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  • Sarah Raad

Fire

Use my fire for Your will – for I have no doubt in You…

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Svitozar Nenyuk)

I have been praying for the dying and the dead and their families very intently over the last few days.


I pray for little Saint Baby Charbel who died last year on All Saints’ Day before he even turned 7 months old. I pray for a little boy, Raphael, who died after a long illness and for the four children killed in the Oatlands tragedy. I pray for a man named Andrew, who died too young, and a young woman named Nour who died last week. I pray for Margot, whose funeral is today. I pray for Brian, who died a grandfather but too soon. I pray for my Aunt Josephine, who died almost 12 years ago now, and I pray for my great uncle, who is almost 100 years old and lingers between life and death after falling and breaking his hip.


When I consider this journey from this life to the next, and when I pray for this small array of souls, I have been reflecting on how to minimise grief. After all, that is what we all crave in this valley of tears... So I wonder to myself, is there less grief when a young person dies, or an older one? After all, for the little baby, and the young people, death came too soon. And yet, for the old man, it is also comes too soon – for him…


My grandmother – my great uncle’s sister, who will be left here behind if he now precedes her into Heaven – will surely feel that his loss is too soon. Is her grief less valuable, because she suffers with it in her late nineties, rather than as a young woman? I wonder, in fact, if her grief is greater – for the young see life ahead of them, and have great incentive to continue onward, but the elderly and the infirm know that the end is coming… Surely, that knowledge magnifies their despair, and weakens their will to pick up their Cross and continue on…


Why is it so difficult to farewell those we love if we believe they are going to eternal Paradise? It is not logical. Either we believe in God or we do not… If we believe in Him, if something good happens it is good, and if something bad, it is also good… And God is infinite mercy... So there should be no tears. And yet we continue to cry.


Why?


I think now that I have figured it out…


I was sitting in Mass last Saturday night, praying while the priest conducted the Homily, and in my prayers I was speaking to my little baby, who preceded me to Heaven some years ago, when it suddenly occurred to me what exactly this thing called grief actually is!

The pain that I feel in losing that child to Paradise is the pain of my unrequited love for him. Inside my heart I had all my love waiting and prepared to give to that child – I was giving it to him while he was inside my womb - even after he had already preceded me to Paradise without my knowledge…

But I am human and weak and fallible. And though I continue to love him, the love I feel for him burns inside my soul and breaks my heart with its heavy weight because I cannot reach to touch him.


I am not entirely powerless though, I use that love where I can and I channel it out in other ways. I channel it to the children who are with me, to my husband, and my family and my friends, and in my work to my students. But still – because love is infinite - because God is love and He is infinite - I shall never be able to use it up in my lifetime here. And the love left inside me burns and burns and burns…


This burning aching pain is the pain of a love that we express as grief. This pain of grief never really goes away – because love, like God, is eternal and infinite, and grief is PURE LOVE!


While it would feel like carrying a piece of Heaven if I were able to carry another child of mine in my arms and use some of that extra love in my heart for them… that is perhaps not what God would like for me.


And I have spent years trying to work out what to do with all the love inside my heart. And all this time since I lost my precious precious child, I have been thrashing around on this sea of grief. I carry it inside my heart and cry silent tears away from others and these tears fuel that fire, rather than quench it... Nobody will understand my sorrows in this lifetime, just as I can never truly understand theirs…


And yet, on Saturday night - through the Divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit - I realised my mistake...


Because, on Saturday night, during the vigil mass inside my local parish in Castle Hill, God told me what to use my love for…


And now, I see... I must use my love for HIM.


This feeling of love that I cannot give because my child is not with me, is God's gift to me. It is an opportunity to share in the suffering of my Beloved.


My Beloved bears that grief of unrequited love a million, billion, trillion times more than I, for while I shall be able to love my child ad infinitum when I reach Heaven, how many souls are lost to God for all eternity through damnation?


How much love has He to give to the souls who reject Him, which is now burning and burning and burning inside His Holy Heart?


This great love of mine burns for that child gone before me… How it burns…

Imagine the FIRE in my Beloved’s soul – the FIRE that burns for love of US, for all of us who reject Him…

I offer my grief – and this small flame of my love – for my Beloved… Let me burn with His Holy LOVE. Let me burn.


I will embrace this fire until the day, when I am with my child, and MY GOD, forever in Paradise…


For we do not die for things we doubt and we do not live for them either...


There is no doubt in me now. I know what I must do…


My Holy Lord, my Immortal God, my BELOVED... please condescend to let me burn with Your love of souls… Let it consume me… BURN me and MAKE me new…


Use my fire for Your will – for I have no doubt in You…


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

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