A Different Flood, the Same Rainbow

Lourdes is underwater.  

For the second time in less than a year, the little French mountain town is submerged in an unexpected and dangerous deluge. Dark, muddy waters of the Gave de Pau roar around—and almost above—the rocky little grotto where the Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernadette Soubirous.

These latest flash floods come just after the French government let loose a different kind of flood—the legalization of gay marriage. The same France Our Lady chose as a special site of healing is inundated with a torrential wave of sickening relativism regarding love and marriage. The meaning of marriage has been desecrated, and the French must now accept a distorted form of lust as “marriage,” equal to the sacred bond that only belongs between one man and one woman. The voice of reason has been drowned out. The destructive floods drowning Lourdes are not a consequence of the political decision; but they are an apt sign of it.

homosexual activistsIn the United States, we are facing a similar flood. This week the Supreme Court will decide whether to legalize gay marriage. Disney just okayed the first gay couple in its children’s TV shows. The Boy Scouts succumbed to cultural pressures to approve open gays in their ranks. The Pew Research Center just released a study revealing the striking media bias in favor of gay marriage. In short, everywhere you look, the falsehood that homosexuality is normal and praiseworthy and should be revered as socially acceptable as “marriage” is blared across our newspapers and computer screens, proclaimed aloud from secular pulpits and flaunted with arrogant “pride” in our streets. The high tide of support for the gay agenda is overwhelming.

It is tempting to feel that our society will be swept away in this deluge: that the waters pounding about our ears will push down and wipe out our social sanity—a cultural Katrina for our country.

But in the midst of this rising tide, and thinking of the waters rising round our Lady’s feet at Lourdes in the wake of France’s sad new decision, we ought to remember another flood—a flood strangely connected by symbol to the one which we face now.  The flood of Noah.

There is, perhaps, no little irony in the fact that the flag chosen by those who push gay rights was once chosen by God as a promise of hope to mankind: a rainbow.  The emblem which, for them, proclaims allegiance to a barren and self-destructive act, was once the herald of new life and fruitfulness for the scion of humanity stepping off the ark onto new ground. It was the promise of God that He would never flood the whole earth again.

It once proclaimed the end of the flood; now it proclaims its coming.

And yet, now, when the rainbow has become a banner over the tide of those shoving their redefinition of love and marriage down our throats, there is a new and subtler significance in the symbol.  Noah’s stolen rainbow cannot be fully usurped. It remains for us, even now, a sign of hope.  Even as they wave it in our faces as a proclamation of their hellish new world, where sin calls itself love and authentic love is labeled hate, we see it and are reminded of its original meaning. It is still a promise. God does not and will not abandon us. There is hope amidst the flood.

Which brings us back to Lourdes. I visited Lourdes a mere week and a half after the floodwaters of last October swirled over the spot the Blessed Virgin chose for a sacred stream. Even as I arrived, the waters streamed from the sky in bitterly cold, torrential rains.

But that did not stop the faithful. In the freezing mountain rain and mist, pilgrims still gathered for the 9 PM candlelight rosary procession outside the basilica. My glasses fogging in the cold, my jeans soaked through from the icy puddles pooling up at the altar of the snow-white Virgin, I was deeply moved by the incredible devotion of the many pilgrims who had gathered to pray. The floods had passed, and the faithful prayed on.

The waters of this cultural tide will leave wreckage and havoc in their wake. As if to remind us of God’s promise that the waters will not overwhelm us, a rainbow shines out in the very center of the battle, giving us hope even from our attackers. And while the waters still roar about us, when our prayers are lifted in hope, we ought to remember another promise, to the man who prays to God in time of distress: “The floodwaters may reach high, but him they shall not reach” (Psalm 32:6). Just as for the faithful at Lourdes, these waters will pass, and our prayers will continue. The clouds will break. The waters will subside. And God’s promise will shine in the sky, untarnished—still our symbol of hope.


image credit: shutterstock.com


Lauren Enk


Lauren Enk is a student at Christendom College in Front Royal, VA, where she plans to major in English and minor in Philosophy. She writes as an editor for Christendom’s student newspaper, The Rambler, regularly posts opinion articles at her own blog, God’s Spies, and is a regular contributor to The Catholic Young Woman Blog.

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  • cathy

    Bravo Lauren! You have so articulately named the problem and the solution! You have reframed the stolen rainbow for me. I deeply thank you! People do not realize how devastating the gay agenda is to our society…The foundation of society is the family. When we mess with the foundation, the building falls. But my comfort is that when people are trapped in the rubble, it’s likely then that they will seek God again!

  • Poppiexno

    I admit that I had not given much thought to the homosexual usurpation of the rainbow but it is not surprising. Liberals have made an art form out of usurping traditional symbols and corrupting and obfuscating language. So homosexual becomes “gay,” abortion becomes “a woman’s right to choose,” and the takeover of health care is “the afordable health care act.” And an oath to defend the Constitution is an oath to defend my interpretation of it, not as it is writtrn.

  • Dan

    Popular culture is lost. We must face this reality and remain joyful, prayerful and faithful with the help of Our Lady. The broad road to hell is a crowded thoroughfare indeed. Not much room is required on the narrow road as all too few follow Christ and His Church. Mary, mother of our hope, pray for us.

  • Link Daddy

    Just read your superb article. Thank you for informing the uninformed about the real “rainbow connection.”


  • jmjriz


    There is also a profound relationship between Noah’s Ark, the dove and the rainbow and the Holy Eucharist and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ
    Please watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goMWSpcf-Ws

    We must make a united stand on the word COVENANT (God’s Promise) and the eternal sign that Our Father gave humanity and all of good creation—the Rainbow. There is a different flag that supports this effort.

    There is far too little contemplation of what really lies just beyond the rainbow. Sacred Scripture is abundantly clear on the matter. We see God’s rainbow in Genesis (Α) and in Revelation (Ω) and in each instance the bow relates to God’s Covenant with mankind and ultimately the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Jesus Christ reigns in heaven surrounded by this sign of sacred beauty, wonder and promise. His glorious return in the clouds just might be preceded by one final rainbow.

    Genesis 9:8-13, 16
    Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

    “When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

    Ezekiel 1:28
    Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

    Matthew 24:30
    Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

    Revelation 4:3, 5:6, 10:1
    And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.
    And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

    Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.

    Finally, we must pray constantly and remember what Jesus told us from the Cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
    God bless humanity!