• Sarah Raad


“Tell everybody that God grants Graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” (Saint Jacinta Marto of Fatima).

Immaculate Heart of Mary (C.D. Smith)

The other day I was dealing with a small cross of mine and – though my cross was terribly small – for me on that day it felt monstrously heavy. In fact, it felt so unbelievably heavy that day that I was entirely sure that I would not be able to bear its weight.

Now – before I go any further – my crosses in this life are not big. I am a healthy wife and mother with healthy children and a healthy husband and a loving family, work, a home and friends. Really, through the infinite Grace of God I do not have very much to be upset about…

And yet, on that day, with that tiny little cross, I was struggling to cope.

It was a terrible spiritual struggle, the like of which most people would have experienced at one time or another in their life. And so, not knowing what else to do, I decided to pray the Rosary with all the small strength of my tiny little heart…

I did not do a very good job of it, I am afraid. You see, I could not concentrate well because I was distracted. I could not pray with fervour and love the way that I should because I was sad. And I could not smile and catch my breath and give thanks because I was scared.

And yet, I persevered in my prayer – for the one thing that I knew for sure was that God and only God would help me through this. And so, the one thought – the only thought – inside my mind as I prayed was, “Please God help me. I need Your help with this because for me this little thing is simply too too much to bear.”

And as I prayed I asked my Blessed Mother – who bore such a terrible Cross as she walked behind her Blessed Son – to help me, because I remembered the words of Saint Jacinta Marto of Fatima, who said, “Tell everybody that God grants Graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

And I am a sinner whose only recourse is to Her…

And so, I asked My Blessed Mother for the Grace to see me through – not for the next days or weeks or months, but just through the next moment and the next and the next – because for whatever reason on that day my burden was heavy and it was a difficult day for me.

And then, after I had finished my prayer – and just as I was so suddenly overcome by my tiny little cross – one of my sisters called me on the phone and told me a story that made me laugh.

Now, I have five younger sisters and that sister rarely calls me on the phone – she most often texts – so the call was slightly unusual. Also, she had no idea that I was struggling that day. And yet, the story that she told me that day – nothing special, nothing to take note of – just a funny little anecdote about her daughter, my little niece, made me laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.

And as I hung up that phone after a three minute phone call, I realised that just as I was about to fall and drop my Cross, God had sent me someone to help me, so that I could finish my walk to Calvary.

And when I think about that, I have such joy…

For the Immaculate Heart of Mary loves me so much that she helps me to dance – not walk – all the way to Calvary. The Immaculate Heart of Mary does this for me out of love – though I do not deserve it – so that one day, I can finally go home…

“Our Lady of Fatima pray for us, who have recourse to thee…”

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

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