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Sarah Torbeck reminds us that Christ is still the Lord of the Storm. 

It was a dark and stormy night. 

I know what you’re thinking: my membership card to the “Vapid Clichés Literary Club,” is showing; but I assure you—it is safely tucked away under my copy of Don’t Let this Happen to You. 

I chose the phrase because for once, it was entirely accurate—and I’ve always had a perverse desire to use it in an article or book.  

Opportunity: realized. 

It was indeed a night of tempests. Two western fronts were moving through our area, and the sky over my house was boiling with blue and gray vapors as they tumbled raucously toward the still-distant sea. I called my grandson, Brendan, from the back room and ran outside to batten down anything that could be transformed into a dangerous weapon.  

“Get the patio cushions and put them on the porch, while I collect the lawn chairs onto the deck!” I yelled. Brendan appeared at the back door, and stood transfixed for a few moments—staring at the sky with undisguised fear. I hesitated for a moment and watched him process the sights and sounds. “What’s the matter?” I yelled, but he didn’t answer me. Instead, he just bent his head and launched into the fray to help me.   

We rushed about the yard for several minutes, before racing back to the safety of the sunroom. Our mission completed, I fell onto the sofa to watch the storm as it continued its relentless approach.  

The clouds had gone from blue to black, and seemed saturated with intent. Shards of white lightning arced across the skyline, offering strobed images from the dynamic horizon. It was terrifying and exhilarating.  




I love summer storms.  

Enthralled with the imagery before me, I turned around to ask my grandson what he thought about the scenery … but he wasn’t there. Surprised, I stood up and called him. “Brendan? Where did you go?”  

It took several minutes before he sheepishly appeared at the doorway and peered into the sunroom. “Sorry, Nana,” he said, but I’m terrified of storms.” 

I paused for a moment and absorbed this information. How was it that I had not known this, I wondered. I smiled reassuringly and patted the cushion next to me. “Come sit with me, and we can watch the storm together.”  

He sighed and walked over to me. “Look Nana,” he said. “I’ve been watching the storm radar on my phone, and the red circle (signaling the most intense center of the storm cell) is headed straight for our area. They’re even predicting hail.” 

I looked at the radar images with him, and realized he was quite right. The dark red colors had almost reached our location. I noted my grandson’s troubled expression, and whispered a silent prayer: Please calm his fears, Lord.  




Suddenly, it occurred to me that there is a spiritual response to storms. Weren’t there stories of saints who had repelled storms throughout history? And of course, there was the Gospel story about Jesus calming the storm at sea. In fact, hadn’t I recently seen a prayer against storms? 

I grabbed some of my Catholic books and began thumbing through the pages. I quickly found the prayer I was looking for: Prayer/Blessing Against Storms. I smiled at my grandson. “Here,” I said. “If we believe what we say we believe, then let’s ask Jesus to calm the storm for us.” 

Brendan seemed doubtful, but agreed—and together we read the prayer solemnly, crossing ourselves after each line. It wasn’t a very long prayer, but time seemed to slow down, and somewhere toward the end of the prayer the atmosphere in the room began to change. 

We finished the last line of the prayer and absorbed the moment. There was only the gentle rustle of a fragrant breeze—tinged with the scent of pine and ozone. Time seemed to have stopped, and an indescribable stillness hovered in the air.  


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Aren’t we always a little confounded when God shows up, and does exactly what He promised He would do? #CatholicMom


It was Brendan who first interrupted the silence. “Nana!” He cried. “The red color on the radar passed over us!” I looked at his phone. He was right. The storm had moved beyond us, but never landed. In fact, it looked as if it had skipped right over us.  

“All things are possible with God,” I whispered.” We shouldn’t be too surprised.” 

 And yet … aren’t we always a little confounded when God shows up, and does exactly what He promised He would do?  

I know my grandson went to bed that night filled with a profound sense of awe. It’s not every night you discover that the Creator of the Universe will calm a storm … 

 … just for you. 


“What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?” (Matthew 8:27) 




Copyright 2023 Sarah Torbeck
Images: Canva