• Sarah Raad


If God will condescend to use me for His will, surely I will have the honour of pleasing Him…

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (Pablo Veronese)

Over the last few days, I have been thinking and praying very much for the intentions of those whose lives touch mine. A little baby Luca, who was recently born with very very serious and life-threatening health challenges has come to my mind as I pray for his strength and for his family to have the Grace and strength to trust in God.

And, as always, I continue to pray for those Lost Souls, asking for their intercession for our intentions in this Valley of Tears. These Lost Souls intercede for us through pure Christian Charity, which is the greatest of all the Christian virtues – the Christian virtue of love – as they cannot intercede for themselves.

And in reflecting on this GREAT CHARITY of the Lost Souls, I feel so loved, for it is the love of God that they bring to us.

As I pray for my beautiful little niece, and the families who grieve for those who have gone before us, the families of those affected by addiction and those who are forced to form new vocations after decades of life in a particular vocation, I feel surrounded by love and I send it out to them.

What I feel is surely the Love of God, inspired by prayers for the Lost Souls!

Upon praying for these souls, and mediating upon the love of the Father, a recurring thought comes to mind.

I think constantly of “THE WAY”. Perhaps my Beloved – the Holy Spirit – is trying to tell me something and because I am very dense and sinful, it can take me a while to understand…

Never fear – God is infinite PATIENCE! All will be well!

Christ – the Holy Second Person of the most Blessed Trinity, is THE WORD MADE FLESH…

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.’” (John 14:6-7).

What does it mean that Christ is THE WAY?

It means we must follow His path to Salvation. And Christ’s path was one of suffering.

We are expected to suffer to sanctify ourselves to become saints…

And yet, there is comfort there in this suffering.

Saint John Vianney summarised it perfectly… “I tell you that you have less to suffer in following the Cross than in serving the world and its pleasures.”

One of the most beautiful examples of this example of suffering to Follow the Way is the Samaritan woman. In realising that she was speaking to the Messiah, she ran out to the village and proclaimed Him.

I reflect often on that proclamation in my prayers. The Samaritan woman was shunned by her community. She had been married and divorced five times and was – at the time of her encounter with Christ – living “in sin” with her current partner. And yet, after speaking with Christ just ONCE…

“Then the woman left her water jar, went back into the town, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” So they left the town and made their way toward Jesus. (John 4:28-30).

That Samaritan woman left that JAR of water. Perhaps that does not seem like an important part of the story – but to me upon recent reflection – it seems the MOST IMPORTANT PART!

After all, the whole reason that she was at the well in the heat of the day – after a presumably long walk – was to get water. Without that water she could not cook, she could not clean, she could not drink, she could not wash, and nobody in her household could either.

Without that water, her Earthly life was just a little more difficult that day.

And yet after only ONE conversation with Christ, she LEFT HER JAR – she left the comforts of her Earthly life – and devoted herself fervently to proclaiming God!

The Samaritan woman changed her life after ONE encounter with God.

Surely you do not imagine that after realising that she had spoken to the Messiah that she returned to her partner and lived a sinful life? Surely, she went home and made some changes. Surely, she got her house in order. Surely, she longed – as I do – to make amends for her past mistakes!

In the past when I heard this reading in the Gospel, I reflected upon the sins of this Samaritan Woman… “How shocking. Five husbands. Tut. Tut. Shame on her.” How utterly ridiculous of me! I missed the whole point! I forgot about the JAR! Today, THANK GOD, the Holy Spirit helps me to understand. Now I look at that JAR of water she left behind.

What have I left behind?

Nothing! Not enough! Heaven is just a breath away and I sit suffocated in my sins as Christ was suffocated by them for LOVE OF ME on the Cross, and yet I am NO CHRIST. I do not reject sin to please my Father.

And this, after I do not encounter Christ only ONCE.

I have encountered Him since my CONCEPTION – through the faith of my parents – and through my Baptism – when I became His child – and again through all the sacraments that I have received.

But I have also encountered Christ today – this morning during Mass, or even before that when I opened my eyes and said a small insignificant little prayer… “Please God let me be patient with those children today!” I talked to him again before I sat down to write, “Please God make some use of me. Please allow me to atone for my sins. Please use me to show others YOUR love. Please honour me with this. I beg of You!” Or later as I make dinner, “Please God help me.” Or a million other times on a million other days…

“Jesus urged us: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.’” (Matthew 5:16).

I have come to realise that it is the JARS that we leave behind that can become the breadcrumbs in the forest, which God can use to show THE WAY.

My true prayer is that one day, I will have the strength to leave a few of my jars at the well as I rush to follow Christ…

What an honour that would be – to be an instrument of God – used for HIS WILL and HIS PURPOSE to bring others to Him. For as He collects those other more valuable souls, surely God will look kindly on my weakest one…

For with prayer everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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