It was Good Friday, March 21, 1788 when a fire ripped through New Orleans destroying 856 of the 1,100 structures in the city. (An additional 212 buildings were destroyed by a city-wide fire just six years later on December 8, 1794. Two hurricanes also contributed to the devastation during this time as well.)
The website, http://www.frenchquarter.com/history/elements.php, presents this fascinating detail regarding the Good Friday fire of 1788. “Through it all the Ursuline nuns in their convent on Chartres Street had prayed to Notre Dame de Bon Secours, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, patron of Rouen, their home town. As the fire had neared the convent on that Good Friday, the wind changed suddenly. (As Providence would no doubt have it, the front arrived from the north just in time.) The convent survived, and is still here with us.”
Is it coincidence that the front arrived just in time, or is that the power of prayer? Obviously, people of faith will view it one way while others may see it as the simple cycle of nature. In my opinion it is simply amazing how many times throughout history we have seen particular structures spared from ruin because of fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other phenomena while everything else around it is consumed in the disaster. The sparing of the Ursuline convent is one of those events which can make us pause and reflect.
Each of us will experience hardships in life. Through these difficult moments are we still able to see the presence of God? Let us pray today for all who are hurting because of illness or injury, financial hardships due to unemployment or other financial difficulty, broken relationships, or the death of a loved one. As we continue with our journey of Lent and officially enter into the season of Spring, may we experience NEW LIFE IN CHRIST!