Search
  • Sarah Raad

Hand

“We must never separate the Cross from Jesus’ love; otherwise it would become a weight which in our weakness we could not carry.” (Saint Padre Pio).

Saint Rita of Cascia in Penance (Print)

Saint Rita of Cassia was a 14th century saint. She was married, despite her objections, to a man who was not holy and who caused her great suffering. She had twin sons. When her husband was killed by bandits, she prayed to God to allow her sons to die rather than take revenge on their father’s murderers so that they would not commit a mortal sin. After their deaths, Saint Rita became a Carmelite nun and received the stigmata in the form of a thorn from Christ’s crown into her forehead. Saint Rita suffered terrible pain until her death, with maggots infecting her wound and aggravating her pain.


Saint Rita is considered the patron of impossible cases.


I have been reflecting on Saint Rita over the last few days and weeks. You see, Saint Rita was a Saint who ACTIVELY asked God to send her some suffering, and yet – as strange as her offering may sound – she was far from alone in making it…


All the Saints ask God to grant them the Grace of suffering and all of them embrace their suffering, offering it up as a sacrifice for the salvation of souls…


Saint Josemaria spoke often of loving the Cross. He saw the Cross as a wonderful gift – an opportunity for sanctity – and encouraged his spiritual children to embrace their suffering as an opportunity to atone for sin and make offering to God.


Saint Padre Pio considered suffering a gift from God – an opportunity to be held close to God – and encouraged his spiritual children to make sacrifices of their suffering to atone for sin.


Father Damien of Molokai actively sought placement in the leper colony of Molokai, which caused him to become infected with the disease, which would kill him within a few short years of that placement, because he wished to sacrifice his life for God.


Saints Jacinta and Francisco (and Blessed Lucia) who were the young visionaries of Fatima – despite being such young children – invited suffering into their lives through sacrifice to atone for sin and sinners. And the intensity of their sacrifices increased after their visions of Hell... Saint Jacinta once said that if others could have seen the terrible terrible despair of Hell then they too would try to stop sinning because they too would be focused on saving souls from that terrible torment…


And there were so many others too – Saint Clare and her sister, Saint Agnes, who followed Saint Francis’ example of a life of utter poverty in following Christ, Saint Faustina, who was a silent martyr of Christ’s mercy. And the list goes on and on and on…

And all these saints not only embraced suffering as sacrifice, but they asked for more suffering to use as a sacrifice for God…

And these Saints were able to make such sacrifices because they understood the importance of sacrifice and the connection of sacrifice to love…


Saint Padre Pio wrote, “We must never separate the Cross from Jesus’ love; otherwise it would become a weight which in our weakness we could not carry.”


And so, as I pray for the suffering required of me to sacrifice for the salvation of my own soul and the souls of others, I consider my utter miserable weakness of spirit…


You see, I am like a child who needs to be injected with a medicine to make me well. I see the needle and I am resolved to allow the injection to take place – I even understand how it will help me to get better – and yet though I can carry myself all the way there, at the last minute I draw back. I cannot unflinchingly allow what must be to happen.


And so, like that reluctant child, I need a steady hand – in fact I need the STEADIEST HAND – to hold me still so that I can endure the pinch and the moment’s pain of that injection…


For without that moment there will be an eternity of anguish…


And so, I pray – for the HAND of my Beloved to hold me still… So that I can bear the momentary anguish that is necessary to purify my soul…


For without Him I am nothing – and unto dust I shall return without any hope of eternal salvation…


And that is why I pray for His Hand…


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

24 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

Window

Calling

Pilate