the waves if, surprised by the storm, he was unable to escape from it. He does not turn the ship to the side, he does not turn it side-on to the waves. Otherwise, the ship runs the serious risk of listing to one side and even sinking. That is what each one of us should do. Face the storms of daily life with the powerful ship that the Exalted Navigator offers us, which is our body, led by the Spirit, even when we are ill. We have to face the storm and overcome it, overthrowing the illusions of life. Because then it is possible to dream of a better world. What we cannot do is deceive ourselves. And when the storm is at its strongest, to the point that we think we will be overwhelmed—or, what is worse, we think that the Celestial Commander is distracted, resting—, let us know with certainty that the Divine Helmsman is not sleeping. Jesus is always alert, always ready to guide His crew, indicating new trips over the entire planet, hoping one will show its potential and perseverance.

“Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?”

Let us assimilate, as soon as possible, this just rebuke of our Master, because in any case He will rise up at the right time, rebuke the wind and the sea, and Peace will be instilled in our hearts.

Everything in this world can get out of the control of men, but nothing escapes the command of God. Therefore, the closer we are to Him the farther away we are from problems.

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”