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  • Sarah Raad

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What I saw as darkness was in fact the light…

Pentecost (Titan)

The other morning, my youngest child – my daughter who has just finished the third grade and who is ready to start Year 4 next year – walked over to me with a perfectly straight face, completely full of pride and wonder and said, “Mum, did you know that there are 26 letters in the alphabet?”


I am sure you can imagine my thoughts… Four solid years of Catholic education and my child has only just realised how many letters there are in the alphabet!


I had quite a little laugh at this latest revelation from the youngest character in my family and then – when the tears of laughter had dried – I got to thinking… Because this sudden revelation of my daughter is very much like my own sudden conversion of faith, which happened some months ago through Grace and no merit of my own…


You see, although my daughter did not know how many letters there were in the alphabet, she did – in fact – know how to read quite well… Not knowing how many letters there were in the words she was reading had not actually stopped her from moving forward with her education. In fact, though she can struggle at times with numeracy, reading is a strength of hers – despite her relatively recent revelation.


And I was reflecting on that fact as I recalled this story today…


You see, prior to my conversion of faith – which occurred through the Grace acquired through prayers for my little niece who was so sick last year and no merit of my own – I too was moving forward in my life of faith. Granted, at the time it felt very much as though time was standing still, but the feeling that I had was not actually the reality.


At that time – prior to my conversion – it felt as though my Beloved was very far away from me. And prior to my conversion of faith, it felt as though all the sacraments were simply a way to go through the motions to appease an angry and mean God who was waiting for me to fail so that He could rip something precious away from me as punishment…

How wrong I was!

Often – through my new vocation of faith – I meet souls who experience that same spiritual anxiety and dryness in their relationship with God as I experienced during those long dark years and when I do meet such souls, they often say to me – I do not have what you have, I do not have God …


But they cannot see what they have yet – it has not been revealed to them – just as it was not revealed to me until God saw fit to do so in His own time and for the GOOD.


But I am not worried and I am not distressed, because I KNOW that once they can see it – just as my daughter suddenly saw how many letters there are in the English alphabet – they will never be blind to that knowledge again.


And I know this from my own experience in faith… Because, now that I can see the way that God has prepared me for this EXACT moment in time, I can also see – with a clarity that I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit – how wonderfully I was prepared for this moment!


For during those long cold years of disillusion, I felt that God was very far from me because all I could see was darkness…

But now I realise that the reason that I saw darkness was because I was turned TOWARDS my Beloved as He carried me SAFELY in His arms and held me against His Holy HEART! During those long dark years the sound of drums that I though signalled impending doom, was in fact, the slow and stead beat of my Beloved’s Sacred Heart as He nestled me against Him…

And what greater gift could a soul – especially a sinful soul such as mine – ask for that could possibly be greater than this?


For what I saw as darkness was in fact the light…


And I can only stop in wonder to give glory to God for that…


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

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