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  • Sarah Raad

Fall

I know that God really does work EVERYTHING for my good...Even in His silence when I fall…

Persecution (Chagall)

A few weeks ago, I volunteered as a field marshal at my children’s Primary School Cross Country Carnival. Right at the beginning of the race, one little year 1 girl fell over on the grass. It was not a dreadful fall – just a little one. There were no skinned knees, or even any bruises. In fact, if I had not seen this little girl fall over with my own eyes, I would not have realised that she had fallen at all.


And yet – being the field marshal – I immediately approached this (now crying) child to check that she was alright.


You see, I had watched the whole thing happen. One minute she was running happily along and the next she was on the ground, and literally a second after that she had picked herself up and was back on her feet. And yet – because I was watching closely – I could also see the moment of indecision on that little girl’s face while she tried to decide what she should do.


You see, she was clever enough to realise that she had a choice about what to do next. She could either continue on her run or stop right there and give up. Now at first – with some tears in her eyes – she thought about running. I could tell because I was talking to her. But very soon, she caught sight of her mother, who was watching the race, that that was all the incentive she needed to give up and go to Mum for a cuddle.

And I have been thinking about that fall because it reminds me of my spiritual weaknesses and falls from Grace.

You see, I very often fail in my best intentions… At 6:00am, I fervently promise God – with all my heart – that I am going to love Him more than He has ever been loved before. At 6:10am, I am shouting at my children to wake up and exhibiting all the patience of a goldfish, while I seriously question my life choices… I have not even the strength of will, to remain firm in my convictions for fifteen minutes – much less an entire day!


So, it is quite clear that I fall very very often…


And – just like that little girl who I saw at the Cross Country – when I fall there is a single instant of indecision where I am trying to decide what I should do next, whether I should try again or simply quit…


And I have been reflecting on this too. You see, very often when people experience spiritual struggle or failings – a fall – they express the belief that God feels very far away from them. They experience a strong feeling of spiritual dryness – an inability to pray and to connect with God – and this is what I am reflecting on today.


You see, I am starting to see that such a feeling of spiritual dryness may well be very necessary for our own GOOD…


You see, if God – like that little girl’s mother – were to show Himself to us at the wrong time, in our moment of greatest weakness, right after our fall, perhaps we – like that little girl – would give up then and there and run to the comforting embrace of Our Heavenly Father.


And that would be wonderful – except, it would not necessarily be GOOD!


After all, the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the purpose of our life on Earth is to know, love and serve God and be with Him forever in Heaven.


And if we give up before we finish the race – because God shows Himself to us too soon – how can we earn the merits of our suffering and be with Him forever in Heaven?


After all, Heaven is the finish line – and that little girl never made it there on that Cross Country day…


And so, today, I give praise to my Lord and God. For I know that God really does work EVERYTHING for my good... Even in His silence when I fall…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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