Search
  • Sarah Raad

Aloneness

“‘Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’” (John 20:25).

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Guercino)

My children are getting older. When you combine this fact with all the various restrictions caused by the latest lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my knowledge that they will have to travel to and from school next year – for the first time – using public transport, it is apparent that some things necessarily must change.


You see, sometimes – over the last few weeks of the lockdown – we have needed things from the supermarket and with all the rules and regulations I honestly was not sure whether I was able to take children the age of my children with me to get those things or not... And so it was that only once or twice – when things were desperate towards the end of the latest lockdown – I ran up to the supermarket for a few minutes and left my children at home alone.


This was a good thing for my children and for me – because it taught them to become a little more independent, but just as learning anything new is uncomfortable, this was uncomfortable too…


For my eldest child, this independence was the world’s best treat because he will be in high school in a few short months, and he has been craving his independence. For his younger brother – who is only about a year younger than he is – this was a terrible problem because he hates being left alone and he worries about every possible problem. But for their baby sister, it mattered neither one way or another that they were left home alone, because she knew that she would be able to rely on her big brothers for everything that she needed anyway.

I have been reflecting on this growing up and this growing independence of my children as I reflect on our relationship with God…

You see, the more I read the more I realise that so many of the great Saints spoke of experiencing periods of spiritual dryness during certain times of their life. Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Saint Damien of Molokai and Saint Maria Faustina Kowalski expressed that during periods of time they felt a sense of aloneness, a dryness and separateness from God and an inability to pray.


I have been thinking of this feeling of aloneness expressed by such Saints as these… You see, if ever a soul feels alone and separate from God that feeling of aloneness is according to His Holy Will… Accordingly, as we know that God – who is PERFECT goodness – brings everything (including feelings of aloneness) to the GOOD!


And so, it was with this thought in mind that I reflected upon the reaction of each of my children when I left them alone for a very short time during the lockdown…


After all, Saint Faustina wrote in her Diary 872...


"During the Holy Hour, the Lord allowed me to taste His Passion. I shared in the bitterness of the suffering that filled His soul to overflowing. Jesus gave me to understand how a soul should be faithful to prayer despite torments, dryness and temptations; because often times the realisation of God’s great plans depends mainly on such prayer. If we do not persevere in such prayer, we frustrate what the Lord wanted to do through us or within us. Let every soul remember these words: “And being in anguish, He prayed longer.” I always prolong such prayer as much as is in my power and in conformity with my duty."


And so my children made me think of souls...


You see, my eldest son’s reaction was that of a soul who is confident in the love of the Father. Such souls understand that though God may at times feel far away from them, He is always with them. Saint Faustina wrote many times in her Diary of Christ’s words to her after such feelings of aloneness... Invariably Christ told her that she was not alone and that He remained with her at all times – despite any feelings she might have had to the contrary…


And then there is my second son. For his reaction to my leaving is like that of the souls who are subject to temptations of the Evil One. Those souls are at times convinced that God is very far away from them. They struggle to believe that God is with them or is looking after them if they cannot feel His Holy presence inside their own soul. In this way such souls are like Saint Thomas the apostle, who needed to put his hands into Christ’s wounds to believe in the Risen Lord. “So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’” (John 20:25). And Saint Thomas did not do this because he was a terrible person. He did it because he was afraid. He loved the Lord his God with all his heart and mind and soul and could not bear the thought of losing Him a second time. He wanted proof before he gave his heart again – for it would not recover from a second such loss…


And my youngest child – my daughter – her reaction reminds me a lot of my soul. She does not worry too much about trying to figure it out for herself. Instead, she relies on the direction of the Holy Father – the Pope – and of the cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests. For such are simple souls and we understand that we are called to follow – not to lead... And so, such souls as mine, are happy to look to the example of the Saints. For we understand that we are not the magnificent chosen few who will achieve thrones of glory in Heaven. Such souls as mine are the ordinary little daisies in the entryway of Paradise.


It is our purpose to marvel at the glories of the magnificent chosen ones, and in this way – even such a soul as mine – can please the Lord…


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

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All