Noah and the Global Flood

As we journey together through the solemn days of Lent, the Alliance for Catholic Education and ThinkND invite you to join us as we walk toward the light that our faith tells us lies ahead.

Join us for Grace Period, a weekly series of audio reflections by Fr. Lou DelFra, C.S.C. ’92, M. Div. ’03, designed to meet your busy schedule and help you pause, listen for God’s voice in your life, and begin anew.

As Christians around the globe observe the season of Lent, emerging from the pandemic into a world deeply in need, Fr. Lou looks at another global crisis, a Biblical one, perhaps the first global crisis ever recorded, and the spiritual gifts it called forth among God’s people.

Hi. I’m Fr. Lou DelFra,
Director of Pastoral Life for the Alliance for Catholic Education
at the University of Notre Dame.

Welcome to Grace Period,
a weekly series of audio reflections designed for you…

to help you pause,
in the midst of the stresses of these days,
listen for God’s voice in your lives,
and begin anew.


As we move through these final months of the pandemic,
which has worn each of us down in different ways,
my heart has been drawn frequently to another global crisis, a Biblical one,
perhaps the 1st global crisis ever recorded,
and the spiritual gifts it called forth among God’s people.

So, I want you to close your eyes for a moment (unless you’re driving!), and put yourself in Noah’s sandals, as he navigates the global flood.
Imagine you’re asleep on your ark.
It’s early morning, and you’re just begun to awake.
Just lie there for a moment.

Feel the space you are in bobbing, up and down, up and down.

You have a blissful couple seconds of semi-consciousness,
And then, just on the other side of the wall that your cot lays next to,
You hear it, yet again….
For the 40th morning in a row, (and remember 40 in the Bible is a symbolic number for just a really, really long time), it’s the same, wearying sound you’ve heard every morning lately – the slosh of water against the ark.
And you know, before your eyes have even opened, that today – yet again – is probably not the day you’ll get your beloved,
if occasionally burdensome, cargo to land.

Then some of the faces of that precious cargo start coming to mind, and like clockwork, the ones who cause you the most stress tend to dominate your thoughts, even at this early hour:

The penguins can’t sit still for 2 minutes, the llamas just seem unmotivated, the giraffes are always sticking their noses into other people’s business, and the hippopotami are pretty much bullies most days –
Still, they’ve all come to be yours, and in the midst of all their shortcomings, you’ve grown to like them,
and you definitely feel responsible for them.
And have become pretty singularly focused on getting them onto terra firma someday.
And come to think of it, you wouldn’t mind feeling some solid ground under your own feet too.

And that’s why the slosh of the water this morning is just pretty darn deflating.

And then….
And then, you do something that simply cannot be accounted for –
For reasons, perhaps you don’t even understand, you get up, and take one of your doves, one of your most precious birds – and you’ve only got 2 – you climb out on deck, look out all the way to the horizon,
see nothing but water …
and you send it flying.

And the Genesis story at this moment is just begging us to engage a question: Where did that utterly ridiculous, even defiant, act come from?

Join us next week on Grace Period, as we continue to open ourselves to God’s gift of hope.

Religion and PhilosophyAlliance for Catholic EducationGrace PeriodLentNoah's ArkPrayerUniversity of Notre Dame

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